The advent of cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate, offering a plethora of benefits such as cost-efficiency, scalability, and flexibility. At the heart of this technological evolution lies the integration of virtual infrastructure within cloud networks.
But what are the real, practical implications of operating a communications network “virtually” by establishing a cloud network? Let’s take a look at what cloud computing and virtual infrastructure means for communications service providers (CSPs).
Defining virtual infrastructure and a virtual cloud network
Virtual infrastructure encompasses a collection of software-defined components. Working together, these components form the backbone of an enterprise IT environment. Unlike traditional setups relying on physical hardware, virtual infrastructure provides IT capabilities identical to that achieved through hardware – but through software.
Switching from physical hardware to virtual, software-based infrastructure makes it much easier to rapidly allocate virtual resources across diverse systems based on a CSP’s fluctuating needs.
As a next step, a virtual cloud network is a digital ecosystem connecting various devices, virtual machines, servers, and data centers using software and wireless technology instead of physical components to form a sophisticated network.
This network model significantly trims down the tangible infrastructure required (think traditional local-area networks or wide-area networks) and enables employees and customers to access the CSP’s network from any authorized device with an internet connection.
The synergy between virtual infrastructure and cloud networks
Bringing together virtual infrastructure with cloud networks really brings out the potential of virtualization in cloud computing. By merging multiple layers of virtualization encompassing hardware/physical, network, storage, desktop, and application virtualization, a robust and flexible cloud computing model emerges.
This model is tailored according to the CSPs cloud computing requirements, with server virtualization allowing for the operation of multiple virtual servers on a single physical server.
Well-rounded virtual infrastructure includes virtualized compute, storage, networking, and a robust management solution. Each of these components plays a pivotal role in ensuring optimal performance, security, and manageability of the virtual environment.
Virtual infrastructure helps forward-thinking CSPs to adapt to business growth, market fluctuations, and technological advancements. By continuously scrutinizing cloud infrastructure CSPs can identify cost-cutting opportunities and prepare for potential failures, ensuring a resilient, efficient, and cost-effective virtual infrastructure.
What are the benefits?
Working in the virtual domain using the power of a cloud network integrated with virtual infrastructure unleashes many benefits. Key advantages include cost savings through server consolidation, enhanced scalability to swiftly adapt to market trends, increased productivity via faster provisioning of applications and resources. Broadly, benefits include:
- Cost efficiency: Capital expenditure reduction is a key point, by transitioning to a virtual cloud infrastructure, CSPs can minimize or eliminate the need for physical hardware investments, thereby reducing capital expenditure. Operating costs associated with electricity, cooling, and maintenance of physical hardware are also significantly reduced.
- Scalability and flexibility: Virtual cloud infrastructures allow organizations to quickly scale up or down in response to changing business needs without the delays associated with procuring and setting up physical hardware. Resources can be allocated or de-allocated on-demand, providing the flexibility to meet evolving business requirements.
- Business continuity, disaster recovery: Cloud-based solutions often come with built-in redundancy to ensure customer and services data is backed up and can be recovered swiftly in case of a disaster. Virtualization and cloud-based solutions ensure high availability of critical systems and data, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.
- Faster deployment: Virtual, cloud-based infrastructures facilitate quicker deployment of applications and services, boosting organizational productivity. That goes for collaboration and accessibility as cloud platforms offer improved collaboration by enabling remote access to data and applications, which is crucial for a modern workforce.
- Simplified management: Virtual infrastructures also provide centralized management consoles for monitoring, managing, and maintaining the communications environment, simplifying administrative tasks.
As for security, cloud platforms often come with automated update and patch management features, ensuring that the infrastructure remains current and secure – and that communications remains secure.
What does going cloud-first mean for CSPs?
The importance of cloud approaches for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) in leveraging 5G technology. It highlights five key takeaways for CSPs:
- Adopting cloud-native approaches: Simplifies networks and accelerates the value derived from 5G technology by breaking the cycle of building on top of legacy network layers.
- Avoiding legacy operational processes: Transitioning to the cloud should be more than just migrating existing systems; it’s an opportunity to adopt new operational models that enhance innovation and efficiency.
- Maintaining control over networks: Despite moving to the cloud, operators will still own, control, and manage their networks, with cloud providers like Google merely facilitating with enabling technologies.
- Building scale and simplicity in: Ensuring proper data governance, consolidation, and normalization is crucial for leveraging data to drive business insights and value, especially in network optimization and anomaly detection.
So yes, CSPs enjoy the widely-know benefits of cloud-based, virtual infrastructure – alongside a range of benefits unique to the mobile communications sector
Cloud-Native Infrastructure for CSPs
Embracing a cloud network complemented by virtual infrastructure is not merely a tech-savvy move but a strategic choice that allows CSPs to take advantage of flexible, scalable, and cost-effective IT ecosystem that is indispensable in today's fast-paced business landscape.
CSPs and MNOs often face challenges such as cost reduction, network endurance, and securing their revenue growth. That includes the virtual solutions delivered by Telna, you can read more about Telna’s solutions here.