Distributed Cloud Networking for SP Edge and 5G

Seamlessly connect edge locations into a unified fabric

Building unified fabrics for telecom service provider distributed edge clouds and 5G infrastructure

Pluribus Networks’ proven Unified Cloud Fabric technology is deployed globally in the virtualized network cores of over 100 tier 1 mobile operators.

 

As these telco cloud infrastructures expand to more distributed edge locations to enable new 5G and edge computing applications, the Unified Cloud Fabric scales seamlessly to create a highly distributed cloud network across dozens or hundreds of edge sites while preserving the operational simplicity and efficiency of a centralized cloud

5G and Edge Computing Drive Distributed Cloud Architectures

A new class of applications is emerging with requirements that cannot be met by a centralized cloud architecture but can be met by a more distributed cloud architecture supporting edge computing. New technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) drive this new class of applications, which require computing resources at the network edge, closer to users and things. Deployment of 5G infrastructure and services will both depend on more distributed edge computing capability and accelerate the availability of edge computing for a wide range of users and applications.

There are four main reasons why data processing needs to happen at edge locations for emerging applications:

  • Low latency
    A number of high-value applications such as virtual reality, gaming and public safety are extremely sensitive to latency, especially round-trip delay.
  • Bandwidth cost
    With a dramatic rise in IoT, more and more data is being sent toward the central cloud. Data thinning at the edge can reduce bandwidth costs for applications, such as handling large numbers of video surveillance streams.
  • Autonomy
    Ensuring that if the location is disconnected from the central cloud it will still perform; for example, in public safety applications with multiple sensors and actuators that may be interacting locally.
  • Privacy
    Data storage and processing close to the user can increase confidence that services are satisfying data sovereignty regulations and ensuring consumer privacy.

Key Features

Distributed Fabric

Geographically distributed locations tied together into one (or multiple) logical unit(s).

Resilience

Highly available and resilient network fabric with no single point of failure

Controllerless

Full network state and controller intelligence distributed to every node in the fabric that eliminates the complexity, cost and controller-to-switch latency incurred with external controller architectures.

Virtualized Multi-tenant Services

Advanced VXLAN services along with granular network slicing/segmentation, multi-tenant services

Integrated Visibility

Integrated flow monitoring, network performance monitoring and telemetry support

Operational Simplicity

Easy administration and fabric automation through a single point of management from any switch through REST APIs or CLIs using Ansible, Pluribus UNUM and other tools.

Open Network Platforms

The Pluribus Unified Cloud Fabric is powered by a wide range of open networking switches and server-based data processing units (DPUs) including switches from Dell EMC, Edgecore, and the Pluribus Freedom™ Series, and DPUs from NVIDIA, enabling customer choice and superior economics.

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As the demand for distributed cloud networking increases, service providers and others will build next-generation mini and micro data centers across multiple edge locations to meet these new workload requirements. With this new distributed cloud architecture comes increased operational complexity and a need to counterbalance it with simplification – a highly automated network fabric that can make multiple edge locations appear as one logical unit in order to simplify the management of multiple remote data center sites. Whereas centralized data centers have cost advantages due to scale and colocated technical resources to manage network operations, edge locations are highly distributed and are often deployed in challenging environments like central offices or lights-out facilities such as modular data centers with no on-site operations staff. This new distributed cloud architecture requires hardware and software that is purpose-built for these environments and that delivers comprehensive automation and visibility to simplify operations.
In many cases hardware must be purpose-built for the edge location. Pluribus partners with Celestica, Dell EMC and Edgecore, which provide a number of unique hardware solutions tailored to different environments. For example, Celestica introduced the Edgestone™ Switch designed for central office environments with a 288mm depth, NEBS compliance, and front-panel access. In the most constrained edge computing environments, where only one server or a small number of servers are present, the Pluribus Unified Cloud Fabric can run on a data processing unit (DPU), a type of smart network interface card (SmartNIC) inserted into the server, thereby eliminating the need for any separate switching hardware.
Most software defined network (SDN) automation, virtualization, segmentation and traffic visibility solutions have been designed for highly centralized data centers. These current solutions typically require multiple controllers running on top of multiple servers at each edge location. In a central data center, these additional servers for network automation only add incremental cost and space demands. In an edge mini data center, however, their cost, power and space requirements become an unacceptable obstacle. Centralized controllers also suffer from latency penalties as they communicate back and forth with the switch/router infrastructure and also act as a single point of failure. Furthermore, because of their centralized heritage, these controllers often require a controller-of-controllers to manage multiple sites, which increases integration and deployment complexity.

Is your network ready for edge computing and 5G?