Tips for Facing the 5G Revolution

While 4G was introduced to meet the demand of the growing number of Internet-connected smartphones, 5G is expected to enable billions to trillions of connected devices powering IoT use cases

Unlike 4G, 5G’s service-based architecture and the control and user plan separation render themselves well for an end-to-end virtualization for enabling network slicing. Network slices can be created for specific applications or use cases with guarantees on quality of service such as throughput and latency. The dynamic policy management and accurate real-time decisions, whether for internal optimizations or thwarting external threats, need to be made in milliseconds to assure the QoS guarantees. A well-designed microservices implementation can facilitate this delivery. When considering separation of state and business logic, one needs to be mindful of the nature of business logic. With the latency constraints in mind, the application flow control logic needs to reside with the stateless service instances and the data-driven decision-making logic must reside with the data to avoid unnecessary movement of data, which puts strain on the network and fails to meet low-latency decision-making needs.

While 4G was introduced to meet the demand of the growing number of Internet-connected smartphones, 5G is expected to enable billions to trillions of connected devices powering IoT use cases. Sensor data from industrial equipment and products, such as buildings, utility meters, vehicles, residential devices, wearables, and more will be generated at volumes too large to transport and store in a centralized data center. Additionally, a vast number of Industrial IoT use cases, such as predictive maintenance, demand the processing of data in real-time, where risk of a delay can mean equipment downtime and loss of revenue. This demand for real-time, high-volume data processing can only be met by edge and fog computing.

Data Management Requirements

Why is it going to be so challenging to make the most of 5G? The network demands software capabilities and methodologies that are new to CSPs and telecom software solution providers. Below are the critical data requirements for implementing and deploying the control plane elements:

  • High Throughput and Low Latency: The unprecedented combination of high speed and low latency 5G promises will open the floodgates on data streaming in from fixed wireless, IoT, Video on Demand, Virtual Reality, and other apps. Provisioning and completion decisions will need to scale with the new, higher data volumes that 5G enables.
  • Linear Scalability: As a result of the vast multitudes of streaming data generated from not only 5G-enabled applications but also from the network, subscribers, enterprise users, network operators and call processing, it will be essential for the 5G database to scale linearly at a moment’s notice while consistently maintaining the high performance and low latency requirements.
  • HA/DR/XDCR: To maintain the network availability of 99.999 percent 5G promises, the data infrastructure powering the applications and microservices is expected to have High Availability (HA), geo-local routing across multiple geographies (XDCR), and Disaster Recovery (DR) for failover built-in. Geo-local workload routing with automatic synchronization is necessary to not incur the cost of WAN latency to a central data center.
  • Cloud-ready and Cloud-native: CSPs and software solution providers must be prepared to fulfill all of 5G’s fast data SLAs with one underlying data infrastructure. The only way to support the scale, elasticity, agility, responsiveness and rich software functionality required for 5G microservices is in the cloud, without compromising on data accuracy and correctness.

The Solution: Real-Time Data Architecture for 5G

As it stands, there remain areas where 4G may provide all needed capacity for personal and even small business needs. However, AR and VR, smart cities, mobile gaming, and production and logistics, in addition to others, will all improve on 5G maximum capacity networks.

What is the difference? Scale and utility. As the much-anticipated network emerges, the need for real-time, actionable, decision-making is greater than ever before. With a real-time data architecture powering next-generation applications and microservices, organizations can monetize their fast data to create a competitive advantage, transforming their infrastructure from post-event to in-event and actionable.

The question is: is your business looking to upend its competition through technological dominance, or will you accept technological parity and see what the future holds?


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