Next Gen Cloud Telco IT/BSS — The Real How To?

Just finished my AWS SAA Certification. I was asked by a couple of my friends, being in the Telecom Vertical why did I choose to do an AWS Certification? Simple — How can MNOs, MVNOs & Vendors benefit from a CAPEX & OPEX lite Real Cloud based BSS/IT Infra enabled by AWS. The below is my personal thought which might be flawed due to certain circumstances and implementation approach.

To ensure a good reading experience, this will be 2–3 part post. The first of the series will be an overview to start with detailing some of the related salient features of AWS.

Current Argument
Build a private on-premise virtualised private cloud. Virtualise existing systems/applications or ensure all new systems/applications are virtualised. Host them in the private cloud. Sweat the assets and manage them efficiently as possible. What about the overheads like:

Own Data Center and Hardware Assets.
Own Software Assets.
Operations, Monitoring Tools, NOC.
Disaster Recovery, Availability, Durability.
Asset Depreciation, HW Lifecycle & Replacement. 
Limited Automation. 
Personnel Intensive.

What’s new in my thoughts?
My approach is based on leveraging the intrinsic capabilities or SERVICES offered by AWS which are comparable or compatible to most of the industry standard work flows and capabilities built by vendors as proprietary offerings.
Using these AWS SERVICES along with the Distributed Hosting Architecture (AWS Availability Zones & AWS Regions) an incredible amount of synergy along with the below listed benefits can be achieved in the both short & long term:

Reduced CAPEX/OPEX.
Reduced Asset Management & Maintenance Overheads.
Reduced Proprietary Software License Costs.
Leverage rapidly evolving AWS backed Open Source Technologies.
Enhanced Operational Efficiency by offloading mundane tasks to AWS/Marketplace.
Accelerated Rollout & Launch Timelines.
Highly Available & Durable Data Storage & Computing Instances.

Combining the IaaS, PaaS, SaaS AWS models, AWS Services, On Demand or Reserved Instance Model pricing, MNOs, MVNOs & Vendors can find ways to enhance the cost savings.

The First Impediment — Regulatory Obligations
The first impediment to move to a public cloud is always the regulatory obligations in terms of not allowing the customer data to be hosted outside the operating country’s geographical boundaries. This is mostly the case with countries in Asia & Africa.

With AWS Global Infrastructure spread across the globe, regulated countries like India, China, Japan & Hong Kong can move to a public cloud and still be satisfying the legal requirements.

More progressive countries like the US of A, Canada, EU member states, ANZ needn’t have a second thought due to the in country presence of multiple AWS AZs within their geography.

Yes, it’s not possible for all to think of migrating to public cloud NOW. We can start somewhere for sure.

Can AWS Offer/Ensure Telco Grade Computing Needs?
Yes is my assessment. AWS offers 5 different types of computing instances (EC2 — Elastic Compute Cloud) with no to little restrictions on the capacities. Certain enhanced capacities though not available by default are provisioned to one’s VPC on demand/request.

General Purpose Instances.
Compute Optimized Instances.
Memory Optimized Instances.
Storage Optimized Instances.
Accelerated Computing Instances.

Each of the above EC2 instance classes are available in multiple hardware specifications to scale up and down the computing needs in an ELASTIC manner. With the below computing instance usage models, MNOs, MVNOs & Vendors can arrive at the most optimal TCO.

On-Demand Instances.
Reserved Instances.
Dedicated Instances.
Spot Instances.

With Dedicated Instances needing commitment for a period of 2+ years computing costs can be highly controlled while Spot Instances allows bidding for computing usage based on market price to handle off-peak processing. On Demand Instances allows spikes in traffic to be handled occurring during any time of the day.

Part 1 Closing Note
With AWS, MNOs, MVNOs & Vendors can effect a paradigm shift how their IT/BSS eco system is rolled out and operated. In the coming series, I will sight some real world Telco use cases over AWS. These will be around Analytics, Enterprise Work Flows, Campaigns etc.