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Paving the way to telco-grade PaaS

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Most of the challenges that need to be overcome to make PaaS is suitable for telco relate to the need for additional features that telco applications typically require in terms of latency, security, and availability. PaaS provides the building blocks for automated testing, continuous deployment, as well as supporting the DevOps approach, and as such simplifies the development process and reduces time to market.

The convergence of IT, telecoms, and other domains brings benefits to all industries. PaaS is a cloud-based service model that frees up developers to focus on how to deliver the best business solution. In PaaS, the platform delivers services that can be used to develop applications, differing from the traditional method of development in which developers need to create the entire software stack.

By using microservices – the construction or deconstruction of applications into small parts – developers can build solutions in a technology-agnostic manner, choosing just the right network protocol and solutions for the application at hand. This approach enables each part of the system to be developed, maintained, deployed, executed, upgraded, and scaled independently.

Avoiding dependencies enables technology choices to be made on a per-microservice basis. As new technologies become available, they can be implemented appropriately without the need for a synchronized cross-microservice upgrade. As a result, each microservice can evolve at the right pace in a way that is most appropriate for a particular service.

The technology gaps that need to be closed to pave the way to telco-grade PaaS include tenant isolation and trace support. But there are many more, and this article covers how they together with microservices architecture can be combined to maximize the benefit.

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Paving the way to telco-grade PaaS

  1. 1. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 1 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY software as a service ( platform as a service (P infrastructure as a servic consume build and run on host on Users Developers and testers System administrators C H A R T I N G T H E F U T U R E O F I N N O V A T I O N V O L U M E 9 3 | # 4 ∙ 2 0 1 6 PAVINGTHEWAYTO TELCO-GRADEPAAS
  2. 2. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 2 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 EDVARD DRAKE IBTISSAM EL KHAYAT RAPHAËL QUINET EINAR WENNMYR JACKY WU Independent of business, ways of working, or even technology adoption, the pressure on modern industries to shorten time to market through rapid development cycles is constant. The concepts of platform as a service (PaaS) and microservices – which have been gaining traction in the IT world – are deeply rooted in this need to cut development times. And the benefits are equally important in the telco domain. But there are gaps that need to be closed before PaaS is suitable for telco. Most of the challenges relate to the need for additional features that telco applications typically require. Once PaaS is telco approved, new applications will need to follow a number of design patterns, so that the full advantages of the platform-as-a-service approach can be realized. pa a s i s a cloud service model that allows developers to build, run, and manage applications in a way that best suits their business needs, and most significantly, in a way that is independent of the underlying hardware or software infrastructure. Typically, PaaS enables developers to deploy code on top of a software stack that includes a runtime environment for one or several programming languages, an operating system, and basic services to build upon. PaaS provides the building blocks for automated testing, continuous deployment, as well as supporting the DevOps approach, and as such simplifies the development process and reduces time to market. telco-grade PAVING THE WAY TO PaaS
