By Todd Spraggins
Cloud Native involves a lot more than just virtualizing something and then running it in the cloud, so let’s cut through some hype and understand what cloud native will mean to the communications industry.
Communications Service Providers want to successfully deploy services in the cloud to answer to the challenge of webscale companies. They are exploring how to make the most of 5G, IOT, autonomous, smart cities, AR/VR and other use cases. A key requirement will be cloud-native applications that improve the agility of network functions. As a first step, many CSPs are migrating applications to containers and Kubernetes to optimize operations and implement stronger security during migrations to the public cloud.
For these reasons, Oracle is heavily vested in open source, community-based, container-native themes. As a Platinum member with Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and champion of open source serverless platforms via its Fn Project, Oracle is building platforms that can be run anywhere–on any cloud or any on-premises environment. Because CSPs have different challenges around security, legacy, regulatory and other challenges, the freedom to choose is paramount. Additionally, Oracle is extending cloud native approaches to new communities, like WebLogic and Java, using Kubernetes clusters to connect applications to microservices platforms, not to mention all that is being done around autonomous, self-driving/repairing databases.
These investments by Oracle are now finding their way into the global business units that serve verticals looking for ways to fast track transformations.
The elephant in the room, however, is how to orchestrate such large quantities of containers and how to manage containers on multiple clouds. Oracle Communications is exploring how CNCF based open source software along with the principles of successful cloud native operations can make cloud native computing pervasive for telecom.
The future of cloud native in telecom revolves around four cloud characteristics:
Each of the above is complex, and necessitates a rich ecosystem of services and technology to orchestrate, schedule, network, deploy, and maintain the cloud native software. Also required is a change in mindset about how services are built, and function.
Oracle Communications’ cloud native environment Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) captures all four of the above rudiments. Built upon bare- metal-as-a-service infrastructure, it boasts a robust Kubernetes container management environment, complemented by key CNCF based backing services. It also provides a pipeline for developers designing, testing and building code all the way through to delivery, on a continuous basis.
To learn more, go to our recent white paper, “A Cloud Native Journey for Telecommunications,” which explores how microservices architecture and the concept of how a 12-factor application will empower developers to create software that is considered truly native to the cloud.
Todd Spraggins is director of strategy in the Oracle Communications CTO office.