With 5G, the entire environment becomes cloud/edge and software-driven, unlike 4G. This makes network service management which includes orchestration, lifecycle management (configuration and security settings), and service assurance complex and not viable via existing mechanisms. Given the flexibility with software, the permutations of configuration and security settings for 5G result in a very large number, and choosing the right settings becomes very challenging. So, having to sort through these different configurations and combinations makes the eventual network service deployment a big challenge.
Figure 1: Stress on Network Service /Application Management exploding by a 1,000,000 times
AARNA and REBACA Joint Offering:
The solution has two key components:
- AMCOP – Aarna Networks Multi-Cluster Orchestration Platform
- REBACA’s ABot – 4G/5G Network Tester
One of the key elements in the process of automation is to validate the setup, be it some device under test or an emulator. ABot is a uniquely different from other emulators as follows:
- Emulation of any 4G/5G network components for validation as per 3GPP standard
- Ability to support any IP based protocol like SIP, MQTT
- Interop, Performance Benchmark and Integration Testing support
- Reusable test templates in natural language for easy user acceptance and faster deployment
- Test results analysis for detecting failure of procedures, messages, events, and associated KPIs
- Insight like: Coverage, Product Maturity, Consistency, Build-by-build analysis
- Redundant or missing test vectors in a test suite identification
- Root Cause Analysis and Event Suppression thus facilitating in debugging
- Completely cloud-native and seamless integration with any Orchestrator and CI/CD pipeline
- Distributed deployment across Operator’s Network, Cloud Provider’s Data Centre and Edge Network
- Network functions simulated by ABot can be deployed as Kubernetes pod on any hypervisor
- Can be managed by any Network Orchestrator like AMCOP, OSM, Juju, Cloudify, etc.
Figure 2: ABot Deployment in the Cloud (Courtesy: Rebaca Technologies)
Key Features of AMCOP:
- Kubernetes cluster registration
- Cloud-Native Network Function (CNF) and Cloud-Native Application (CNA) onboarding
- Network Service (with CNFs) or Composite Application (with CNAs) design
- Intent-Based Orchestration of network service or composite application
- Ongoing lifecycle management and day 1, 2 configuration of network service or composite application
- Monitoring of CNFs or CNAs resulting in real-time policy-driven closed-loop automation
A high-level block diagram of AMCOP is shown below:
Figure 3: A high-level block diagram of AMCOP
A joint solution with AMCOP and ABot results in seamless design of a 5G core as follows:
- AMCOP is used to configure and provision any 4G and 5G Network Function with both SUT and ABot emulated nodes
- AMCOP then invokes ABot end-to-end test scenarios to exercise different use cases
- ABot Analytics captures different Mobility KPIs, Infra KPIs, and other test statistics
- ABot Analytics can provide relevant analytics insights to AMCOP (as events)
- AMCOP’s Analytics Program (AAP) drives orchestration and configuration changes, and if needed, reruns the tests to make sure the new configuration is what we desired.
Figure 4: Working of AMCOP and ABot
With AMCOP and ABot working together, one can automate the entire process by going through this closed-loop repeatedly and arrive at an ideal environment/configuration. It will also help the user understand how the network would work under different configurations. In this manner when the 5G Core is put into production, the user is assured that it will work optimally to meet their specific requirements.
Figure 5: AMCOP's and ABot's Elegant Solution
See a recording of the technical meetup that covered this topic in more depth along with a hands-on demo. If you would like to replicate any of this work in your environment, please contact us.