  3. 3. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 3 Inthestackofcloudservicemodels,shownin Figure 1,PaaSfitsinbetweensoftwareasaservice (SaaS)(whichtargetsuserswithlicensedsoftware offerings)andinfrastructureasaservice(IaaS) (whichaddressesthemanagementandsharingof hardwareresources). PaaSworkswithvariouscloudmodels:public, private,orhybrid.Thehybridmodelcan,for example,beusedbyenterprisesandtelecom serviceproviderstooptimallycombinethedifferent handlingneedsofsensitiveandnon-sensitive workloads,wherethecommonmanagement interfaceenablessometobedeployedonaprivate cloudandothersonapubliccloud–asshown inFigure 2.Latency-sensitiveworkloads,for example,ortasksthatrequiresecurityorcontrolfor proprietarydatacanbedeployedonpremisesina privatecloud,whilenon-sensitiveworkloadscanbe deployedinapubliccloud,maximizingagilityand optimizingcosts. Dependingonthelevelofautomationand integrationprovided,PaaSsolutionscanbe furtherdividedintotwocategories:structured andunstructured.Unstructuredplatforms leveragebasiccontainertechnologiesorpublic PaaS offeringsandareusuallymanagedor monitoredwithhomegrowntools. Technology- centriccompaniestendtofavorsuchunstructured platforms,astheyfacilitatedevelopmentand maintenanceofsolutionscustomizedtomeet businessneeds. Structuredplatforms,ontheotherhand,come withbuilt-infeaturessuchasorchestration, monitoring,governance,loadbalancing,andhigh availability.Thesecharacteristicsmakestructured platformssuitableforenterprisesortelecomservice providers,andarethereasonbehindEricsson’s focusonstructuredPaaS. ThebenefitsbroughtbyPaaS WhatbenefitsPaaS canoffervaryfrombusiness tobusinessandfromoneapplicationtothenext, dependingonwhetherithasbeenspecifically designedforPaaS orwhetheritsimplyrunsina PaaS environment.ThePaaS approachiswell suitedtoapplicationdevelopersandvendors,but itcanalsobeofgreatvaluetootheruserssuchas systemintegratorsandserviceoperators. SomeoftheconceptsusedinPaaS,suchas multipleapplicationinstancesandcomponent- basedarchitecture,areestablishedapproaches inthetelcodomain.Tokeepthecomplexityof componentsatamanageablelevel,thetelcodomain hasalong-standingtraditionofmodulardesign. However,designingapplicationsspecificallyfor PaaS increasesthenumberofbenefitsforthe differentusergroups. Benefitsforapplicationdevelopers PaaS enablesdeveloperstofocusonthebusiness logicoftheirapplications,asitfreesthemfromthe concernsassociatedwithsettingupthenecessary foundationfordeployment,testing,adaptation, androllout.Indoingso,PaaS enablesinnovation accelerationandrapidtimetomarket. STRUCTURED PLATFORMS, COME WITH BUILT-IN FEATURES SUCH AS ORCHESTRATION, MONITORING, GOVERNANCE, LOAD BALANCING, AND HIGH AVAILABILITY Terms and abbreviations IaaS – infrastructure as a service | MMTEL – multimedia telephony | PaaS – platform as a service | SaaS – software as a service | SCTP – Stream Control Transmission Protocol | UDP – User Datagram Protocol | VNF – Virtualized Network Function
  4. 4. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 4 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 software as a service (SaaS) platform as a service (PaaS) infrastructure as a service (IaaS) consume build and run on host on Users Developers and testers System administrators Figure 1: Cloud service models (from the point of view of the service consumer) ApplicationsdesignedtoruninaPaaS environmentarelikelytobelesscomplexand consumelessresourcesthantheirtraditionally- programmedcounterparts,astheydonotneedto re-implementtheservicesthatareprovidedbythe platform.Asaresult,aPaaS applicationtakesless timetostartupthanapplicationsdeployedona fullsoftwarestack.ThesimplifiednatureofPaaS applicationsbringsbenefitsintermsofscalability, especiallyforthosethatarestateless. DesigninganapplicationforPaaS withloosely- coupledinternalandexternalinterfacesmakesit easiertomanagelifecyclesforthecomponentsof anapplicationandfortheservicestheyuseinan independentmanner.Deployingcomponentsthat arelooselycouplednotonlysimplifiesanupgrade, italsoreducesthecomplexityofvalidatingan upgrade.Combinedwiththefreedomtochoosethe programminglanguageandruntimeenvironment bestsuitedtothetaskathand,loose-coupling enablescomponentstobereplacedatanytimewith adifferentimplementation–eveninadifferent language–whichinturnsupportsthegradual introductionofnewtechnologies. ThePaaS frameworkprovidescommonways toexposeandbindtoservices,whichsimplifies thedeploymentofnewservices.Servicegateways andbrokerscanalsoexposeexternalservices,so theycanbeusedbyapplicationsrunninginsideor outsidethePaaS environment. Theeaseofintegrationofnewservicesbrought aboutbyPaaS contributestofasterinnovation, whichisoneofthemodel’sprimarybenefits. Benefitsforsystemintegrators Someofthebenefitsthatapplytodevelopersalso applytosystemintegrators.Loosely-coupled servicesandindependentlifecycles,forexample, cansimplifythetestingandupgradeofcomponents, asthesetaskscanbecarriedoutseparately.Andthe commonbindingandserviceexposureframework facilitatestheintegrationofnewservices.
