An Open Invitation to Build a Better Telecom Network

Red Hat Summit 2021 will be virtual this year, but attendees are still being asked to bring something: an open perspective to the cloud.

The theme of this year’s Red Hat Summit, “Open Your Perspective,” focuses on the importance of open-source solutions to address the challenges of the future. For Red Hat and many of its partners, this means building on the success of Red Hat OpenShift, which allows customers to build cloud-native architectures using Docker containers and Kubernetes orchestration on an open, Linux operating system.

Concepts like “open” and “best-of-breed” have been part of the enterprise and developer cloud dialogue for years but are relatively new to telecommunication providers. With the shift to 5G, communications service providers are now finding themselves thrust into a new world of containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native network functions. It’s a world that can be a little scary for telecoms, especially with so much—millions of customers and billions of dollars invested in 5G spectrum—hanging in the balance. To meet this interest, Dell Technologies is collaborating with Red Hat and Intel to create a next-generation, open ecosystem for 5G cloud-native networks.

As a digital platinum sponsor at Red Hat Summit 2021, Dell Technologies is introducing our Red Hat OpenShift Reference Architecture for Telecom. The Dell Technologies Red Hat OpenShift Reference Architecture for Telecom provides an open-source cloud-native architecture developed specifically for telecommunications that features Red Hat’s software and Dell Technologies’ infrastructure. The design, developed by Dell and Red Hat, gives telecommunications providers an open, best-of-breed path to a cloud-native network to help accelerate their 5G network transformation. The solution is a foundational approach to a telecom-grade, cloud-native network that will allow Dell Technologies and its partners to build new telecom solutions on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform.

One of the first complementary telecom cloud solutions to be rolled out with this new reference architecture is Dell Technologies’ Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform combined with Intel Smart Edge and Dell Technologies infrastructure. The solution aims to deliver an “edge native” commercial platform that makes it simple for enterprises to deploy private networks and compute workloads with a zero-trust security model. Dell Technologies expects private mobile networks to be one of the key drivers behind the Industry 4.0 revolution, allowing manufacturers to deploy automated “smart” factories connected by secure mobile networks that can support artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics at ultra-low latencies.

These offerings from Dell Technologies represent an ongoing commitment to building telecom-grade solutions, based on our purpose-built Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. With models specifically designed for heavy-duty telecom environments, Dell EMC’s PowerEdge series of Intel-based servers allows telecom providers to quickly deploy, cost-effectively scale and remotely manage 5G infrastructure using open-source, best-of-breed hardware. These solutions also include Dell EMC PowerSwitch open networking products. Dell Technologies has one of the broadest open networking portfolios in the industry – spanning both hardware and software. Our open networking approach helps minimize the time and effort required to design, provision and manage networks; enables network managers to leverage open-source tools; and provides expertise to help reduce costly overhead at the edge, in the core and into the cloud. For telecoms, this is a significant shift away from the purpose-built appliances of the past and the monolithic architectures that were available from a few favored network equipment providers. Now, telecom providers can leverage the same open cloud ecosystem as enterprises while benefitting from the latest innovations, whether that means being able to deploy the fastest processors in their mobile core or automating the remote management of their RAN servers.

As more business and consumer applications move to the 5G mobile network, we see the cloud becoming the foundation for a new generation of innovation. Private mobile networks will run in hybrid cloud environments. Online gaming experiences will move to the edge of the cloud. Cars of the future will be built in 5G-enabled factories and may even be driven autonomously by 5G applications. Companies such as Dell Technologies, Red Hat and Intel are intent on driving that future by combining the best available technology to help 5G be the best it can be.

Kevin Gray

About the Author: Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray leads marketing for Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business Foundations solutions. He has more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications and enterprise IT sectors. His most recent roles include leading marketing teams for Dell’s telecommunications, enterprise solutions and hybrid cloud businesses. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and his MBA from Bentley University.  He was born and raised in the Boston area and is a die-hard Boston sports fan.