Barcelona played host to this year’s Mobile World Congress-undoubtedly the world’s largest gathering for the mobile communications industry. Once again, the Infoblox team met with customers and partners to understand their requirements and help them achieve successful 5G outcomes.
The rollout of 5G is a massive undertaking that requires a delicate balance of innovation, technical prowess, and flexibility. However, despite the numerous benefits that 5G brings, the rollout introduces a new set of challenges that can be overwhelming for even the most experienced network administrators. Fortunately, Infoblox DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (DDI) solutions can answer these challenges, sometimes not necessarily in the way one might think.
Watching the team interact with customers and interested persons visiting the booth, I wanted to write about several of the most common conversations I heard, explicitly focusing on challenges surrounding low latency, new radio deployments, network slicing, and OpenRAN–and how modern and efficient DDI can address these challenges.
Low Latency: The Battle for Milliseconds
Low latency is one of the most critical requirements for 5G to unlock its full potential. Inefficient and non-integrated DNS architectures can introduce latency, leading to slower network performance and an inferior user experience. Older solutions can also be harder to manage and prohibit DNS operations teams from being able to respond to changes faster and scale quickly enough in the 5G world. To solve this issue, service providers must implement a low-latency DNS architecture that can handle the demands of 5G networks.
Infoblox DNS cache acceleration helps improve the performance of DNS query lookups. By caching frequently requested DNS information, Infoblox DNS cache acceleration significantly reduces DNS query response times, leading to faster network speeds and improved user experience. With Infoblox, CSPs can reduce the number of DNS queries hitting their servers, which can help free up resources for other critical network components.
Beyond performance, Infoblox helps DNS operations teams centrally manage and automate all aspects of their DNS and achieve the high availability, efficiency, security and application response times that subscribers expect.
New Radio Deployments: Doing It Cost-Effectively
Historically service providers had to go through the trouble of using expensive truck rolls to install each radio and using specialized technicians to do the job. The process was not only time-consuming, but it also burned a hole in the service provider’s pocket. 5G requires many thousands more radios to be deployed–requiring an upgrade to the traditional methods of installing radios. The automation of processes is critical when it comes to 5G radio deployment. A significant part of this process is the integration of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS).
Service providers can save time and money by using a modern and integrated DDI solution to help automate the process of setting up the infrastructure for 5G Radio deployment. For instance, they can hire contractors to physically install the new radios and use an app integrated with an Operations Support System/Business Support System (OSS/BSS) to scan the radio’s serial number and MAC/DUID. This information is then sent to Infoblox DDI, automatically creating appropriate DNS and DHCP records. The radio can use these records to configure itself automatically without requiring highly skilled installers or manual configuration requests.
Network Slicing for Advanced Use Cases
Network slicing is a critical component of 5G, allowing service providers to create customized virtualized networks for specific use cases. Network slicing is a technique that enables operators to partition their network infrastructure into multiple virtual sub-networks, each with its unique characteristics and capabilities. By doing so, operators can provide targeted services to specific groups of customers and devices, delivering a more personalized and responsive experience.
While network slicing offers significant benefits, it also poses several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is managing the complexity of multiple virtualized sub-networks. Network operators will need to maintain an increased number of namespaces to cater to diverse use cases. Manual processes may prove inadequate in keeping up with the dynamic demands of network slicing. To address this challenge, the automated creation of DNS namespaces and relevant records will need to replace the traditional manual processes, enabling network operators to swiftly onboard network slices on demand.
Infoblox modern and integrated DDI solutions enable network operators to easily create and manage these virtual networks by automating the assignment of IP addresses and network resources and providing centralized control and visibility of network operations. By automating the provisioning and management of virtual networks, Infoblox enables operators to rapidly deploy new services and applications, reduce operational costs, and improve overall network agility.
OpenRAN: Opening Up the Network for More Innovation
OpenRAN is an innovative technology that aims to replace the interfaces used in today’s radio access networks with standardized solutions that facilitate healthy market competition. Unfortunately, geopolitical realities have left operators heavily reliant on a few prominent vendors. As a result, operators may feel compelled to spread their risk across multiple OpenRAN solutions simultaneously. While this approach may seem prudent, it can create a “multi-cloud” problem stemming from managing numerous OpenRAN private clouds, each with its own orchestration. Traditional IT management approaches might fail to maximize operators’ desired advantages due to managing multiple private clouds associated with OpenRAN.
Fortunately, Infoblox provides a reliable and integrated solution to this issue by centralizing DNS and IPAM for OpenRAN integration. Infoblox can interface with various OpenRAN platform management systems, delivering critical and centralized DNS and IPAM functions while guaranteeing the overall integrity of IP space. With Infoblox, operators can streamline and expand IPAM capabilities, modernize management, and enhance visibility regardless of the OpenRAN solutions implemented. Infoblox’s innovative approach to DNS and IPAM management ensures that operators can leverage the full benefits of OpenRAN while maintaining complete control over their networks.
5G is here–but with the promise of lightning-fast speeds comes a new set of challenges that service providers must overcome. It was great to hear the conversations in Barcelona and discuss how Infoblox DDI solutions comprehensively answer these challenges. With Infoblox, providers streamline their 5G deployments and replace inefficient and outdated core network service systems and devices with a scalable and secure platform that offers the best performance while bolstering management efficiency, visibility and control.