Nokia Unveils Adaptive Cloud Networking for Service Providers

Nokia has released Nokia Adaptive Cloud Networking, a cloud-native solution that aims to make service provider cloud networks more consumable, agile, and automated. By supercharging a service provider’s data center fabric and seamlessly extending its operations to the edge clouds, the entire solution is designed to adapt to the unanticipated needs of the 5G era.

According to Nokia, 5G networks are pushing the boundaries of existing data center fabrics and edge cloud infrastructures: cloud native designs encourage application agility and dynamicity, and low latency performance necessitates delivery of such applications from edge clouds near to end users. These increasing needs would necessitate fabric changes in data centers.

According to Nokia, a new NetOps era is emerging – one that provides the tools and capabilities that allow service providers to transform their networks to become more efficient and productive and increase both service revenue and ARPU.

Nokia’s comprehensive Adaptive Cloud Networking offering is designed to help service providers overcome these challenges to deliver a consumable, agile and automated network.

Cloud Networks: Consumable, Agile, Automated

A consumable network would provide the openness, extensibility, visibility, and control that are required to access network data and enhance network operations. An agile network reacts to the application layer’s continuously changing size and performance requirements, enabling the applications’ required elastic scalability. Throughout the lifespan of a network, an automated network may supercharge network operations by making numerous built-in automation capabilities available.

Nokia’s Adaptive Cloud Networking solution would provide these values in three key areas of the service provider network – the data center fabric, the rapidly emerging edge cloud, and the seamless inter-connectivity needed across the WAN, connecting applications across the WAN to different parts of the network.

The solution leverages Nokia’s data center fabric elements, including the SR Linux network operating system, the Fabric Services System and the Nokia 7220 and 7250 IXR hardware platforms; the newly introduced Edge Network Controller, designed specifically for the automation of the network in edge clouds; and Nokia’s Network Services Platform (NSP) for programmable automation, connecting data centers and edge clouds across the wide area network (WAN).

Photo Vach Kompella, VP, IP Networks Division, Nokia
“Nokia’s Adaptive Cloud Networking is about automating every phase of the data center fabric and network lifecycle, including design, deployment and operations,” said Vach Kompella, VP, IP Networks Division, Nokia.

“Delivering cloud-native networks and application services effectively in the future will rely on enhanced data center fabrics built from the start for cloud-native operations, from core to edge. Cloud-native networking fabrics need a strong foundation of open, standards-based protocols and data models, broad software modularity, dynamic and complete alignment with service intent, and rich automation at every layer of operation,” said Paul Parker-Johnson, Chief Analyst and Practice Lead for Cloud and Virtual System Infrastructures, ACG Research. “Nokia has heard these requirements from customers clearly and its solution incorporates what is most important for use in service providers’ distributed clouds. Combined with its experience delivering solutions at scale in operator mobile, IP/MPLS/Segment Routing, edge, and SD-WAN deployments, and use of rich automation in each of those domains, Nokia’s Adaptive Cloud Networking presents an innovative, scalable, and agile solution to use as the foundation of operators’ cloud-native services.”

Adaptive Cloud Networking combined with Nokia’s new 5G Edge Slicing solution would open additional opportunities for service providers to create value for enterprises. The following Nokia products comprise the Adaptive Cloud Networking solution:

Data Center Fabrics

  • At the heart of the data center fabric solution is Nokia’s SR Linux network operating system (NOS), which was built from the ground up to provide an open, extensible model-driven architecture, providing uncompromised visibility, resulting in a network that is highly consumable.
  • The Nokia Fabric Services System is a data center fabric management and automation platform that provides next generation data center fabric automation capabilities. Service providers can provide intent-based automation across their entire data center fabric lifecycle from Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2+.
  • The Fabric Services System provides comprehensive integration into the leading cloud management platforms and leverages a plugin infrastructure to keep the network agile and in ‘lockstep’ with the applications it serves.
  • As part of the Nokia Fabric Services System is the Digital Sandbox, a digital twin of the production networks that can provide service providers programmable testing and validation of network changes before deployment.​
  • Service providers can build open and automated data center fabrics with the 7220 Interconnect Router (IXR), Nokia’s high-performance, fixed-configuration platforms; and its modular, high-performance 7250 IXR-10/IXR-6 Interconnect Router (IXR) platforms.

Edge Cloud Network Automation

  • The new Nokia Edge Network Controller is a lightweight Kubernetes application intended particularly for edge cloud sites that are limited in terms of both space and budget. It would allow operators to increase network agility and programmability while maintaining ultra-reliability and low-latency service delivery. It is unusual, according to Nokia, since it is designed within a Kubernetes system, making the edge cloud’s IP network components consumable by the full Kubernetes ecosystem and its richness of tools and apps, allowing for uniform container and network orchestration.
  • The Nokia Service Router Operating System and SR Linux are both supported by the Edge Network Controller (SR OS). It is designed to function with any current network operating system that supports complex data models thanks to its plug-in architecture.

Seamless Interconnect

  • The Nokia Network Automation Platform (NSP) is an intent-based network automation platform that ensures application SLAs over any IP network. The NSP would enable the connection needed to cross the WAN to connect data centers and edge clouds with demanding performance as part of Nokia’s Adaptive Cloud Networking offering.

“Nokia’s Adaptive Cloud Networking is about automating every phase of the data center fabric and network lifecycle, including design, deployment and operations,” said Vach Kompella, Vice President, IP Networks Division, Nokia. “Intent-based automation capabilities can be implemented every step of the way, supercharging service provider operational productivity without having to expand staff and skill set. We’re pleased to offer service providers a complete solution that will help them transform their business both now and into the future.”