Introducing Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation
This week, Dell Technologies announced a new solution for telecommunications operators called Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation. Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation integrates with management and orchestration tools provided with the leading cloud software platforms from Red Hat®, VMware and Wind River to deliver an integrated, hardware/software cloud stack with automated deployment and lifecycle management. It consists of approved Dell hardware, Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator (BMO) which we announced back in October, along with new offerings called Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator Modules. These modules, available later this year, will extend BMO functionality to include the deployment and lifecycle management of the cloud software platform of your choice. Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation will enable you to affordably deploy, scale and lifecycle manage an open telecom network across your core, edge, and RAN.
On the surface, this might seem like just another product announcement. But I believe that Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation signals a fundamental shift in the way that telecom networks will be built in the future. It’s no secret that 5G will place a unique set of demands on mobile networks, including ultra-low latency, ultra-high bandwidths, and the rapid scaling of new services. This, in turn, will require a disaggregated, cloud-based architecture that allows network functions to be easily moved to the edge, the core, or the cloud as needs dictate.
Telecom operators simply can’t adopt existing cloud technology from the enterprise world. Instead, they need a telecom cloud platform designed for their unique requirements and challenges. The software for these platforms is being developed today by companies like Red Hat, VMware, and Wind River. But software is only one part of the telecom cloud story. Telecom-grade hardware, services, and additional tools are needed to bring the whole cloud together. Until now, this responsibility has fallen directly on the shoulders of telecom operators themselves or, worse, legacy vendors with very little experience in the cloud world.
Dell recognized the challenges that telecom operators would face as they moved to the cloud, and in that challenge, we saw an opportunity. We began building telecom-grade servers and partnering with telecom cloud vendors to create best-of-breed cloud platforms that were pre-integrated, pre-validated, and proven to work out of the box. We added infrastructure automation tools to make it simple to deploy and manage virtualized network functions at the edge, in the RAN, and in the core on purpose-built, standards-based, bare-metal servers. We created a world-class open telecommunications lab to support the continuous integration and testing of joint-vendor solutions and operator proof-of-concepts. We became active participants in open-source technologies like Open RAN.
I mention all this because it’s important to realize that Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation isn’t just another product announcement. It’s the latest step in a long and calculated journey that began in decades-long partnerships built on open computing and continues today through millions of dollars invested in building and testing best-of-breed cloud and 5G solutions for the telecommunications industry.
What Dell and its partners are bringing to the industry is a new paradigm for how telecom networks will be built in the future. The industry’s legacy network equipment vendors will continue to play an important role in the roll-out of 5G, but they cannot be the only source for innovation, and they will not be the catalyst for the kind of competition that will drive down prices. Right now, for example, Open RAN solutions are being developed by a new generation of companies that will disrupt the industry or at least shatter its cost models. If telecom operators want to engage with these companies today, they need to engage with them independently or ask them to work with their existing vendors. What Dell is proposing is an ecosystem where partners engage together to develop, integrate, and market joint solutions that work right out of the box. For telecom operators, it means much more choice and much less time spent integrating and validating “one-off” solutions.
Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation is the first step in this fundamental shift. With Telecom Foundation, operators can automate the deployment and lifecycle management of a distributed cloud platform running a network comprised of tens of thousands of servers located across thousands of sites. Dell has partnered with Red Hat, VMware, and Wind River on Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation to perform continuous integration testing and build blueprints that ensure a consistent, telecom-grade deployment or upgrade of the cloud platform’s full hardware/software stack while at the same time reducing operator integration testing requirements. And by working with all of the leading cloud platform providers, Dell provides operators with the flexibility to choose the best and most cost-effective cloud platform to meet a wide range of workload requirements.
We’re not just announcing a new product. We’re announcing an end to legacy processes and architectures that hindered innovation, kept costs high, and limited operators’ ability to compete effectively in the 5G market of the future.
And we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for more to come.