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Cloud-native deployment isn't for every application

In this roundup of networking blogs, analysts evaluate cloud-native deployments, the increasing value of Wi-Fi and the emergence of Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

Cloud-native technology might offer plenty of good, but not every application is a good candidate for the application development environment.

That's part of what Tom Nolle, industry analyst and founder of CIMI Corp., wrote in a detailed examination of the role cloud-native deployment strategies might play in the industry's future.

Cloud-native applications rely on small microservices that enable the applications to, among other things, scale and adapt to changing workloads. Sounds good, and it is -- but several operations are not exactly well suited for cloud-native deployment scenarios, Nolle said. For one, "anything that works on stored data is almost surely not a cloud-native application candidate," he said, citing latency as the primary culprit.

Data plane connectivity, meanwhile, also fails the cloud-native deployment test, primarily because of issues such as packet sequencing and distributed state control.

On the other hand, mobility management lends itself well to a microservices-based architecture, as both processing and the number of packets generated in these transactions are limited. Management processes overall are good cloud-native applications, Nolle said, especially service lifecycle automation.

"Everything doesn't have to be cloud-native, but everything should be considered a candidate," Nolle wrote. "We don't need or want to force-feed cloud-native into the data plane, but we don't want to miss an opportunity to rethink how connection services are handled via hosted functions either."

Find out what else Nolle had to say about the role of cloud-native technologies in the enterprise.

Companies eye customer experience in wireless race

Wi-Fi is the new dial tone, wrote Bob Laliberte, analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in Milford, Mass. The technology is so fundamental that the first thing most people do when accessing their laptop or mobile device away from home or the office is hunt for a Wi-Fi signal.

Consider schools and universities. Students use more wireless devices than ever before as part of their typical day, and they aren't happy with congested or balky networks. Neither are concertgoers, travelers or just about anybody else frustrated with pages that don't load or connections that disappear without warning.

That's why businesses are investing heavily in Wi-Fi, Laliberte said, with ESG research revealing that companies are bolstering their wireless capabilities to improve the customer experience.

"It is important for IT to remember that customers can be internal or external," Laliberte said. "As such, the ease with which your organization's Wi-Fi can be accessed and used effectively will have a major impact" on the customer's experience. "This is true from the smallest coffee shop to the largest sports venue."

Read what Laliberte said businesses must do to ensure their Wi-Fi networks are good enough to serve their customers, and find out how 5G might change the playing field.

Citizens broadband spectrum could offer a cellular alternative

Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS, is a 3.5 GHz shared-spectrum technology that could act as a supplement to Wi-Fi 6 and proposed 5G networks. This fall, the first General Authorized Access (GAA) services based on CBRS are expected to launch. Operators and enterprises, which can apply for their own licenses, will be watching to see if these "private nets" will serve their needs.

GlobalData analyst Kathryn Weldon said CBRS can support business models that are funded and owned by organizations that want to use the technology. It uses both LTE (Long Term Evolution) and Wi-Fi and offers traffic management, security and reliability, she said. What's more, enterprises that obtain a GAA license don't have to be dependent on a mobile operator for access.

CBRS will get an additional boost in 2020, once operators such as Verizon and AT&T obtain the necessary priority access licenses. Weldon expects the carriers to take steps to increase network capacity and improve data speeds. Also waiting in the wings: Google and Amazon, which have their own CBRS-related plans.

Find out more about CBRS and what it might mean for enterprises.

This was last published in August 2019

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