Cloud technology is driving rapid acceleration and unlocking new value areas in an expanding set of niches, one of which is telecommunications.
Dell Technologies Inc. is leveraging its considerable IT experience to drive new capabilities within the sector, in the hope of advancing a more open, cloud-native state of affairs.
“From a Dell perspective, given our expertise with all the work we have done in IT and all the IT transformations, we’re leveraging it all and bringing that to the service providers to help them in accelerating their network transformation,” said Manish Singh (pictured, left), chief technology officer, telecom systems business, at Dell Technologies.
Singh and Doug Wolff (pictured, right), head of product management, telecom systems business, at Dell, spoke with theCUBE industry analysts Dave Vellante and David Nicholson at MWC 2023, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the advanced integration of telecoms with the cloud by leveraging emerging technologies, such as 5G. (* Disclosure below.)
Making the ‘open network’ concept a reality
Dell has been hard at work understanding the pain points — from a telco point of view — that are mostly a result of existing technical limitations. Subsequently, the company aims to build out more robust compute platforms. But at the same time, that goal will only be possible through a broadened spectrum of ecosystem partners, according to Singh.
While Dell has dabbled in several early iterations of open systems, things have only now taken off as a result of new playing fields, such as Open Radio Access Network and the edge, according to Wolff.
“All of these, along with 5G, really created a wide opening for us,” he explained. “So we started developing products and solutions and built our first telecom-grade servers for Open RAN over the last year; but still an open ecosystem is new to telecom. I’ve been in the telecom business for 25-plus years, and this is a new thing that they’re embarking on.”
Early versions of the open network idea began in the mid-2010s, when operators primarily virtualized their networks. Modern requirements, however, call for deeper cloud integrations at the core, and Dell’s litany of announcements has been directed to meet those ends.
“So Dell’s been playing in the core for a number of years, but we brought out new solutions we’ve announced at the show for the core and the parts that are really starting that transition from where the core was back in 2015 to now with open RAN and on the edge in particular,” Wolff explained.
Chief among these announcements was the Dell Telecom Infrastructure Blocks for Red Hat, designed to help network operators better handle 5G core demands and RAN workloads. But several others were made, including new PowerEdge servers for the edge and expanded lab capabilities.
Open networks will also be key as service providers tap into AI capabilities to deliver faster and more efficiently, Singh added.
“AI and machine learning bring a whole new set of capabilities and opportunities for these service providers to drive better optimization, performance, sustainability and energy efficiency on their infrastructure,” he stated. “But to really tap into these technologies, they need to open that up to third parties and their implementations and solutions that are coming up.”
The probable rollout blueprint
While potential is shown by a fresh approach to doing things, its existence must be justified by improving on the existing standards. Similarly, the open network must deliver parallel or improved levels of end-user performance to be considered mature, especially in the context of mass deployment, according to Wolff.
“I still think that it’s going to be critical to meet very similar SLAs and end-user performance,” he said. “And that’s where the maturity of that model is what’s required. I think brownfield operators are conservative in terms of going with something they know, but the opportunities and the benefits of that architecture and building new flexible, potentially cost-saving solutions is where the long-term interest lies.”
Moving this idea forward will require a collaborative outlook between companies like Dell and the network carriers, as opposed to a competitive one. Thus, partnerships will be key to providing the aforementioned capabilities at scale, according to Singh.
“The way I look at it, the carriers actually need someone like Dell who can come in and bring in the right capabilities, infrastructure and ecosystem together and deliver a performance solution that they can deploy and that they can trust,” he said.
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the MWC 2023 event:
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for MWC 2023. Neither Dell Technologies Inc., the primary sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)