& cplSiteName &

Google Puts Cloud-Native NFV to the Test in India

Craig Matsumoto
5/5/2017
50%
50%

With a 116-station WiFi network being built for India's railway system, Google says it's building evidence that carrier services can indeed be delivered in a cloud-native fashion, based on microservices built from containers.

"I think the cloud-native model is here for NFV, and I believe re-imagining carrier network services as cloud-native is possible," said Geng Lin, the company's CTO of enterprise network and infrastructure services, speaking at this week's NFV World Congress.

Of course, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has a few advantages over your everyday telco. The applications in question are greenfield and don't carry a decades-long legacy. Google isn't messing with tectonic layers of OSS amassed via acquisitions, nor is it being held to five-nines reliability -- and the company has ready access to a large public cloud (Google Cloud Platform) for "free."

Still, the Railwire project provides a look at the possibilities for the microservices approach in an NFV world. It's working at scale. Google believes its deployment will rank among the largest over-the-top broadband services ever created, having grown to about 6 million users per month; Google expects that figure to be 30 million when the project is done.

Lin's talk was also a sequel to last year's NFV World Congress, when Google first presented the Railtel project. The first station connected to the WiFi network launched in January 2016; Google is now up to 116 stations and aims to reach 400 in 2018.

The network's control plane is virtual, hosted in Google Cloud Platform and split up into microservices.

"As the network software-ization becomes reality, [and with] the separation of the control plane functions from the data plane, we see most of those control-plane functions are software, and you can easily decompose them and reconstruct them into the cloud," Lin said.

The microservices Google has developed include a vast amount of monitoring, and that's where analytics come in. In place of traditional OSS, Google is using a cloud-based analytics platform, a key step toward creating a network that can respond to changing conditions automatically.

"Instead of just paying attention to the so-called abnormal events, we actually collect network health data at a constant rate, regardless of whether anything goes good or bad," Lin said.

That's been a trend in analytics and security. Vendors are experimenting with recording literally everything a network does -- something that's become feasible only in recent years -- and then using machine learning or some similar technology to winnow the information.

This makes it possible to monitor the network's health comprehensively. But the real goal is to cut down on human interaction with the network. According to Lin, Google uses its analytics not only to alert humans if something has gone wrong, but also to indicate what the impact is -- which services have been affected, for instance. That reduces the time humans spend on analysis and triage.

The analytics platform can also trigger the network to fix itself, in the case of problems that are simple enough -- again cutting down on human intervention.

As a result, two engineers are enough to monitor this network that's serving 6 million people per month, Lin said.

— Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/17/2017 | 1:13:48 PM
Re: Infrastructure
That is pretty impressive if they can do it with only two, and how that might ramp up as they get to  a montlly "30 million when the project is done," and many hundreds of more stations. And what about the maintenance factor of the infrastructure?
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2017 | 11:13:54 AM
Re: Infrastructure
Engineers don't do weekends.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/8/2017 | 9:52:46 AM
Re: Infrastructure
 "two engineers are enough to monitor this network"

They alternate weekends?
Helen1979
50%
50%
Helen1979,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/7/2017 | 3:24:55 PM
Great!
Thanks for sharing this news. Google amazes me!
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/7/2017 | 12:18:58 PM
Infrastructure
This is just more proof that Google has become a lot more than just a software company. While many think of Google as just search, there's a lot more to it than that. This testing in India surely is proof. 
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (0) comments


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Apple Looking to Cook 5G Test Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.