  5. 5. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 5 Benefitsforserviceoperators APaaS-designedapplicationcanscalequickly andeasilywithflexibleworkloaddeployment, whichleadstooptimaluseofhardwareresources. However,careshouldbetakenwhendealing withapplicationsdesignedwithlargenumbersof lightweightcomponentsthatneedtocommunicate witheachother,toensurethatworkload deploymentsdonotnegativelyimpactperformance. Ingeneral,securityassuranceandgovernance bothbenefitwhenapplicationsrunonacommon frameworkthatprovidescollectiveapplication managementandsupportsintra-service communication.Forexample,theplatform approachremovestheneedtomanagemassesofad hocsecuritysolutionsandtherulesgoverninghow theyapplytoapplications. Howdomicroservicescontribute? Thesoftwareindustryiscurrentlyexperiencinga riseintheuseofmicroservicesandmicroservices architecture.AndwhilePaaS andmicroservices aretwoseparateconcepts,viewingPaaS in combinationwithmicroservicesandotherconcepts likecontainersandDevOps,cansubstantially increasetheleverageofeachofthem. Microservicesisanarchitecturalpatternand anapproachtodevelopment.Essentially,this approachbuildsapplicationsfrom(ordeconstructs existingapplicationsinto)smallparts–eachwitha singleandwell-definedpurpose.Tocommunicate, theparts(ormicroservices)uselanguage-and technology-agnosticnetworkprotocols,andeach partcanbedeveloped,maintained,deployed, executed,upgraded,andscaledindependently. Technologychoicesarespecifictothemicroservice andeachmicroserviceshouldbeownedbyasmall teamofdeveloperstominimizetheoverheadof intra-teamcommunication. Overall,theabilitytodeveloppartsinan independentwayenablesrapidprogress,allowing developmenttokeeppacewithmarketdemands, andfacilitatesscalingofdevelopment. Decouplingandindependencybetween microservicesisfundamentaltoamicroservices architecture.Independencesupportsscalingover multipleteamsbecauseitenablesmanysmallteams toworkinparallel,withclearresponsibilities,a largedegreeoffreedom,andminimalinteraction. Decouplingalsoenablesthedifferentpartsofthe systemtoevolveattheirownpace. Avoidingdependenciesenablestechnology choicestobemadeonaper-microservicebasis.As newtechnologiesbecomeavailable,theycanbe implementedappropriatelywithouttheneedfor asynchronizedcross-microserviceupgrade.Asa result,eachmicroservicecanevolveattherightpace inawaythatismostappropriateforaparticular service:anefficientsystemthatlendsitselftothe creationofever-improvingservices. Whiletheadvantagesofamicroservices architectureareapparent,inpractice,thisapproach posesanumberofsignificantchallenges.Tostart with,thewell-knownfallaciesofdistributed computing[1]shouldbeavoided.Toperforma giventask,anumberofmicroservicesareinvoked sequentially,eachofwhichcontributesignificantly tooveralllatency,makingitmoredifficulttopredict thetheoveralllatencyofaservice.So,assuming,for example,thatbandwidthisinfinite,orthatlatencyis zerocanresultincostlyredesignwork.Challenges includetheoverallcomplexity,bothindevelopment andinruntime,ofalarge,highlydistributedsystems. Theabilitytotestasystemisequallychallenging, particularlywhenitcomestoadditionalcomplex failurescenarios. Oneway–andmaybetheonlyway–toovercome thechallengessurroundinglatencyistoacceptthat somepartsofthesystemneedtobedesignedwith THE ABILITY TO DEVELOP APPLICATION PARTS IN AN INDEPENDENT WAY ENABLES RAPID PROGRESS, ALLOWING DEVELOPMENT TO KEEP PACE WITH MARKET DEMANDS, AND FACILITATES SCALING
  6. 6. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 6 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 miniservices,whicharelargerthanmicroservices toallowforminimizingsequentialcommunication, andconsequentlykeeplatencywithinrequired boundaries.Whenthisapproachisappliedto appropriatepartsofanapplication,thescope ofwhatcanbeaddressedwithamicroservices architecturecanbebroadened.Andevenifthe applicationofminiservicescancompromisesome targets,theoveralladvantagesgainedtendtobe fairlyconsiderable. Telco-gradeandPaaSsupport ExistingPaaS environmentshavebeendesigned tosuitcommodityIT applications,andassuch, havenotbeenbuilttomeettheavailabilityand