China Mobile and Ericsson collaborating in automation and CI/CD for network cloud deployment

China Mobile and Ericsson have continuously worked together to develop, validate, test and deploy network and cloud technologies and applications. This includes proactively developing solutions for China Mobile network cloud deployment as well as enhancing existing solutions. The extended cooperation between China Mobile and Ericsson on network cloud is a new milestone in a long partnership that spans nearly 30 years of mobile technology implementation in China. Ericsson has become one of the key partners of China Mobile in the ongoing network deployments.

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Technical manager at China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI)

Head of China Distributed Cloud Program.

Technical manager at China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI)

Contributor (+1)

Head of China Distributed Cloud Program.

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Ericsson provides 5G core network deployed on Ericsson NFVI along with Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration. Ericsson is also providing Cloud VoLTE, Cloud Unified Data Management (UDM) and Policy solution.

China Mobile and Ericsson have been collaborating on the Network Function Virtualization (NFV) deployments since 2019 when China Mobile started with the deployment of its network cloud. China Mobile network cloud is the world’s biggest NFV deployment with tens of thousands of servers located in eight core regions across the country.

Open source software developments have been increasingly relevant for network and cloud deployments worldwide. To leverage the technologies, solutions and experiences from the open source community, China Mobile and Ericsson have been leading various industry efforts to drive for critical alignments. Working closely with the relevant open source communities, China Mobile and Ericsson have been actively leveraging and contributing to the open source solution developments.

With OpenStack being one of the main technologies for the China Mobile network cloud deployment, China Mobile has developed an automation testing platform called AUTO. AUTO has fully leveraged the OpenStack SDK and existing testing tools in order to assess and verify the cloud deployment, with special focus on scalability and performance.

Based on the automation capabilities AUTO and other tools can provide, China Mobile has created a cross vendor CI/CD pipeline to facilitate the multiple and iterative testing activities required for the network cloud deployments with relevant vendors. The pipeline is named as the CI-CT-CD (i.e. Continuous Integration – Continuous Testing – Continuous Delivery) pipeline. Ericsson is the first vendor having completed the integration of its labs with the China Mobile CI-CT-CD pipeline. With the successful integration, any software version update from the Ericsson solutions invokes automatic deployment and system testing in China Mobile’s lab and provides feedback to the Ericsson product and solution owners.

Ericsson has integrated the OpenStack based Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment (CEE) solution deployment procedures with the China Mobile CI framework to enhance the automation. Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment is the world’s leading telco grade OpenStack based solution developed fully with the open source upstream first principle. With the integration of Ericsson Cloud Executution Environment and the China Mobile CI-CT-CD pipeline, China Mobile and Ericsson have continuously deployed and tested the Ericsson solution for more than 60 times within two months, with less than five hours for each deployment and testing cycle. These joint efforts and achievements in CI/CD and automation are enabling China Mobile to deploy its network cloud with amazing efficiency and quality.

For large scale cloud deployments, China Mobile and Ericsson have realized the importance of improving efficiency and quality of all integration activities including hardware. China Mobile has evolved AUTO with capabilities of hardware configuration and testing. AUTO has been used in all deployments across the country and helped to reduce the network cloud construction time by about 30%.

By actively sharing the learnings and best practices from the China Mobile network cloud deployment projects, China Mobile and Ericsson have been contributing to the open source community with insights and live network deployment experiences. With the joint vision to drive alignment and convergence among open source, standardization, and other industry initiatives, China Mobile and Ericsson will continue to drive the automation and CI/CD evolution across the industries to facilitate the network cloud deployments worldwide.  

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