As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is a big event for mobile communications service providers (CSP), vendors, and their customers. F5 Networks is here to discuss our CSP solutions. We have talked to many customers, partners and analysts about our solutions and how they fit into the CSP environment. I think it would be good to spend a few moments to tell you what we are discussing with everyone else.
F5 Networks is building and delivering solutions to the CSPs for all parts of their network. We can break down the network into three major components – the Data Plane where the customer traffic passes through from their devices such as cell phones, tablets and PCs to resources within the CSP such as value added solutions (VAS), CSP provided portals, and of course, the Internet; the Control Plane, which is comprised of all the internal components necessary for their network to function, including signaling, DNS and subscriber profiles; and the Application Plane which hosts all the applications and services that the CSP and their partners deliver.
In the Data Plane, F5 has several solutions. BIG-IP Carrier Grade NAT provides functionality to migrate from IPv4 to IPv6 in an efficient manner. BIG-IP CGNAT supports Application Layer Gateway (ALG) functionality to be able to handle the stateful translation of IP addresses when they are embedded in the payload for some applications, such as DNS.
BIG-IP Policy Enforcement Manager delivers application and subscriber awareness to the traffic so that the CSPs can add value to the content based on application type and subscriber profile. BIG-IP PEM has the ability to apply policies that are specific to the subscriber and type of content seen. An example may be when a customer accesses a video stream on the Internet. Once the content has been identified to be streaming video and it has been determined that the customer has a policy rule associated with that type of traffic, the video stream can be steered or redirected to a VAS solution to enable video optimization to make the content more bandwidth efficient with minimal degradation and no loss in video quality.
BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager delivers advanced high performance security capabilities to help protect the CSP network and the subscribers connected to it. BIG-IP AFM delivers exceptional performance and functionality to protect against DDoS and other types of security threats. It delivers security through a full-proxy architecture to decode and validate the most commonly seen protocols such as HTTP and DNS.
Within the Control Plane, F5 delivers the Traffix Signaling Delivery Controller which is an advanced Diameter solution. Traffix SDC provides scalability for the Diameter infrastructure which is critical for subscribers to connect to and access resources on next generation networks. The Traffix SDC supports over 50 Diameter interface types and can translate between different signaling message types, including LDAP, RADIUS, and MAP.
BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager supports an enhanced DNS infrastructure. As you have seen, I have been dedicating some posts to CSP DNS infrastructure and how GTM can be an essential component within it. Essentially, BIG-IP GTM allows one to provide an advanced high performance DNS infrastructure with high availability that is protected against many threats.
In the Application Plane, BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager assists with the reliable delivery of applications to the subscribers. BIG-IP LTM is an Application Delivery Controller (ADC) which provides the fault tolerance, high availability through efficient scaling and utilization of resources, and simplified management of the application infrastructure.
Putting all of these solutions together provides a full featured architecture to deliver a dynamic, scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant infrastructure. By delivering all the components of this solution within the F5 technology family, CSPs are able to leverage a unified platform to enable and manage the evolving mobile needs. This is especially important due to the increasing dependency that customers have on the mobile CSP networks for application and data services over the network.
I hope that this post has helped explain what F5 is doing for the mobile CSPs and if you were not able to make it out to Mobile World Congress this year, you have been able to hear a bit of what we are telling everyone in Barcelona.