World News – US – Microsoft draws a pearl on telecom operators with Azure for operators


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Microsoft is targeting telecom operators directly by announcing Azure for Operators, which includes an carrier-grade cloud platform and edge compute capabilities, as well as a developer ecosystem

While Microsoft has already announced partnerships with telecom operators, including last year’s announcement with AT&T, Azure for Operators will help operators evolve their infrastructure and operations to create service chains for Azure for Operators Programmable Networks follows last week’s introduction of Azure Orbital to connect satellites to the cloud

Azure for Operators is also an opportunity for Microsoft to leverage its Metaswitch Networks and Affirmed Network acquisitions earlier this year for Containerized Network Functions (CNF) and Virtual Network Functions (VNF) as well as its zones Azure Edge which brings services closer to telcos

It also allows telecom operators to create unique network slices to support 5G and enterprise IoT use cases and deliver low latency connectivity by bringing compute closer. edge of customers in order to react in near real time

Azure for Operators will offer a range of services and applications at the enterprise edge, network edge or in the cloud Service providers can choose the VNFs or CNFs they want in an ecosystem of partners which includes: Accenture, Ascos, AT&T, Etisalat, HPE, Intel, Mavenir, RedHat, Samsung, Tech Mahindra, Telstra, Tillman Digital Cities, Verizon and VMWare, in addition to Microsoft Affirmed and Metaswitch

“Microsoft offers an intriguing cloud platform for telecom operators to deliver communication services,” said Scott Raynovich, founder and chief analyst at Futuriom “All of this is fine, but it shows the battery communications that previously belonged to telecom providers is being moved to cloud platforms so they will need to use this innovation to deliver new managed services or else stay mired in the commodity business of pipe delivery »

Shawn Hakl, Azure Networking partner and former executive at Verizon, said Azure for Operators is not a grounding for telecom operators’ last mile connections and that he « will meet with telecom operators wherever they are « 

« So the basic notion is: ‘This is your customer This is your product powered by our technology’, and then they can consume it as they wish, » said Hakl « They could consume it only at the level of the cloud layer, or they might want to make the cloud layer plus a VNF They might say «  I want you to manage the VNF or CNF for us in the cloud  », or they can say «  Hey, we have need this as a service, we would like something simple, we would like to take the market fast ‘

« Different operators have different opinions on how this should work Our plan is to provide a layered approach that they can choose to consume however they want So it’s about meeting the customer where they are find, which is one of the principles we’ve captured here « 

In addition to offering Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Azure Edge zones, the Azure network includes 170 points of presence (PoP) and more than 20,000 peering connections to Azure for operators Over 200 operators have chosen to integrate with Azure via its ExpressRoute service

“With the announcement of Azure Edge zones, you have the ability to expand the cloud to the edge of the network and then to the edge of the enterprise,” Hakl said “This gives you a common platform with same DevOps tools, same security, same management and same orchestration everywhere

Azure for Operators allows service providers to control where a network slice, network API or function is presented to the end user.It also allows them to define where and how traffic enters and leaves their network, as well as defined configuration and performance parameters for basic network functions

« With APIs exposed to the network, along with APIs exposed to the cloud and the orchestration layer, you can control how this service is delivered to the end customer, » Hakl said

For service level agreements (SLAs), Hakl said that a discussion of « checkpoints » or « checkpoints » allows operators to choose performance parameters, type of slices and the set of configurations they want to control

« Depending on their needs, we have the flexibility to work with them to define that With the APIs exposed to the network, as well as the APIs exposed to the cloud and the orchestration layer, you can control how this service is supplied to the end customer

« We want to control how the orchestration engine delivers this end-to-end SLA So for the most part we are working with the operators to create some kind of end-to-end QoS »

Hakl said the Affirmed and Metaswitch deals brought in hundreds of engineers who have worked with telecom operators in the past Hakl said Azure for Carriers will integrate lessons learned from the ecosystem of telecom providers and partnerships to improve the overall telecom platform

“There are people who have great solutions around content optimization who are Microsoft partners that we think operators will benefit from,” he said. “We want to open up this ecosystem and, and let carriers reap the benefits of this integration We are not trying to do this at anyone’s expense We look forward to partnering with traditional operators We understand that there are very few new opportunities, so we know that we need to integrate deeply, both with their existing providers in the core network space, RAN, etc., as well as the OSS and BSS layers

« We are working closely with OSS / BSS vendors to make the introduction of this technology as smooth as possible We want to be a trusted partner and we see it as a journey We are here to listen and learn from the community of operators as well as to share our technology with them and work together « 

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Microsoft Corporation, Cloud computing, Microsoft Azure, 5G, Telecommunications, Internet of Things

World news – US – Microsoft draws a pearl on telecom operators with Azure for operators



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