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Nephio Community Gains Momentum with Release 1 to Simplify Cloud Native Network Automation

By August 9, 2023No Comments
  • Linux Foundation telco automation project triples participant base as telecom, network equipment, and cloud service providers embrace cloud native automated networks to revolutionize deployments.
  • Nephio’s Release 1 delivers cloud native intent-based automation using Kubernetes with Gitops to boost telecom network deployment and efficiency
  • R1 provides a solid basis of interoperability with LF Networking, CNCF, Project Sylva and CAMARA, further enabling rapid deployment.  

Project Nephio, an open source initiative of partners across the telecommunications industry working towards true cloud-native automation under the Linux Foundation, today announced the availability of its Release 1 (R1). Nephio R1 brings revolutionary advancements in deployment, life cycle management and scaling of telecom cloud infrastructure and network functions by using Kubernetes cloud native technologies and intent- based automation.

Nephio delivers carrier-grade, simple, open, Kubernetes-based cloud native intent automation and common automation templates that materially simplify the deployment and management of multi-vendor cloud infrastructure and network functions across large-scale edge deployments. It brings zero-touch provisioning of cloud infrastructure and network functions, which can offer increased network availability and resiliency while reducing maintenance downtime.

Since its launch in April 2022 in partnership with Google Cloud, cloud, telecom and network function providers have embraced Nephio by expanding the seed code provided by Google Cloud to deliver R1. The community is further committed to enhance Nephio with additional use cases in future releases.

“We are thrilled to see the high-demand release of Nephio R1,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “By simplifying the complexity of orchestrating interconnected workloads across large-scale edge deployments, R1 represents significant progress managing  large systems within the cloud-native ecosystem.”

“The telecommunications industry is in much need for open, standard, efficient cloud-native automation solutions to keep up with connectivity demands,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director, Product Management, Google Cloud. “The release of Nephio R1 simplifies cloud based deployments and network management, while also demonstrating the importance of telecom and technology companies working together to develop open cloud native automation solutions that are scalable, reliable, and secure.”

“Nephio is a game-changer for the telecom industry. It can help telecoms to automate their entire network efficiently and reliably, while achieving true zero-touch provisioning. The speed in which the community has embraced Kubernetes principles and further evolved Google Cloud’s seed code to deliver Nephio R1 is truly phenomenal. It’s clear that there is a great need for intent based automation to simplify the telecom deployments, and Nephio is well-positioned to meet that demand.” said Kandan Kathirvel, Technical Steering Committee chair, Nephio.

Nephio R1 introduces features to empower telecoms to efficiently configure and manage cloud infrastructure and network functions using Kubernetes-based intent automation.

Release 1 highlights:

  1. A framework to orchestrate cloud native network functions (CNF), infrastructure, and cross-domain lifecycle management
  2. Core Nephio principles and Kubernetes integration with custom resource definitions (CRDs).
  3. Enhanced user experience and sandbox environment.

New feature details:

  • Common configuration templates to provision and life-cycle management of cloud infrastructure, Kubernetes clusters, 5G network functions and network configurations
  • Gitops- based package management and scaled deployment using Kubernetes Resource Model (KRM) and Configuration as data (CaD)
  • Uniform Kubernetes CRD and operator-based deployment of multi-cloud infrastructure and multi-vendor network functions
  • Kubernetes- based Nephio control-plane which supports single pane of management of large scale deployments
  • Common set of user interface and APIs for integration with service orchestration layers
  • Multiple personas- based management and approval of configurations, and much more

More information on the R1 release can be found in the documentation.

Member Support

A5G Networks, Inc.

“A5G Networks enables autonomous networks with its industry-leading 4G,5G, and WiFi converged packet core software. We believe distributed networks with flexible and simplified operations are the future. With Nephio’s pragmatic and flexible approach to orchestrating different workloads, we are enabling next-generation networks. Packet core is becoming increasingly important not only in the CSP networks but also for enterprises. Nephio R1 release enables us with many of the packet core function automation for private networks and distributed and edge-centric network,” said Kaitki Agarwal, founder, president and CTO at A5G Networks, Inc.

