Complex cloudification of sensitive core applications

Business case

Our client, a global technology vendor headquartered in the US, initiated major cloud migration project and requested R Systems’ expert support in the areas of development, migration and technical consultancy.  The project consisted in porting a collection of bare metal applications in the core network of tier-1 operator to telco cloud VNF.

R Systems contribution

Based on the long-term partnership in product development and R Systems’ comprehensive expertise in cloud technologies and migration strategy, R Systems was selected as key provider in the cloudification project. Over the years R Systems has developed and delivered a wide range of network element applications which make up the client’s unified subscriber database, one of the key functions in telecom networks. These applications include: bootstrapping function, application publisher, multimedia telephone synchronization server, PCRF locator function, real-time provisioning gateway, enhanced equipment identity register, provisioning gateway proxy. R Systems undertook the migration and deployment into the cloud of the network element products it had developed, including the development of a new central administrator VNF responsible for statistics, analytics and management of graphical user interfaces of the network elements. For the successful delivery of the cloudification project R Systems has provided a complex mix of technology skills, know-how and strategic approach, with a focus on performance and quality of delivery.
In terms of technologies and approach, for migration, the unified subscriber database network elements were packaged as VNFs and onboarded to the NFV cloud by virtualizing the applications on Kernel-based virtual machines as QCOW2 images. The application topology was defined as Heat Orchestration Template and mapped to VNF elements. The application lifecycles were defined as Mistral workflows and Ansible playbooks in addition to the existing configuration management and lifecycle tools that were in place (Chef) to support application and configuration lifecycles of the applications.
Migration roadmap
In terms of migration roadmap, the application lifecycle consisted in migration to the latest versions of OpenStack and third party dependencies; refactoring of some products using more reliable and container friendly technologies (eg: Golang) and redesign of the deployment and migration to Docker, Kubernetes, containers. The overall cloudification effort of all applications amounted to a significant 5,000 mandays with constant monitoring of quality and reliability throughout the delivery of the cluster of projects. One example of project performance indicators has shown defect density under 0.15% from a total of 290 functional test cases. As part of the quality assurance process, for specific projects of the cluster, end customer acceptance test were executed using the R Systems automated testing product – TOP Testing Suite.

Customer benefits

By successfully porting the applications in the cloud, R Systems has enabled the easier management of instances and hardware resources, increased scalability with increased number of subscribers and easier deployment of network elements. Containerization of telecom applications was also implemented to provide easy path for capacity increase and advanced security. R Systems cloudified applications were integrated with the client’s ecosystem of applications to provide a unique and stable set of functionalities, to share information about system components health and stability via metrics viewable as a whole ecosystem or just single node, to provide statistics about system throughput and performance and logs availability from all crucial components in a highly available and searchable way.


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