Telecommunication Services’ Migration to the Cloud : Network Performance analysis

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


Nowadays, telecommunication services are commonly deployed in private networks, which are controlled and maintained by the telecommunication operators themselves, by co-location services providers, or, to some extent, by their hardware and software providers. However, with the present development of cloud computing resources, one might consider if these services could and should be implemented in the Cloud, thus taking advantage of cloud computing’s high availability, geographic distribution, and ease of usage. Additionally, this migration could reduce the telecommunication operators’ concerns in terms of hardware and network maintenance, leaving those to the Cloud computing providers who will need to supply a highly available and consistent service, to fulfill the telecommunication services’ requirements. Furthermore, virtualization provides the possibility of easily and rapidly changing the Cloud network topology facilitating the addition and removal of machines and services, allowing telecommunication services providers to adapt to their demands on the fly.

The aim of this thesis project is to analyze and evaluate the level of performance, from the network point of view, that can be achieved when using Cloud computing resources to implement a telecommunication service, carrying out practical experiments both in laboratory and real environments. These measurements and analyses were conducted using an Ericsson prototype mobile switching center server (MSC-S) application, although the results obtained could be adapted to other applications with similar requirements.

In order to potentially test this approach in a real environment, a prior providers’ survey was utilized to evaluate their services based on our requirements in terms of hardware and network characteristics, and thus select a suitable candidate environment for our purposes. One cloud provider was selected and its service was further evaluated based on the MSC-S application requirements. We report the results of our bench-marking process in this environment and compare them to the results of testing in a laboratory environment. The results of both sets of testing were well correlated and indicate potential for hosting telecommunication services in a Cloud environment, providing the Cloud meets the requirements imposed by the telecom services.

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