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At the heart of the Cloud Native model is a microservices application architecture

SDN Microservices
By Neil McEvoy

At the heart of the Cloud Native model is a microservices application architecture, and applying this to a telco SDN scenario offers enormous opportunity for product innovation and competitive advantage.

For example in the ETSI NFV Ecosystem white paper they describe one of the product markets that SDN might address to be the Home sector.

Vendors like Alcatel market SDN-based solutions for the home market, offering Home Gateways – A virtual residential gateway (vRGW) where service providers can streamline service delivery, turn up new and innovative services more efficiently, increase revenue, and lower CAPEX and OPEX for existing and new services, such as per device quality of service (QoS), parental controls, firewall and security/threat protection.

In his blog defining the relationship between NFV functions and microservices, Tom Nolle approaches the same scenario and makes the point that a catalogue of network functions, like IP routing, firewalls, DHCP, VPN Client, and so on, could be available to new bandwidth connections, each each one achieved and delivered as a microservice.

Via a simple model of a Connection Model and a Microservices Set describes a great way to approach telco SDN projects, where the migration to software-based network services goes hand in hand with a shift to a microservices design approach for those services.

IoT Microservices
With IoT scenarios of course the scope of the challenge is broadened and defined by the fact that the source of these data feeds will be a myriad of new ‘occasionally connected‘ devices, presenting associated challenges.

With this in mind there are also approaches that don’t store all the data in one big database. As Phil Windley describes about Fuse, a IoT technology platform intended for the ‘Connected Car’ scenario, and how it employs a ‘microservices architecture‘, using ‘Picos’ that store the data for each individual user. This is more of a ‘Personal Cloud’ data approach, a distributed computing big data design if you will.

Telcos will be a key component of IoT scenarios, providing the core network connectivity to link devices with business systems, and as part of their shift to SDN – Software Defined Networking, microservices architecture can play a key role in accelerating this transformation.

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