I attended the Private Networks Forum on Tuesday. My interest of course was to understand the management plane (orchestration, lifecycle management, closed loop automation) perspective, especially for Private 5G. Here is what I learnt:
It was fascinating to see that almost every time the management topic came up, the number one comment was around the need for simplicity. Enterprises, unlike telcos, are not in the business of running networks and are unable to put together a complex 5G network.
Another requirement is flexibility — flexibility in supporting Standalone Non Public Networks (S-NPN) vs. Public Network Integrated NPN (PNI-NPN), choosing different 5G core and RAN vendors for eMBB vs. uRLLC vs. MMTC workloads, placing network functions differently depending on the performance requirements, and E2E 5G network slicing.
Next speakers echoed how Private 5G deployment will include edge computing applications. There are of course scenarios where purely a high performance, low latency, highly reliable wireless network makes sense as an alternative to wired networks; but by and large the speakers talked about the need for edge computing applications to extract business value. From my point of view, a Private 5G network is a means to an end, rather than the ultimate goal in itself.
A Private 5G network will be a very dynamic environment. There will be major upgrades going on e.g. Rel 15 to Rel 16 (the underlying assumption being that Network Functions will be virtualized or containerized). Network functions might get updated every so often. Dynamic slicing may be going on. All of this makes it very important to plan for a dynamic environment.
Finally, the speakers talked about the need for tailored solutions based on use cases. Extrapolating, I can imagine solutions tailored for hospitals, factories, farms, etc. that include the right network functions in the best proven reference architectures, provided along with most popular edge computing applications for that use case.
As you can imagine, these requirements are a great fit for us. The Aarna Networks Multi Cluster Orchestration Platform (AMCOP) product is specifically designed for the orchestration, management, automation, and network slicing of Private 5G networks and edge computing applications. Try AMCOP for free today! Or if you would like to see a private demo of any of the aspects described including network slicing, please contact us.