The telecommunications industry is experiencing a significant shift towards digital transformation, with operators seeking to optimize their network functions and applications while maintaining control over their infrastructure and data. In response to this growing need, Microsoft has recently announced the public preview of Azure Operator Nexus, an expansion of the Azure Operator Distributed Services private preview.
This hybrid, carrier-grade cloud platform is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of operators, providing a simplified process for provisioning new network services, optimizing deployments of network functions and applications on-premises, and running network-intensive workloads and mission-critical apps with resiliency, security, observability, and high performance.
“Azure Operator Nexus is a first-party Microsoft product that builds on the functionality of its predecessor, adding essential features of key Microsoft technologies such as Mariner Linux, Hybrid AKS, and Arc while continuing to leverage Microsoft Services for security, lifecycle management, Observability, DevOps and automation. Azure Operator Nexus has already been released to our flagship customer, AT&T, and the results have been incredibly positive. Now, we’re selectively working with operators for potential deployments around the world,” said Yousef Khalidi, CVP Azure for Operators in his blog post.
Key features of Azure Operator Nexus
Azure Operator Nexus offers several key features that are designed to meet the unique needs of operators and enable them to optimize their network functions and applications. These features include:
Scalability and optimization for 5G networks: With Azure Operator Nexus, operators can run mission-critical mobile workloads on a unified, carrier-grade hybrid platform. This platform allows for streamlined business operations, API-based access to all data and network functions, and the ability to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) while scaling at your own pace.
AI-based analytics for enhanced operations: Azure Operator Nexus enables operators to create a closed-loop automation environment by capturing data from their platform, applications, and network. This data can be used to derive prescriptive analytics with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, allowing operators to reconfigure the network to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Robust security and governance with SecOps: Microsoft provides comprehensive security operations (SecOps), threat detection, and protection capabilities for end-to-end monitoring, risk and compliance management, and protection of systems. Azure Operator Nexus offers fine-grained, role-based access controls for end-to-end protection and compliance management of data and functionality.
Microsoft Defender for Cloud safeguards systems and data from threats, maintains compliance with industry regulations, and ensures the smooth operation of businesses.
Revenue generation through the Azure ecosystem: Operators will be able to maximize Microsoft investments in telecom DNA and the largest partner ecosystem for enterprise go-to-market (GTM) and combine connectivity with Azure services for creating new revenue streams from enterprises.
There are two ways to deploy Azure Operator Nexus: On-premises and Public Region. In the On-premises model, operators can buy the hardware from Microsoft partners. In the Public Region model, Microsoft provides the infrastructure and the Operator can use the resources as needed.
Providing support through the Azure Operator Nexus Ready program
Azure Operator Nexus offers a comprehensive ecosystem of certified network functions through its Azure Operator Nexus Ready program. This program utilizes the Azure Operator Service Manager, a companion service that ensures a consistent and scalable deployment experience for virtualized network functions (VNFs) and containerized network functions (CNFs) from multiple network-function vendors. Once the Azure Operator Nexus Ready program certifies the network function, operators can instantiate the 5G network functions directly from a centralized Azure Operator Nexus Ready catalog.
The Azure Operator Nexus Ready program offers benefits such as proactive validation of multi-vendor network functions, improved agility through continuous delivery of NF feature upgrades, reduced interoperability issues, and minimized infrastructure costs for network equipment providers and operators.
In addition to network-function vendors, the Azure Operator Nexus Ready program also includes system integrators (SIs) who are trained and certified to provide horizontal- and vertical-integration services to operators.
SIs, network vendors, or developers interested to join the Azure Operator Nexus Ready and SI programs can click here to fill out the form.
Know more here.
Image source: Microsoft