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Cloud native applications framework for 5G

To be able to reap the rewards of new use cases and offer services that generate revenue growth, while at the same time managing increased mobile traffic and network complexity, telecom operators have an opportunity to move from a more traditional software release cycle of every three to six months to much more frequent releases

Interface design with woman (ID 89764)

When it comes to 5G, the new 3GPP standardized 5G Core functions will be cloud native and container based, that will substantially speed up software upgrades and releases. This starts during 2019

The transformation of virtual network functions is driving into cloud-native applications, with the goal to provide a seamless and secure deployment, monitoring and operations experience by applying a very high degree of automation.

The four pillars of cloud native

 

Cloud native application framework

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is an open-source software foundation whose stated purpose is to make cloud-native computing ‘universal and sustainable.’ It fosters collaboration between the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors, serving as the vendor-neutral home.

CNCF technology has played an important role in our efforts to develop and refine our approach to our cloud native application design.

Our framework establishes a set of principles for telecom applications based on microservices, containers and state-optimized design. It provides a set of best practices, design rules and guidelines on how to build Cloud Native Applications based on microservice architecture, as well as guidance on how to deploy, monitor and operate them based on DevOps principles.

 

Designing cloud native applications

To achieve full portability across various infrastructures, Cloud Native Applications rely on Kubernetes as the choice of container orchestration platform and can be deployed on any certified Kubernetes distribution with a minimum version adhering to the company’s security and stability requirements.

Some key requirements for Cloud native applications:

  • Observability to help collect, store and visualize logs, metrics, traces and other data points, is a prerequisite for seamless monitoring and operations
  • Security is vital to deal with storage and provisioning, as well as the handling of identities, certificates and keys.
  • To break down and implement business logic using stateless microservices, Cloud Native Applications typically need to rely on stateful backing services to store their data. A multitude of open-source projects aims to address these needs, including various database technologies.

While the goal of large-scale software reuse and utilization of open-source projects existed well before the emergence of the cloud-native paradigm, it is much more likely to be achieved now. This is because container technology isolates the different services from each other to a very high degree. Our framework provides tools, interfaces and design rules that enable microservices to benefit from a fully automated Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Deployment (CI/CD&D)

 

Architecture first

Making the right selection between the various CNCF (Cloud native Computing Foundation) and other open-source projects that are available requires a clear view of the context and the kind of use cases a selected service must support. Following this approach, it is possible to disconnect the definition of which use cases are to be provided for, within a particular area (and what additional principles would apply) from a particular realization. The benefit of this is that the architecture itself is not compromised or influenced by the need to support particular use cases (or not).

it is important to keep in mind that even though a specific open-source project may be considered best-of-breed, it might not fit well into the full end-to-end value that the larger architecture intends to provide.

 

Cloud native organization

Speed is the driving force in the cloud-native paradigm, which means that the goal is to streamline the work process as much as possible.

Moving from a more traditional software release cycle of every three to six months to much more frequent releases requires both a higher level of automation of the process and a reduction in the number of activities/tasks needed as part of a release. In short, anything that can be automated must be automated, and a few tasks, such as trade compliance, that cannot be automated must be simplified.

Read full Ericsson technology review article

 

Ericsson Cloud native

At Ericsson, we have created a set of principles especially made for telecom applications based on microservices, containers and state optimized design.

We will also evolve the NFVI for containers and add orchestration capabilities.

Read more about how DevOps can change the agility of the network, to reduce deployment time for services from months to hours?

Download paper

Read more about Ericsson Cloud native applications

Read the previous blog post How to orchestrate your journey to Cloud Native

Listen to what Anders Rosengren, Head of Architechture & Technology for Digital services has to say about how to orchestrate the journey to Cloud native. Listen to podcast

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