latencyrequirementsthatarecharacteristicoftelco applications. ButasnewtypesofIT applications emerge,suchasIoT forvehicles,placingstringent latencydemandsoncommunicationlinks,telco- likerequirementsarebeginningtoappearin theIT space.EnablingPaaS environmentsto meettelcorequirementswillbenefitemerging IT applications,telcoapplications,aswellas traditionalIT applications–aslongasthecostof providingcommonIT applicationsdoesnotrise. Inotherwords,addingatelcorequirement,like five-ninesavailability,tothePaaS environment needstobedoneinsuchawaythatitdoesn’timpact performanceorincreasethesetupcomplexityfor otherapplications. Whatthenaretypicaltelcorequirements? Withoutconstitutingaformaldefinition,telco applicationstendtobecharacterizedbylatencyand availability(TL 9000forexample). Whenitcomestolatency,arequirementlabelled softreal-time(outsideofTL 9000)hasbeensetfor telcoapplications.Thisrequirementisusuallysetto ensurethat95percentofoperationscanbehandled withinapredefinedlatencybudget–whichforIMS istypicallyaround50mspernodeinthetrafficflow. Whenitcomestoavailability,telcoapplications requirefive-ninesavailability.ForPaaS environments,thislevelofavailabilityimpliesthat applicationsmustbeavailable99.999percentof thetime,whichcorrespondstoamaximumoffive minutesofdowntimeinayear,includingtimefor upgradesandotheradministrativeoperations. Whenitcomestomeasuringavailability,an applicationisdeemedpartlyunavailableifitisout ofserviceformorethan15s,withalossofcapacityin excessof20percent.IfO&M functionalityislost,the lossiscountedas10percentdowntimeforthewhole node,evenifthetrafficpartofthenodeisworking. Tomeetavailabilityrequirements,applications mustbeabletohandleinternalsoftwareand hardwarefaultswithoutcrashing.Thisisusually referredtoashighavailabilitysupport.Anumberof otherfactorsalsoaffectanapplication’savailability, helpingtodeterminewhetherornotitwillattain thefive-ninesgoal.Today’sPaaS environments providethenecessarysupportinsomecases,whereas developmentisstillrequiredinothers. TomakePaaS telcograde,meetingavailability requirementsisnottheonlygapthatneedstobe closed;anumberofothersincludingloggingsupport andsecurityalsoneedtobeaddressed: Automationofmanagementoperations Systemoutagesareoftencausedbyhumanerror duringmanualoperation.Automatingprocedures minimizesthistypeoferror,leadingtoimproved availability.Manymanagementoperationsinmodern PaaSenvironmentsarealreadybeingautomated,but furtherimprovementsarepossible–suchassingle- commandinstallationofanapplicationthatconsists ofanumberofmicroservices. Monitoringsupport Throughcontinuousmonitoringofapplications andtheinfrastructure,potentialproblemscanbe ASNEWTYPESOFIT APPLICATIONSEMERGE,SUCH ASIOTFORVEHICLES,PLACING STRINGENTLATENCYDEMANDS ONCOMMUNICATIONLINKS, TELCO-LIKEREQUIREMENTS AREBEGINNINGTOAPPEARIN THEITSPACE
  7. 7. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 7 detectedandrectifiedbeforetheycauseanoutage. Today’sPaaS environmentsincludesomebasic monitoringsupport(typicallycheckingwhether ornotanapplicationisexecuting)butmore advancedmechanismsareneeded,especiallyfor amicroservicearchitecture,tohandlescenarios whereapplicationsareindeadlock,ortocopewith aninternalcrash,forexample. Loggingsupport Whenafaultdoesoccur,theoutagetimeuntil normaloperationscanberegainedhasasignificant impactonoverallavailability.Accesstoinformation abouttheerroristhekeytorapidresolution.A presentationofthelogsfromaPaaS application –includingservicesused–isneededtofacilitate properfaultanalysis.ExistingPaaS solutionsdonot yetsupportsuchafeature. Security Theuseofrole-basedaccesstorestrictactionson applicationsandtheinfrastructurereducesoutages causedbyalackoftherightkindofcompetence.This typeofsecuritymeasurealsoprotectsapplicationsfrom maliciousaccess,whichreducestheriskofdowntime. CurrentPaaS environmentsprovideadegreeof supportintermsofaccesscontrol,butadditional backingisneededintheformofdataencryption solutions,protocolsthatguaranteeseparationoftraffic, andcertificatehandling,forexample. Tenantisolation Strongsupportfortenantisolationcoveringall