Nokia claims ‘next-gen’ network operating system is a game changer

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Portfolio aimed at webscale cloud companies, service providers and enterprises with Apple as one of the first customers.

Nokia Network Operating System (NOS) and declarative, intent-based automation and operations toolkit are designed to help cloud and data centre builders to scale and adapt operations in the face of exponential traffic growth and constant change brought on from technology shifts like 5G and Industry 4.0.

Co-development

The new Nokia Service Router Linux (SR Linux) NOS and Nokia Fabric Service Platform (FSP) were co-developed with global webscale companies, including Apple, which is deploying the technology within its cloud operations in its data centres.

Steve Vogelsang, CTO IP and Optical Networks at Nokia, said in an interview, “We created an open solution for large scale cloud companies that for the first time enables them to use software and automation…we have built an extensive set of routing etc. to scale the public internet for opportunities at the edge and on-premise cloud.

“We have combined these two opportunities to build the next generation of data centre products. There is a big pool of capex that has not previously had dedicated network products.”

Innovative operations

He added, “The areas where we expect to see innovation are really tied more into the operations of the system. So, they. These will be things like taking telemetry out of the system, which could be various logs errors, statistics and building tools that run on the system to process that data, before you know handing it off say to an OSS stack so that you can get sort of tailored views into what's happening network that aligns very well with your operations. So those are the types of things that we're seeing in kind of early customers are choosing to use the software development.


Architectural changes

The company states that the Nokia SR Linux is an “architectural step forward” on the grounds it is the first fully modern microservices-based NOS, and the SR Linux NDK (NetOps development kit) exposes a set of programming capabilities.

Applications are integrated through tools like remote procedure call and protobuf, without recompiling, or language limitations and no dependencies.

SR Linux draws on Nokia’s battle-tested Internet protocols from the service router operating system inherent in the huge installed base of Nokia carrier-grade routers: “SR Linux is in effect the industry’s first flexible and open network application development environment” according to the press statement.

Less energy

Adam Bechtel, Vice President and Networking Lead at Apple, commented: “We regularly upgrade our data centre equipment with technology to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Using Nokia's new system will enable better networking and routing capabilities in our Viborg, Denmark facility.”
 
Neil McRae, BT Group Chief Architect, was quoted saying, “Nokia’s new data centre fabric solution promises to provide full programmability with deep telemetry, along with a modern operational toolkit to drive the extreme automation and scaling of our telco cloud, which is critical to drive future 5G services.”