A typical telecommunications company sells telco-oriented applications as a service to its consumers. Telco use-case requirements vary depending on the virtual network functions (VNFs) that are being serviced. These functions include:
The telco industry seeks to define and develop an infinitely flexible, fully software-defined and location-independent operational infrastructure. This vision is coming together, and the capabilities of the container ecosystem are steadily growing along with it.
A telco infrastructure is like an enterprise data center in which hardware is fully owned and managed, in other words, fully under in-house control. The data center does not share system and infrastructure resources with external parties. Access to enterprise and telco infrastructure management functions is limited to a few internal administrators, and administration is limited to a single role.
This use case serves to identify some key design factors for a telco container platform.
Online video consumption has grown in recent years. High-quality video delivery over public networks requires a CDN. To handle growth, many operators are considering the virtualization of the CDN, giving them an ability to scale CDN on-demand. CDN virtualization permits simple provisioning and sharing of resources with other telco services, simplifying operations and avoiding costly dedicated infrastructure.
The following figure shows a virtual CDN (vCDN):
A vCDN stack requires the following principal capabilities:
OpenShift Container Platform 4.2 on PowerEdge hardware platforms meets these demands by providing the following capabilities:
Container ecosystem clusters in telco operations are likely to be large, spanning multiple racks. OpenShift Container Platform running on PowerEdge servers scales to approximately 210 nodes (seven racks when you use PowerEdge R640 servers). We highly recommend the use of leaf-spine networking when scaling to more than three racks per cluster. Our research provides a high degree of confidence for up to seven racks of servers. Although the cluster can be scaled beyond seven racks, undertake this effort only as a custom engineering project. The deployment of large clusters requires significant modification of the Ansible playbooks that we generated to facilitate large-scale deployment.