aspectsoftheinfrastructure(compute,network,and storage)minimizestheimpactafaultinonetenant applicationhasonothertenantssharingthesame physicalresources.CurrentPaaS environments havesufficientsupportfortenantisolation. Upgradesupport Toensurethatcapacitylossesarekeptbelowthe 20percentlimit,applicationandinfrastructure upgradesneedtobecarriedoutwithoutaffecting operation.Forstatelessapplications,upgradesto individualinstancesoftheapplicationcantake placewithoutcausingadisturbance.Itmustalso bepossibletoupgradethePaaS environmentitself withoutaffectingrunningapplications. Backupandrestore Savingthestateofanapplicationandcorresponding softwareversionenablesanapplicationto berestoredquicklyfollowingamajorfailure, minimizingdowntime. Private cloud Public cloud Hybrid cloud Control Performance Reduced latency Elasticity Time to market PaaS workloads Figure 2: Deploying PaaS workloads in different types of clouds
  8. 8. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 8 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 Quickrestarttime Theabilitytorestartquicklyreducestheoutagetime followingamajorproblem.Thiscapabilityiscurrently supportedforstatelessPaaS applications. Independentrestart Tomaintainindependenceofinfrastructure andapplicationavailability,restartingaPaaS environmentintheeventofaninternalfault, upgrade,orotheradministrativeprocessshouldnot necessitatetherestartofapplications. Networkprotocolsupport Telcoapplicationsrequiresupportforawidersetof networkprotocolsthantypicalIT applications.For example,UDP andSCTP aretypicalofthetypeof protocolsthattelcoapplicationsrelyon,whichare notfoundintraditionalIT environments.Adding supportforsuchprotocolswillexpandthesetof applicationsthatcanbedeployed. Alarms Longeroutagescanbeavoidedbyissuinganalarm indicatingboththataproblemhasarisenandhowto addressit.Thisinformationneedstobecollectedin aconsistentwayfromtheapplicationandthePaaS servicesbeingused. Performancecounters Asystemthatsupportsarichsetofperformance counterspreemptsproblemsbeforetheyarise,and takesproactivemeasurestoavoidoutages.This informationneedstobecollectedinaconsistentway fromtheapplicationandthePaaS servicesbeing used. Tracesupport Ifafaultoccursduringoperation,troubleshooting needstobefasttominimizeoutagetime.Thetrace outputofapplicationsisneededtofacilitateproper troubleshooting.Thisinformationneedstobe collectedinaconsistentwayfromtheapplicationand thePaaS servicesbeingused. Softreal-time ThenetworkingsolutioninthePaaS environment mustbehighlyefficientwithshortround-triptimesto fulfillthelatencyrequirementsoftelcoapplications. Closingthisgapisasignificantimprovementas doingsowillincreasethepossibilityofdeploying amicroservicesarchitecture(oneofthebiggest concernsoversuchanarchitectureisthelatency inducedbymultiplenetworkhops). AchievingtelcoonPaaS Thislistofwantedfeatureshighlightsthegapsthat needtobeclosedtomakePaaS suitableforalltelco applications.Butoncethesefeatureshavebeen added,whatopportunitiesarelikelytoarise? BuildinganewPaaSapplication Whenwritinganewapplicationbasedon microservicesarchitecturetorunonPaaS,new designprinciplesareneededtomaximizethe benefits.Someoftheseprinciplesareborrowedfrom thetwelve-factorapp[2].Amongtheseprinciples, telcomicroservicesneedto: 〉〉 encapsulate a well-bound and well-defined function with a clear business need 〉〉 have separate life cycles – so they can be developed, delivered, installed, and upgraded independently 〉〉 be stateless – by storing data that needs to persist in a stateful backing service 〉〉 adhere to decoupled communication – using well-defined interfaces, network protocols, and asynchronous messages 〉〉 adhere to the share-nothing principle – data is not shared between the different instances of a microservice, enabling microservices to be scaled out by adding more processes 〉〉 be built for failure – to manage service failures or underperformance by supervising responses and throttling the requests, for instance. 〉〉 discover peers dynamically – by using the platform service discovery function to discover other microservices during runtime 〉〉 be technology agnostic – so that the choice of technology adopted for one microservice does not affect the choice of another 〉〉 fail fast: instead of implementing complex recovery mechanisms when severe errors occur, mini/microservice
