Toward a fully cloudified mobile network infrastructure
Cloud computing enables the on-demand delivery of resources for a multitude of services and gives the opportunity for small agile companies to compete with large industries. In the telco world, cloud computing is currently mostly used by mobile network operators (MNO) for hosting non-critical support services and selling cloud services such as applications and data storage. MNOs are investigating the use of cloud computing to deliver key telecommunication services in the access and core networks. Without this, MNOs lose the opportunities of both combining this with over-the-top (OTT) and value-added services to their fundamental service offerings and leveraging cost-effective commodity hardware. Being able to leverage cloud computing technology effectively for the telco world is the focus of mobile cloud networking (MCN). This paper presents the key results of MCN integrated project that includes its architecture advancements, prototype implementation, and evaluation. Results show the efficiency and the simplicity that a MNO can deploy and manage the complete service lifecycle of fully cloudified, composed services that combine OTT/IT- and mobile-network-based services running on commodity hardware. The extensive performance evaluation of MCN using two key proof-of-concept scenarios that compose together many services to deliver novel converged elastic, on-demand mobile-based but innovative OTT services proves the feasibility of such fully virtualized deployments. Results show that it is beneficial to extend cloud computing to telco usage and run fully cloudified mobile-network-based systems with clear advantages and new service opportunities for MNOs and end-users.