How Nokia is enabling 5G using an amazing tool Kubernetes

Published by Anubhav Singh on

Do You know, When people are picking up their phones and making a call on Nokia networks, they are creating containers in the background with Kubernetes. Yes, Kubernetes is an insane technology that is accepting worldwide now. In this post, we are going to know all about that.

Nokia is the first name pop up when the market is accepting the mobile phone as a tool in the early 2000s. But by 2014, the company had sold off its mobile division and be more focused on networks. On building the network Nokia is adopted a tool named Kubernetes which is surprisingly solving its problem and making the task a lot easier.

Don’t worry if you are not aware of this tool and how Nokia is getting benefit from it. We are going to discuss this all. Let’s first know about this amazing tool.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services, that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation.

In simpler terms, Kubernetes, or k8s, is an open-source platform that automates Linux container operations. It eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications. In other words, you can cluster together groups of hosts running Linux containers, and Kubernetes helps you easily and efficiently manage those clusters.

How Kubernetes work?

Kubernetes cluster

In old days, organizations worked on physical servers. All the applications ran directly on a single operating system and later we develop hypervisor technology. Now in the hypervisor, we launch different VMs and ran the application over there. Although virtualization provides isolation but handling the VMs is again not much easy and fast.

In this agile world, we need something fast and simpler that automatically handles the fault. To solve these use cases, containerization technology is introduced. Containers are similar to VMs, but they have relaxed isolation properties to share the Operating System (OS) among the applications. Therefore, containers are considered lightweight. 

Benefits of Container

There are the following reasons why the container is becoming popular:

  • Agile application creation and deployment: Increased ease and efficiency of container image creation compared to VM image use.
  • Continuous development, integration, and deployment: Provides for reliable and frequent container image build and deployment with quick and easy rollbacks (due to image immutability).
  • Environmental consistency across development, testing, and production: Runs the same on a laptop as it does in the cloud.
  • Cloud and OS distribution portability: Runs on Ubuntu, RHEL, CoreOS, on-premises, on major public clouds, and anywhere else.
  • Application-centric management: Raises the level of abstraction from running an OS on virtual hardware to running an application on an OS using logical resources.
  • Resource utilization: High efficiency and density.

What Kubernetes provides?

  • Service discovery and load balancing: Kubernetes can launch a container using their DNS name or their own IP address. If traffic is high, it can deploy more containers automatically and manage the traffic.
  • Storage orchestration: Kubernetes allows you to automatically mount a storage system of your choice, such as local storage, public cloud providers, and more.
  • Automated rollouts and rollbacks: You can automate Kubernetes to launch a new container or remove the existing container and gives all its resources to the other ones.
  • Self Heal: Kubernetes can restart failed containers, replace the container automatically and the user never gets to know about that.
  • Highly Secured: Kubernetes lets you store and manage sensitive information such as passwords, ssh keys, etc.

To know more about Kubernetes and containers, click here.

Now, you have all the required information about the Kubernetes and we can talk about Nokia’s case study.

The Challenge Nokia was facing

Nokia

Today, Nokia is building telecom networks end-to-end—from antennas to switching and routing equipment—serving operators in more than 120 countries. As a telecom vendor, Nokia has to deliver its software to several telecom operators and put the software into its infrastructure. Each of the operators has a bit of different infrastructure. There are some users running products on bare metal, some running on VMs, or some running on the cloud. 

Solution

The company decided to choose cloud-native technology that will provide infrastructure independent product. The first Kubernetes-based product, the Nokia Telephony Application Server, went live in early 2018. Now they are working on almost all the products and moving toward Kubernetes.

Impact

Kubernetes has helped Nokia to convert its foray into 5G. According to GERGELY CSATARI, SENIOR OPEN SOURCE ENGINEER, NOKIA, “When you develop something that is part of the operator’s infrastructure, you have to develop it for the future, and Kubernetes and containers are the forward-looking technologies “. 

Perhaps the biggest impact that Kubernetes is having on Nokia, Csatari believes, is that people are starting to think about how a telecom company can do DevOps. “We are building a DevOps pipeline, which reaches from the actual developer to the customers, and thinking about new ways how can we digitally deliver our software to our customers and get feedback from the customers right to the engineers,” he says. “This is something that will fundamentally change how telecom companies are delivering software, and how quickly can we develop new features. This is because of the usage of containers and, of course, the usage of Kubernetes.”

Read the full case study here…

Thanks for reading.

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