  9. 9. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 9 instances should fail with a clear error message stating the reason for the failure 〉〉 achieve high availability – by running in multiple instances, allowing one instance to take over if another one fails, and reading up state from the external store. Theseprinciplesshouldbecomplementedbystate- of-the-artmicroservicesdesignpatterns[2]. Extendingmatureapplications Theissueofhandlinglegacyapplicationsinevitably arisesduringdiscussionsoverthedesignofnew applications.Whenevaluatingtheportability ofmatureapplicationstoPaaS, anumberof considerationsneedtobetakenintoaccount. Generallyspeaking,rewritingapplicationsisnot thebestapproachbecauseittendstobecostly/time- consuming,itblockstheadditionofnewfeatures, andopensthedoorforcompetitorstogainmarket shareinthemeantime.Ifthemainreasonforthe adoptionofPaaS istogaindevelopmentspeed, redesignwillnotgenerateanymarketvalueifnonew featuresneedtobedeveloped. TherearecertainopportunitiesthatPaaS adoptioncantakeadvantageofwithouttheneed forapplicationredesign.Ifamatureapplication requiresanewfeatureorifamarketadaptationis calledfor,thefeaturecouldbeimplementedasa microserviceonPaaS andaccessedfromthelegacy application.Thisisindeed therecommended approachforshiftingmonolithicapplicationstoa microservicesarchitecture:tobreakoutindividual servicesonebyone.Whenthisapproachcanbe taken,thebestofboththeIaaS andPaaS worlds canbecaptured:theperformanceoftheexisting applicationremainsstable,whilenewfeatures benefitfromtherapiddevelopmentPaaS offers, freeingupthedesignteamtodevelopnewfeatures withadditionalbusinessvalue–asillustratedin Figure 3. Naturally,communicationneedstobeenabled betweenthemainapplicationandthenew microservices.Sometelcoapplicationsalreadyhave predefinedinterfacesthatcanbeusedtoextendthe nodefunctionalities,suchastheParlayinterfacefor theMMTEL applicationserver.However,when nosuchinterfaceexists,themainapplicationand themicroserviceshouldbedecoupledusingan anticorruptionlayer.Allpatternsusedformigrating frommonolithictomicroservicessuchasfacades, IT applications VNF extension µS µS µS PaaS VNF (Telco application) Figure 3: Extension of telco applications in PaaS
  10. 10. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 10 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 adapters,andtranslatorscanbeappliedinthis process[3].Suchnewsatellitemicroservicesneed tobemanagedthroughtheapplicationtoavoid fragmentation–whichwouldincuradditionalcosts. Theproposedapproachbringsallthebenefitsof PaaS andmicroserviceswithoutthetransformation cost.Italsohastheadvantageofgraduallyallowing teamstoexperiencenewtechnologiesandnew waysofworking.Incaseofnon-adoptionowing toaperformancedegradationoramismatchwith thewayofworkingintheorganization,revertingto theoriginaldevelopmentmethodwouldhavelittle impact.Goingtomarketwithsuchanapproach wouldalsocreatetheopportunityforearlyfeedback fromthecustomer. Thenextsteps TelcoapplicationsdeployedinPaaS –inparticular thosespecificallydesignedforPaaS environments– canbenefitfromshorterdevelopment,deployment, andtestingcyclesthanthetraditionalsoftware stack.TelcoPaaS ischaracterizedbyshorttimeto marketandrapidinnovation,enablingdevelopers tofocusonthebusinesslogicoftheirapplications andbuildinglightweightsoftwaremodulesthat maximizereuseofplatformfeaturesandavailable services. Applicationscalabilityandtheintroduction ofnewtechnologiesarebothfacilitatedbythe independentlifecyclesofapplicationcomponents andtheservicestheyuse.PaaS increasesthe portabilityoftheapplicationstoseveralIaaS solutions,andthushelpsreducethenumberofcloud executionplatformsthatneedtobesupported. ImprovingPaaS solutionstosupportthe additionalrequirementsoftelcoapplicationscan bringbenefitstousersoutsidethetelcodomain, makingPaaS