Aarna Networks

“Nephio is disrupting the industry with a dramatically simplified framework and R1 represents a significant milestone in this journey. By automating cloud infrastructure, network functions, and potentially edge applications together, Nephio is transforming network service delivery. Aarna Networks is now applying Nephio to our core products while offering commercial support for R1 for the ecosystem to take advantage of the Nephio opportunity,” said Amar Kapadia, CEO & co-founder at Aarna Networks.

AccuKnox

“At AccuKnox, we have believed in the power of orchestrated workloads and understood the security implications of shared infrastructure. AccuKnox has been working hard to achieve intent-based security using an open-source k8s native solution. With the release of Nephio R1, the ability to define blueprints has made this goal attainable,” said Rahul Jadhav, co-founder & Engg head at AccuKnox.

ACL Digital

“Kubernetes holds significant importance in the current landscape of evolving cloud-native software solutions, particularly in complex use cases. Establishing an automation platform that incorporates intent-driven support for 5G networks represents a crucial milestone. ACL Digital is dedicated to collaborating with Nephio in pursuit of this objective, actively supporting the upcoming Nephio R1 to explore and leverage its forthcoming frameworks,” said Suresh Galam, director, R&D engineering and technologies at ACL Digital.

Arm

“Cloud-native software has the potential to transform 5G network infrastructure by simplifying automation and enabling multi-vendor integration of network services. Arm is supportive of open-source community-driven projects like Nephio, which is leveraging Kubernetes and other cloud-native principles to run efficiently across a diverse ecosystem of hardware platforms,” said Eddie Ramirez, VP of go-to-market, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm.

Capgemini

“Intelligent and data driven network automation at scale is an essential ingredient for autonomous networks. Projects like Nephio not only provide standardized reference implementation but also deliver a model for developing innovative applications for customized network/workload management and observability of telecommunication networks,” said Shamik Mishra, VP and CTO connectivity, Capgemini Engineering.

Casa Systems

“At Casa Systems, we are driven by a vision of the future that emphasizes innovation, flexibility, and adaptability. With its carrier-grade, open, and Kubernetes-based cloud native intent automation, Nephio R1 is poised to revolutionize the way we deploy and manage multi-vendor cloud infrastructure and network functions across large-scale edge deployments simplifying complex processes through common automation templates. This means our customers can expect streamlined operations and increased efficiency, saving valuable time and resources,” said Gibson Ang, vice president of Technology at Casa Systems.

Deutsche Telekom

“Nephio is leveraging best-practice cloud mechanisms to facilitate the flexible automation of telco network solutions at scale. Release 1 Nephio already demonstrates how intent based automation can simplify the deployment of distributed cloud native network functions. We believe that the concerted industry effort to simplify and harmonize automation concepts is pivotal to establish a comprehensive lifecycle management for telco network solutions,” said Jochen Appel, VP Network Automation at Deutsche Telekom.

Ericsson

“Intent driven automation is critical to simplify and harmonize 5G network management. Nephio R1 is a significant step on this journey, leveraging the power and flexibility of Kubernetes. Ericsson is looking forward to continue our participation, helping to align open standards such as O-RAN with robust open source software and innovation,” said John Landy, head of Network Management Systems, Technology & Architecture at Ericsson.

F5, Inc.

“At F5, we consistently hear requests from telecom customers for enhanced automation to simplify operations and infrastructure management wherever possible. Scalable agility relies on consistent operations, especially when shifting to distributed cloud infrastructure for 5G core and edge networks. We’re delighted to support Nephio R1 Kubernetes-based cloud-native automation to expedite onboarding of critical network functions and provide additional security resilience for global networks,” said Ahmed Guetari, VP of Products for Service Providers at F5, Inc.

Kubermatic

“Nephio R1 release, will help to automate the deployment and management of multi-vendor cloud infrastructure and network functions across large scale edge deployments. With Nephio, Kubermatic is heading the way towards a more efficient, cost-effective, and streamlined approach to cloud native operations, unleashing the true potential of Kubernetes and enabling organizations to embrace the future of edge computing with confidence,” said Sebastian Scheele, CEO at Kubermatic.

