Overload your 5G network by moving DNS to the edge


The number of 5G subscribers is expected to exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, with 3.5 billion subscribers expected in 2026, according to The recent Ericsson mobility report. This means that it is set to become the fastest mobile platform ever adopted, gaining around one million new subscribers every day.

To support this, to date, around the world, more than 160 communication service providers have launched 5G services, with more than 300 5G smartphone models available or announced. As a result, the number of subscribers with a 5G-enabled device increased by 70 million in the first quarter of this year alone, according to the same report, and, by the end of 2026, 5G coverage is expected to reach. about 60%. of the world’s population.

This is a mind boggling figure for such a new technology and it means that those who have access to it will be able to take full advantage of the benefits that 5G can offer ?? whether it’s with IoT devices, telemedicine, autonomous vehicles, and VR / AR for consumers, or things like more efficient remote working, AI, and true automation for businesses.

The benefits are obvious and 5G has the potential to impact all aspects of our lives; However, the deployment of 5G presents enormous challenges for network operators. This is because it is not as simple as updating the Radio Access Network (RAN) from previous iterations of cellular technology, like LTE; it forces operators to develop a completely new vision and architecture for their mobile networks, and at the heart of this is DNS.

As we discuss in our white paper, is that because legacy DNS architectures are simply not able to meet the demands of a 5G network ?? especially those related to latency, security, edge computing and IoT. 5G requirements, such as orchestration and network slicing, also create new requirements for software and DNS architecture. While people understand the role of DNS, its importance in providing efficient 5G service cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to latency.

In the past, the latency was less noticeable because the RAN’s guaranteed latency was often much higher. In other words, if the RAN provided a guaranteed 50 millisecond latency, then relatively high DNS latency could “hide?” In the overall latency of the existing network. However, things are different with 5G as the typical latency drops from 50 milliseconds in 4G to between one and four milliseconds.

When we talk about 5G, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is speed. Therefore, if a DNS lookup is slow to return, the network will appear slow to end users and the benefits of 5G will be lost to them. In addition to being frustrating for end users, more and more vital and business services based on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications are also coming online and requiring time-critical connectivity, where DNS to low latency will also play. an important role.

Where is Edge Computing? ?? that is, data processing at the edge ?? of a network, bringing it closer to where it is needed ?? will play a huge role in 5G networks and tackle overall latency including DNS.

Data-intensive services such as video streaming, along with the growing number of applications, especially in verticals such as retail, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and healthcare, are moving greater part of their functionality to cloud computing. This has many advantages; However, many applications require access to cloud computing resources with extremely low latency.

Even with the 5G latency improvement, if the cloud resources are located in the core of the network, or even off the network, those latency improvements are lost. However, if cloud computing resources and the applications running on them are brought closer to the edge of the network, these latency benefits can be retained.

This means Edge Computing for applications as close as possible to the radio network, even located at the base of the cell tower. Not only does this reduce latency, it also reduces the amount of traffic carried over the main network for the mobile operator.

For this to be possible, it will be necessary to move from current DNS architectures, which tend to use a small number of large regional data centers, to a more distributed model consisting of a much higher number of smaller DNS servers. This poses the challenge of how thousands or even tens of thousands of software instances can be deployed and managed effectively.

Therefore, network operators should consider cloud native solutions to underpin their 5G network infrastructure. Cloud-native DNS provides the ability to orchestrate and manage the lifecycle of a containerized infrastructure and allows services such as DNS to be deployed at scale and distributed to the edge of the network, while simplifying deployment and lifecycle management for operations teams.

The benefits of 5G for the end user are clear, but getting the most from it requires better performance and lower latency. As a result, network operators must rethink their approach to their architecture, especially with regard to DNS. To learn more about considerations on how DNS can support your 5G goals, download our “DNS in a 5G network: new requirements and requests “white paper.

?? Neil Cook, Product Manager, OX PowerDNS, Open-Xchange

This content is sponsored by Open-Xchange.

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