moresuitableforotherdomains thathavestringentrequirementsintermsof,say, latencyandsecurity–suchasinthebankingor medicalsectors. However,asoutlined,anumberofgapsand challengesneedtobeovercomebeforethe combinationofPaaS andmicroservicescan revealitsfullpotential.Issueslikethematurityof existingPaaS platforms,thepossibilitytoperform troubleshootinginahighlydistributedsystem, testingthatinvolvesalargenumberofindependent services,theabilitytopredictlatency(ormaintainit withinsetlimits),managementsupport,andclosing thegapsrelatingtotelco-gradeapplicationsarejust someofthechallengesthatneedtobeovercome. Designingamicroservice-basedapplicationfor PaaS requiresapplicationstofollowanumberof recommendeddesignpatternstoachievearobust, functionalapplication.PaaS canbeleveraged withoutafullredesignandrewriteofthecurrent telcoapplications,extendinganexistingapplication bydeployingnewfeaturesasextensionsinPaaS, whiletherestoftheapplicationremainsoutside. Thepotentialbenefitsofamini-ormicroservice- basedarchitecturedeployedinaPaaS environment aresignificant.Assuch,Ericssonwillfollowthesteps alongthe pathtotelco-gradePaaS. References: 1. The fallacies of distributed computing, available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies_of_distributed_computing 2. Sam Newman, 2015, Building Microservices (O'Reilly), available at: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920033158.do? 3. Matt Stine, 2015, Migrating to Cloud-Native Application Architectures (O'Reilly), available at: http://www.oreilly.com/programming/free/migrating-cloud-native-application-architectures.csp
  11. 11. CLOSING THE GAPS ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ✱ ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 11 Edvard Drake ◆ is an expert in the area of hardware and software platform technologies and an OSS/BSS Implementation Architect in Business Unit Support Solutions (BUSS). He has more than 20 years of experience at Ericsson, ranging from AXE-10 exchanges to open source and commercial innovation. He holds a B.Sc. in software engineering from Umeå University, Sweden. Ibtissam El Khayat ◆ joined Ericsson in 2008 after having been a researcher in academia and consultant in the telecom industry. Over the years, she has worked in different areas such as communication protocol design, utility and transport areas, and eMBMS. Currently, she works with 5G and cloud technology in her role at BUCI DUNC S&T. She holds a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Liège, Belgium. Raphaël Quinet ◆ is a master systems designer at Development Unit Network Functions & Cloud, Systems & Technology. He has more than 20 years of experience at Ericsson, starting in Research, optimizing the performance of web traffic over mobile networks, then service-oriented architecture and since 2010 cloud management, virtualization and containers for telco services. He holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Liège, Belgium. Einar Wennmyr ◆ is an expert in implementationarchitecture and is Chief Architect for TEA Implementation Architecture at Group Function Technology (GFT). He has about 35 years of experience at Ericsson, ranging from AXE-10, AXE-N, TSP Dicos, CBA, ETOS and lately with cloud technology and the impacts it has on software architecture. He graduated from Chalmers University of Technology and also holds an M.Sc. from the University of Southern California. Jacky Wu ◆ is a senior specialist at Development Unit Network Functions & Cloud, Systems & Technology. He has around 18 years of experience at Ericsson, ranging from Mobile Softswitch, CBA, cloud technology and the impacts it has on telco products. He holds a degree in electronic engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. theauthors
  12. 12. ✱ CLOSING THE GAPS 12 ERICSSON TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ✱ MAY 25, 2016 ISSN 0014-0171 284 23-3281 | Uen © Ericsson AB 2016 Ericsson SE-164 83 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 10 719 0000

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