The Cloud-native computing for telcos: definitions, challenges and opportunities

Communications service providers (CSPs) are weighed down by the legacy software architecture that proliferates across their organisations, including in their foundational asset, the network. This software has not been designed for digital service provider (DSP) infrastructure the cloud and CSPs' software capabilities are uncompetitive with those of web-scale companies. Those CSPs aiming to become treu DSPs must adopt cloudnative computing across their businesses.

Table of contents


About this report


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Executive summary


Mastery of cloud-native computing is critical for DSPs, but adoption is fraught with challenges


Telco industry players should prioritise cloud-native computing if they are committed to becoming DSPs


Key recommendations


IS BECOMING A DSP THE RIGHT STRATEGY?


Not all CSPs are willing or able to transform themselves into DSPs


DSPs expect to gain significant business benefits over other types of telco, but need a strong appetite for risk


UNDERSTANDING CLOUD-NATIVE COMPUTING


The principles of cloud-native computing have developed over the past 5 years and its definition is still evolving


Microservices oriented: Applications need to be developed as, or refactored into, microservices


Containerised: Applications must be packaged in containers


Dynamically orchestrated: Application containers must be centrally and dynamically orchestrated


ACCELERATING CLOUD-NATIVE ADOPTION


True believers must do more to accelerate their own rate of adoption, while hybrids have a vested interest in accelerating that of their vendors


Key telco barriers to cloud-native computing must be understood and addressed before mainstream adoption can take place


Selecting the right base technologies is tricky in a fragmented ecosystem, but the current winners are emerging


VENDOR SNAPSHOTS


Canonical


Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)


Docker


Mesos


Rancher


Red Hat


VMware


ABOUT THE AUTHORS AND ANALYSYS MASON


About the authors


Analysys Masons consulting and research are uniquely positioned


Research from Analysys Mason


Consulting from Analysys Mason


 



List Of Figures


Figure 1: Drivers of digital transformation and recommendations for CSPs


Figure 2: Benchmarks for cloud-native computing KPIs set by FANG companies


Figure 3: Three ways in which CSPs should advance cloud-native network function virtualisation


Figure 4: Characteristics of the three types of CSP


Figure 5: KPIs for the three types of CSP


Figure 6: The evolution of cloud-native computing


Figure 7: The CNCFs definition of microservices oriented


Figure 8: Example of how a virtual network function might be decomposed into microservices


Figure 9: CNCFs definition of container-packaged applications


Figure 10: Comparison of containers and virtual machines


Figure 11: CNCFs definition of dynamically orchestrated


Figure 12: Overview of the container platform and container engine


Figure 13: Strategies for accelerating cloud-native adoption


Figure 14: Four key barriers to rapid adoption of cloud-native computing


Figure 15: Overview of the CNCF tooling taxonomy


The Cloud-native architecture: an essential ingredient of future CSP monetisation platforms

Revenue management systems account for a large portion of overall CSP spend on software support systems, mainly due to the high cost of maintaining legacy frameworks. As digital transformation takes

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