Shared Data Layer

Shared Data Layer optimizes telco cloud applications and architecture to achieve maximum benefit from the cloud

A revolutionary step to simplify core networks is to optimize VNF machines for the cloud by moving all subscriber and session data into a highly reliable, scalable and readily-available data store called the Shared Data Layer. Using this shared data, so-called stateless VNFs enable more rapid innovation of services and faster revenue growth through better insight into subscriber behavior. This insight in turn helps operators to develop innovative and customized services, generating more revenue.

Shared data layer infographic

The new architecture separates the data storage from the service logic to introduce a fully virtualized, distributed, geographically redundant and strongly secured Shared Data Layer. This will store and make available all the data required by the VNFs, including subscription data, policy data, charging data and session data, which includes VNF state information. The data held by the Shared Data Layer will be accessible by the network’s family of VNFs via industry standard protocols. Consolidating all the data into one layer also makes it easily available through standard northbound interfaces to data analytics and third party applications

Shared Data Layer simplifies cloud operations, allowing simpler upgrades, scaling and failovers, as well as the integration of new applications. For example, should one VNF fail or suffer a problem, another VNF can be activated and immediately access the same data held in the Shared Data Layer to maintain a seamless service.

  • Helps operators to realize the full business potential of their core network data
  • Prepares operator networks to meet the demands of the programmable world, IoT and 5G
  • Unifies data exposure, supports open APIs to enable new services and provides new cloud revenues from data analytics
  • Stateless VNFs are less complex and easier to manage than conventional VNFs, so cloud operations will be much simpler 
  • Geographically redundant common data repository avoids data duplication
  • Avoids the need to transfer subscribers and sessions between network elements
  • During a network outage, the resultant signaling is reduced by up to 90%

Based on its market leadership in Subscriber Data Management (SDM), Nokia has used the same principles to develop Shared Data Layer.


Shared Data Layer helps operators think ahead by separating data from VNF applications into a common database. Dataless VNF applications (e.g. MME, TAS) enable 5G and IoT scale ready cores to be deployed on the cloud.