Open source community connects global 5G Cloud Native network

  • Collaborative effort between LF Networking and global networking ecosystem shows open source approach to building cloud native 5G on top of Kubernetes
  • First Proof-of-Concept of live, end-to-end, open source 5G network displayed on keynote stage at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America

SAN DIEGO, Calif.KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North AmericaNovember 20, 2019 – LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects, today demonstrated an end-to-end, global, 5G, cloud native network live on-stage at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America. As a thought leader in generating technology from multiple sources based on telecom 5G requirements, LFN’s OPNFV community shepherded the cutting-edge Proof-of-Concept (PoC), which illustrates how to build, connect, and manage a global 5G network – including on-prem, cloud, and edge operations – on open architecture running network services using Kubernetes.

As global communications providers gear up to deliver high-speed connectivity to support new services and use cases (e.g. autonomous vehicles, smart cities, specialized applications, IoT, AR/VR, and more), the need for low-latency, high-bandwidth, scalable networks is more important than ever. Conventional communications and connectivity hardware will not sustain next-generation mobile technology, so the need for cloud native architectures is essential for delivering the performance, capabilities, and automation that 5G requires.

The LF Networking community, comprised of major projects such as ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight,, Tungsten Fabric and more — account for more than 70 percent of the world’s mobile subscribers through participating carriers. It serves as the de facto open source umbrella for helping telcos evolve.

Cloudifying the Network

It’s no secret that Kubernetes has gained significant traction in the cloud and enterprise software ecosystem, but less widely known is how this momentum is now moving into global telco networks as the next major area of adoption. Benefits of cloud native adoption for telcos include operational consistency, application resilience, simplified and responsive scaling at the microservice level, simplified integration with enterprise-facing cloud native applications, and improved portability between public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. A team made up of volunteers from several project communities, companies, and network operators have taken a cloud native approach to developing an end-to-end 5G network Proof-of-Concept (POC) built on open source infrastructure.

The POC uses a prototype network to connect a live call over Points-of-Presence (PoPs) in San Diego, Montreal, Sophia Antipolis, and a hybrid public/private cloud to deliver a fully containerized 5G network live on stage. The demonstration illustrates both how the telecom industry is using cloud native software to build out their next gen networks, and also shows solution providers and developers what’s possible in this exciting new space.

“I am incredibly impressed by the collaborative effort to build a 5G network from the ground up in the open source community with a cloud native approach. It’s fully end-to-end, adheres to 5G specifications, and bridges the gap between the telecom industry and cloud native computing,” said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community and Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation.

Power of Open source

The initiative was born in LF Networking’s Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV) project, which brings the telco ecosystem together to test, iterate, and collaborate on a common NFV Infrastructure (NFVI). By working closely with standards organizations and integrating components from upstream projects, OPNFV conducts performance and use case-based testing on a variety of solutions. The community works upstream with other open source groups – including CNCF, ONAP, OAI, and more – to bring contributions and insights in the form of blueprints, patches, and new code. The project also supports the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP) that verifies labs, infrastructure, and virtual network functions (VNFs).

It’s through this collaborative work that the end-to-end 5G Cloud Native Network POC came about. With over 100 individuals working on this initiative alone, it truly represents the power of open source: diverse groups coming together to begin integrating cloud native approaches to daunting industry challenges and optimizing 5G.

Also aligned with the efforts of the Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT) – a joint effort hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation operating as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework – the initiative allows for early proofs-of-concept and learnings that will feed into and inform the cloud native work of the CNTT, which is expanding its portfolio of Reference Architectures. Focus areas include Containerization, Kubernetes-based Cloud Native stacks, and Container-based network functions’ validation-based requirements.

LF Networking thanks all the organizations participating in this effort: A10 Networks , Alibaba , Altran , China Mobile , Commscope , Foxconn , Intel , Kaloom , Lenovo , Loodse , NetScout , OpenAirInterface , Red Hat , and Turnium .

Learn More and Get Involved

More information is accessible via the POC archive here **** where demo materials will be made available, as well as through the Virtual Central Office (VCO) mailing l ist: .

Community Support

“CNCF has collaborated closely with LF Networking and OPNFV for the last several years to help bring cloud native architectures to the telecom world. We’re excited to see this 5G on Kubernetes demonstration on the keynote stage of the largest ever open source developer conference.” said Dan Kohn, CNCF executive director. “We look forward to collaborating to deploy cloud native architectures into production.”

“The transition to 5G represents a generational shift of communications infrastructure where open platforms, open source, and cloud native technologies will accelerate customers’ network transformations. Today’s POC showcases the power of open source and cloud native 5G services built on Intel Xeon processor-based infrastructure,” said Rajesh Gadiyar, vice president and chief technology officer of Network & Custom Logic Group at Intel and member of the Linux Foundation Networking Board.

“The Linux Foundation initiative for VCO 3.0 enabled by Lenovo’s cloud software, provides a unified cloud experience across containers in different geographies, and demonstrates interoperability across ecosystem partners. The end-to-end cloud automation solution, underpinned by Lenovo infrastructure, streamlines the experience from core to central office to edge. This unlocks faster and smoother deployments of edge computing technologies,” said Charles Ferland, VP and general manager for Networking & CoSPs at Lenovo Data Center Group.

“EURECOM and the OAI Software Alliance are proud to partner with LF Networking, Red Hat, and the open source communities on 5G deployments with cutting-edge container technology. The EURECOM 5G-EVE Facility Facility in Sophia Antipolis is a unique experimental community playground with indoor and outdoor 4G/5G connectivity enabled by RedHat’s OpenShift Container Platform running on commodity x86 servers,” said Raymond Knopp, EURECOM, president of the OAI. “Software Alliance.We welcome the industry to come use our test facility for testing novel 5G vertical applications and innovative cloud-native processing for RAN, Core and Edge network functions.”

“Much as in traditional enterprise datacenters, service providers are ramping up their use of cloud native technologies like Kubernetes to build next-generation workloads. Red Hat is pleased to collaborate with partners and the Linux Foundation to showcase a cloud native mobile 5G network built on an open source infrastructure this year at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America,” said Tom Nadeau, technical director, NFV, Red Hat.

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