5G communication technologies are becoming an important engine for promoting the digital transformation of the industry. With the wider application of 5G network construction, new products, new business models of 5G services are emerging continuously. In order to meet a variety of industry needs in an economical way, the chemistry between edge computing and 5G can offer even greater capacity and performance than the individual technologies. ZTE NodeEngine，a 5G base-station-built-in edge computing solution is such a innovation. Firstly, it simplifies the deployment of edge computing platform as much as possible in a plug-and-play fashion within 5G base station, to enable a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises benefit from 5G in a cost-effective way. At the same time, the solution can support industry service requirements with quality of service guarantee. In addition, it has built-in computing power to flexibly match the scalable business requirements, and lay the foundation for the emerging 5G industry applications and IT/CT/OT multi-field technology integration.
Through further understanding of user requirements and continuous research on industry development, we find that with the deepening of digital transformation in the 5G industry, customers’ demand for network cloud industry integration is becoming stronger and stronger. Therefore, combined with the deployment experience of local traffic offloading as the core, ZTE proposed an innovative concept of “1+N+∞”, in which “1” represents a single board to build a plug-and-play edge computing platform; “N” means that NodeEngine can provide a number of services, covering various fields such as low latency streaming, high-precision positioning, SLA guarantee and enterprise self-service O&M portal, to realize all-round improvement of various service capabilities; “∞” means that the network capability can be expanded through capability offering to other systems for further integration, such as PLC virtualization. So that NodeEngine can served as a new information infrastructure that integrates network connection, computing power and capability offering.
Thanks to “1 + N + ∞”, NodeEngine realizes the simplification of edge computing deployment, intelligent service provision and QoS guarantee and offering capabilities beyond network functions, then the demands of customers can been fully met.
Edge computing deployment simplification can be summarized as “five ones”, that is, by adding one single board on the BBU, to realize the connection with the existing hardware through one optical fiber, then with one pair of IP addresses, and one hop direct access can be built within one hour.
NodeEngine can support various intelligent services. For example, it can provide 80ms end-to-end video services, which reduces the latency by 80% and ensure up to 40% packet loss does not cause lagging, meeting the requirements of remote control applications. Working with UWB/Bluetooth and other technologies, it can provide indoor positioning with sub-meter precision. It also works as an L3 LAN switch to interconnect enterprise network equipment.
Furthermore, NodeEngine can support latency sensitive services with QoS of 10 [email protected]%. Service QoS guarantee is mainly implemented through intelligent identification of services, intelligent scheduling of radio resources, and intelligent orchestration among multi-users. The intelligent identification function, based on deep learning, determines the service types and analyze their SLA requirements Then, according to the service identification result, the system intelligently selects the best scheduling policy, and performs closed-loop scheduling optimization based on KPI measurements per QoS flow. For services that might not meet the guarantee target, the intelligent orchestration function can also be introduced to implement QoS flow level optimization through asynchronous peaking of multi-users. For example, in video streaming the I-frame collusion can be mitigated through such a mechanism.
In addition, NodeEngine supports three capability offering modes: computing power, service and network capability. Computing power offering means that third-party industrial APPs can be deployed in NodeEngine, to realize the close integration of cloud, network and application. Service and network capability can also be leveraged by third-party applications through proprietary APIs. For example, traffic distribution and bandwidth management can be tailored by third-party APPs, may or may not with SLA customization.
The launch of NodeEngine has received wide recognition from operators and industry customers especially for SME. NodeEngine has been applied in more than 10 industries with over 130 projects, covering various fields such as Smart Mine, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Entertainment, Smart Neighbourhood and Smart MediCare. It has helped customers materialize diversified edge computing application quickly and easily, under various scenarios and achieved good performance. It is believed that the wide application of NodeEngine solution will further accelerate the digital transformation of the industries.