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Solving Edge Workload Orchestration and Management Challenges with Nephio

By August 9, 2023August 10th, 2023No Comments

It’s been a little over a year since Nephio was first announced and the progress the community has made since that time has been inspiring. In my role on the Nephio TSC, I’ve had the chance to collaborate across the industry and build a community around this promising new approach to intent-based network orchestration.

Nephio is declarative and intent driven (an intent driven system monitors the current state and continuously reconciles it with the intended state) and presents a new approach to the industry for orchestration and management of network services, edge computing applications, and the underlying infrastructure. What’s most exciting to me is using Nehio to overcome the following challenges for edge workload orchestration and management. 

  • Scale: Edge deployments today are growing exponentially in size with tens of thousands of edge sites, tens of infra providers, with hundreds of workloads.
  • Infrastructure Dependency: Workloads have specific requirements which means that infra needs to be orchestrated first to meet the requirements of the workloads. 
  • Heterogeneity: Deployments today include a wide variety of edge clusters, storage, compute, K8s flavors,  HW, SW, Storage, services and application.  

Nephio takes on these challenges by using Kubernetes as a general purpose control plane. It constantly reconciles the current state with the intended state which is required for scaling large and complex networks. It is suitable for both infrastructure and workloads for on-demand infrastructure and clouds. And because it’s heterogeneous, it can handle both public and private clouds, multi-vendor environments, and third-party network functions and cloud native applications.

I’m also excited that Nephio uses the O2 interface (as defined in O-RAN architecture) as one of its stated use cases. In the recent LF Networking Developer & Testing Forum, I presented a session covering how O2 IMS (Infrastructure Management Service) can be achieved on Nephio architecture and how Nephio is influencing the evolution of radio networks with an O-RAN-O2 IMS K8s profile. With its simplicity and cloud native Kubernetes approach, I believe Nephio is a perfect fit for the management and orchestration of cloud native RAN workloads and I’m looking forward to further collaboration in this area. 

Lastly, I’m very proud of the way the community came together to achieve consensus on the scope, produce the release artifacts and documentation with many new features and capabilities, and deliver R1 for the industry.

If you’ve been on the sidelines with Nephio, I encourage you to get involved in the community by learning more on the Nephio wiki. Feel free to contact me as well about any questions or ideas for Nephio you may have and I’d be happy to reserve some time to discuss them.

Those in Bangalore, India are invited to a Nephio R1 Overview meetup, Thursday, Sept 28, 3:00 – 5:00 PM at the Hotel Davanam, Sarovar Portico Suites. Learn more and register here.