The fifth generation of telecommunications networks and services is like nothing that has come before it. And with 5G, there’s a lot of talk about how telecommunications service providers need to move to the cloud, embrace new paradigms, and become like other hyperscalers.
Much of this is true; telecom needs a wake-up call, and 5G is the moment to address substantial change. However, telecommunications is not like other industries in all respects — it remains the sole domain processing more transactions in a day than other companies do in a year, where user density varies greatly, workloads are highly dynamic, and high performance can require less than millisecond latency.
Some cloud evangelists are so interested in pushing the cloud revolution — urging a swift move away from Network and IT spend into public resources — that they are missing the true cloud revolution. Cloud as a concept is evolving more rapidly than anyone could have imagined, and its many incarnations power its impact on service providers’ future.
The ability to move workloads seamlessly between on-premise and central infrastructure, to deploy, manage, and scale these independently, and to optimize workload across these for performance, cost, and business reasons — this is what drives the modern cloud movement. Enter Google Anthos, Azure Arc, AWS Outposts, all known primarily for their public cloud utility and moving to grab a foothold at the edge. Red Hat Openshift is already there. Optimized for workloads across both private and public cloud, with features and support for network SLAs and performance, Openshift is a solid choice for both edge and centralized applications.
But not all workloads are designed to run well in the cloud. Service providers only benefit when they use the right cloud infrastructure along with applications that are built for it. Not long ago I coined the term cloud tourist in reference to applications that are run in the cloud without an initial design pattern designed for the cloud. Unfortunately, this remains true for the vast majority of software applications today; most are not optimized to achieve performance or flexibility in a distributed environment, subject to a variety of highly dynamic stresses.
Truly cloud native solutions are microservices based, designed API-first, support lightweight containers, are easily orchestrated, and run well in distributed environments where business autonomous functions can be independently scaled at will. Why does this matter? Because it enables platform independence and vendor independence, where choice means competition, cost reduction, and elimination of vendor lock-in. And when software runs well in any cloud environment it affords the buyer a choice based on other criteria, including the tools available to augment workloads in the selected environment.
Enter IBM. The newly launched IBM Cloud for Telecommunications is an open, hybrid cloud architecture designed to accelerate business transformation with the power of edge and 5G, addressing the unique requirements of operators, partner ecosystems and their enterprise clients. Built on IBM Cloud Satellite and leveraging Red Hat OpenShift, operators can deploy cloud services anywhere: in the cloud, on premises or at the edge, while addressing industry-specific regulatory and security requirements.
MATRIXX is joining the IBM Cloud for Telecommunications Ecosystem, an initiative to help network equipment providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), software-as-a-service providers, and hardware partners accelerate business transformation by unlocking the power of 5G and edge. 5G depends on the agility of infrastructure and workload as much as it depends on its performance. And 5G depends on automation to derive value.
Together as ecosystem partners, we facilitate the monetization of telco and cloud resources, underpinned by AI and automation, supporting our customers as they enter the next era of cloud. Leveraging IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, MATRIXX supports adaptability, dynamic responsiveness, and automation of workloads where and when they are needed, to address cost and performance goals in ways the cloud of yesterday could never hope to achieve.