Azure Operator Nexus – The Ultimate Cloud-Native Solution for Mobile Workloads
Published Feb 25 2024 07:50 PM 1,700 Views
Copper Contributor

Azure for Operators made many exciting announcements at MWC 2024. Among them, Azure Operator Nexus, stands out as a game-changing advancement. This industry-leading, cloud-native platform is now generally available and is designed to run mobile workloads on Azure.


Azure Operator Nexus is a next-generation hybrid cloud platform designed for telecommunications operators, automating the lifecycle management of infrastructure and tenant workloads. It supports a wide range of virtualized and containerized network functions and offers benefits like reduced operational complexity, an integrated platform for compute, network, and storage, access to Azure services, and unified governance.


Azure Operator Nexus offers a comprehensive set of features that make it the ideal choice for operators looking to modernize their operations and deliver superior customer experiences.



Sized to meet telecom operators’ unique deployment needs

Azure Operator Nexus offers several deployment options to meet operators’ different capacity needs. From extremely high throughput (1.6 Tbps) large deployments down to small and medium sized deployments, Azure Operator Nexus helps customer’s right-size their environments to lower TCO.


These include the 400G BOM100G BOMSingle Rack BOM, and smaller deployments such as the mobile edge compute (MEC) deployment BOM.

  1. 400G BOM: Designed for high throughput, this option supports up to eight compute racks, each with a pair of Top-of-rack switches(ToRs) for redundancy, eight to sixteen workload servers, and two management servers. This option provides 1.6 terabits of throughput to each rack and each server has two 2x100G NIC cards, supporting deployments up to 13,312 usable vCPUs.
  2. 100G BOM: A lower-cost, lower-bandwidth variant of the 400G BOM, this option follows the same architecture but provides 400 gigabits of throughput for each rack using 25G NICs.
  3. Single Rack BOM: This 100G Nexus variant is best suited for small edge deployments or lab instances. It is fully redundant within a single rack.
  4. MEC deployments: This is designed for smaller deployments of Nexus.



Key features of Azure Operator Nexus

Azure Operator Nexus revolutionizes telecom operations with its high throughput of up to 400 Gbps per server, offering a unified solution for compute, storage, and networking. It simplifies lifecycle management through automation, allowing for seamless deployment, updates, and monitoring of network functions and applications.


 Azure Operator Nexus meets the needs of telecom operators with its key core tenets:

  1. API-integrated end-to-end platform: Emphasizing an API-first approach for all aspects, including compute, Kubernetes, networking, storage, and complex workflows.
  2. Infrastructure-as-code paradigm: Aligning resource models with infrastructure-as-code approaches for simpler, more intuitive management leveraging Azure DevOps and GitOps.
  3. Integrated network fabric and workload solution: The network fabric is tightly integrated into the solution, enabling platform teams to bootstrap all network infrastructure via a few APIs.
  4. Automated telco operations: Automating complex lifecycle operations, such as Common Vulnerability and Exposures(CVE)-driven OS upgrades across a Kubernetes cluster or firmware upgrades across computes.
  5. Nexus Ready program: Creating a community of ecosystem partners and delivering deeply-vetted and well-tested network functions that have shown platform integration and deployment success.

Additional platform highlights

Observability: The Azure Operator Nexus observability framework offers comprehensive insights into on-premises instances by integrating logging, monitoring, alerting, analytics, and visualization. Centralized data collection via Azure Monitor enables thorough analysis and problem-solving across cloud and on-premises environments. It simplifies operations with customizable dashboards, workbooks, and alert templates. The framework enhances platform monitoring by collecting and analyzing data from infrastructure resources, providing deep visibility, and aiding in troubleshooting.




Security: The Azure Operator Nexus security framework emphasizes "Secure by Default" and an "Assume Breach" approach, incorporating Microsoft's cloud-native security tools for enhanced protection. It integrates Microsoft Defender for Cloud for comprehensive security capabilities across both cloud and on-premises environments, including vulnerability assessments, hybrid cloud security, threat protection alerts, and compliance assessments. Additionally, Operator Nexus offers specific protection for bare metal machines and Kubernetes clusters via Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Defender for Containers, respectively. The framework underscores the shared responsibility model in cloud security, reminding users of their role in maintaining security within their environments.


Networking: The Azure Operator Nexus Network Fabric offers a unified management interface for on-premises networking devices, enabling lifecycle management, network isolation, route policy configuration, and observability through metrics, logs, and alerts. It automates network configuration for Container Network Functions (CNFs) and Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), ensuring efficient communication and enforcing security, performance, and access controls uniformly across the network. Special features include support for multicast, SCTP, and jumbo frames, catering to the specific needs of operators.


Network Packet Broker is a key feature of Azure Operator Nexus that helps operators with network and application performance monitoring and troubleshooting, traffic analysis, native packet captures, port mirroring, etc. Network Packet Broker is deployed as part of the on-premises Nexus instance and can be configured and managed via Azure APIs.

Using our Network Packet Broker, Operators can create secure and scalable network connections, balance and distribute traffic, optimize network performance, and measure network quality and reliability.


A comprehensive suite of tools to help operators streamline and secure telecom operations

With capabilities ranging from high-throughput performance and automated lifecycle management, to security-first approaches and advanced network fabric integration, Azure Operator Nexus is a game-changer. It empowers operators with efficiency, performance, and security, ensuring that telecom services can meet the demands of today's digital world and pave the way for future advancements.


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‎Feb 23 2024 02:37 PM
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