Sean Schneyer assisted in the creation of this post.

Our 5G journey started at the edge and then proceeded to the core. We now arrive at the cloud. The concept of edge to core to cloud is widely discussed (over 500 million hits on Google!), but we’ll focus on a few select areas.

To begin, what drives this level of interest? As Patrick Moorehead noted for Forbes:

“Literally every major infrastructure and cloud vendor wants to be present across the edge to cloud, responding to the customer yearning to run workloads anywhere, from ‘Edge-to-Cloud’ without meaningful changes.”

The goal is universality of infrastructure for easy automation everywhere. But just having the same vendor name on all the gear doesn’t guarantee interoperability. An API-driven infrastructure that lends itself to automation is necessary. And it’s becoming even more important as many carriers are moving to microservice architectures that speed time to value and drive continuous improvement. Container-based rollouts of cloud-native network functions (CNFs) and applications are expanding. Yet, VM-based virtualized network functions (VNFs) will continue to play a prominent role.

For many legacy storage vendors, their cloud APIs aren’t the same as their storage APIs. This presents an operational challenge for providers. And legacy storage isn’t well suited for Kubernetes and containers.

Pure Storage® is tackling these challenges in many ways.

Unified Storage APIs

Pure Cloud Block Store™ is a cloud-based version of Pure FlashArray™ that delivers a consistent user experience in both AWS and Azure. Automation workflows created for on-premises FlashArray systems will work the same in Pure Cloud Block Store. With industry-leading data compression, thin provisioning, and deduplication, Pure Cloud Block Store reduces cloud storage consumption. Snapshots and clones consume no additional cloud storage.

Kubernetes-Powered Solutions

Pure is setting the gold standard for Kubernetes storage solutions. Two recent GigaOm Radar Reports place Pure in a leading position for both cloud-native Kubernetes data storage, as well as enterprise Kubernetes storage (i.e., physical storage arrays).

GigaOm rated Portworx® highest in the category defined as “novel architectures specifically designed to address the needs of cloud-native apps.” Analysts call it “a complete, enterprise-grade solution with outstanding data management capabilities, unmatched deployment possibilities, and superior management features.” For carriers deploying CNFs or containerized applications, Portworx can provide critical infrastructure. It’s doing that for T-Mobile. (Watch the “Enterprise-grade Kubernetes at Scale with T-Mobile and 415 Research,” webinar for more details.)

Pure is also a designated leader for physical storage. Portworx integrates with Pure storage arrays. GigaOm notes that the integration of Portworx “on Pure Storage controller-based architectures significantly enhances data efficiency, since users benefit from the data reduction capabilities offered by the storage arrays.” Additionally, GigaOm analysts point out that Portworx “integrates with Pure Storage Pure1®, which consumes telemetry data from Portworx and delivers best-in-class app-centric analytics and, eventually, recommendations.”

Read the full GigaOm reports.

Cloud-Adjacent Solutions

Many carriers are looking for low-latency ways to leverage hyperscaler cloud resources while maintaining security and control. Pure Storage on Equinix Metal provides the public-cloud adjacency, data aggregation, and IT services that fuel sub-millisecond latency, great flexibility, and fantastic application performance. The Equinix Metal API and tools such as Terraform simplify automation.

To leverage Amazon compute resources, Pure provides AWS Outposts Ready storage with FlashArray for block and FlashBlade® for fast file and object storage. This offers telecom providers high-performance, low-latency storage at scale. Microsoft Azure Stack provides similar integration.

High-Capacity All-Flash Storage

Organizations often use cloud storage as an archive tier or a lower-performance capacity tier. But these resources can have their own challenges, including egress costs and security concerns. Not all data suits the public cloud, but it ends up there due to a lack of options. Large disk farms are no longer feasible, especially in terms of space and power consumption.

Pure FlashArray//C is the right solution for bringing data back into the data center. As the first all-QLC flash array, it offers the perfect mix of cost-effectiveness, high-density, and low power consumption. With FlashArray//C, you can fit 7.3PB of effective storage capacity into just nine rack units. And since it uses the same software as FlashArray//X, data movement across arrays is simple: All automation tools that support FlashArray//X will work with FlashArray//C.

Modern Infrastructure for Today and Tomorrow

While CNFs and containerized applications get more media attention, many carriers will continue to rely on virtual machine-driven VNFs. A Red Hat survey found that even by 2023, 49% of telecom workloads will continue to run in VMs rather than in containers. But CNFs are the inevitable future.

Pure provides the ideal future-proof platform. With deep integrations with platforms like VMware and OpenStack, Pure delivers high-performance, high-density storage for VNFs and a storage platform that’s already optimized for the world of containers.

Pure continues to innovate with new solutions that meet the needs of 5G providers. Clearly defined universal APIs across physical and cloud storage simplify orchestration. Kubernetes-aware storage and software opens up easy containerization. These are some of the reasons why Pure Storage is helping 15 of the top 20 global telecoms¹ deliver on the promise of 5G.

Read The Global 5G Rollout: Exploring the Network Core, Powering 5G Success with Modern Data Storage and The Global 5G Rollout: Exploring the Network Edge for more about telecom and 5G infrastructure services from Pure.

¹Based on Brand Finance rankings.