MATRIXX Software

“To realize the full benefits of cloud native innovations, service providers require tools to efficiently configure, manage, and scale lifecycle functions for both network elements and cloud environments. Nephio’s community focus on creating and building a framework to standardize automation for both Cloud Native Network Functions and network infrastructure will make it possible for Telcos to harness the power of new 5G networks to successfully deliver next-generation products and services. MATRIXX Software is proud to have played a role in realizing Nephio’s Release 1 milestone, and we look forward to continued collaboration with the broader community to unlock monetization opportunities that are foundational to its success,” said Marc Price, CTO at MATRIXX Software.

Nokia

“For the past several years, Nokia has been pursuing the next frontier of operational simplicity through the use of automation. We are excited about Nephio R1 because we finally see standardization of an automation platform that covers multi-dimensional resource management for cloud native applications, whether compute, storage or networking. Using the Kubernetes architecture allows both the standardized platform and the necessary flexibility to introduce custom resource management, which we believe will accelerate automation of telco application deployment,” said Vach Kompella, VP & GM, IP Networks Division at Nokia.

Orange

“Network automation is a key component of Orange’s Lead The Future strategic plan, which highlights its commitment to autonomous networks that includes both automation and intelligence. Orange actively participated in the Nephio project to drive the adoption of intent-based automation, Cloud Native Telco and the GitOps ops model, leveraging projects such as Pikeo 5G and free5GC. In addition, it reflects our commitment to open source projects such as the cloud native telco project Sylva and the telco APIs project CAMARA,” said Philippe Ensarguet, VP Software Engineering at Orange Innovation.

Red Hat

“Red Hat is very pleased with the rapid progress of the Nephio project in exploring highly scalable approaches to streamlining day to day network operations. Infrastructure orchestration and automation, especially for network functions, is a top-of-mind challenge for our customers, and we’re excited to work alongside them and our partners,” said Chris Wright, chief technology officer and senior vice president, Global Engineering at Red Hat.

Samsung

“As a strong advocate for open source initiatives and innovation in the telecommunications industry, we at Samsung are excited to contribute to the first release of Nephio. We firmly believe that Nephio will provide the most efficient and simplified way of automation to onboard networking applications at scale. Joining at the early stage of the project, we’ve used our experience and expertise from other telco and open-source projects. Our team has made significant contributions to code quality and security checking automation, as well as developing an end-to-end testing framework. This will allow valuable insight into the development process, resulting in stable code and an efficient and friendly environment for Nephio contributors.” said Soohong (Daniel) Park, Head of Samsung Open Source Group in Samsung Research at Samsung Electronics.

TELUS

“TELUS is leading the way in open-source innovation through our contributions to Project Nephio and the Linux Foundation. As we continue our journey of continuous improvement, embracing cloud native technologies, we are dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of our customers. The success of Project Nephio R1, featuring full-stack, intent-based, Kubernetes-supported automation, opens doors to opportunities for greater openness and standardization. Leveraging our position as a global technology and telecommunications operator, TELUS is ideally positioned to spearhead the transition towards cloud-native solutions across diverse industries through shifting mindsets, skillsets and adaptive commercialization of modern technologies,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, chief technology officer at TELUS.

TIM

“We believe that Nephio’s open-source, Kubernetes-based orchestration capabilities and its declarative and intent-based approach, will set new standards and common patterns for telcos to manage and automate their resources, offering unprecedented agility, cost-efficiency, and reliability, enabling new scenarios and opportunities,” said Giovanni Picciano, head of Network Engineering & Innovation at TIM.

Vodafone

“Vodafone is pleased to be an active contributor to the Nephio community. Nephio has potential for accelerating the cloudification and automation of Telco Network Functions, leveraging Kubernetes-based Cloud-native automation. The publication of Release 1 is a key milestone in meeting this goal, and we look forward to continued progress and future releases,” said Iain Wilkinson, Head of Network Cloud & Automation, Distinguished Engineer at Vodafone

Wind River

“As an active contributor and TSC member of Nephio, we at Wind River are excited to see the community produce its R1 release. Nephio provides an open, intent driven Cloud native domain orchestration platform that can enhance the automation capabilities around the 5G, O-RAN, Telco domains. As an Open Source leader with extensive cloud native expertise, Wind River looks forward to continued collaboration with the community,” said Gil Hellmann, vice president, Engineering Solutions at Wind River.