Here's why continuous delivery is the secret sauce of 5G
New technologies are changing the way customers (private and commercial) and communication service providers (CSPs) interact and introducing a new demand for how communication services are delivered.
Remarkable system-on-a-chip advancements have brought IoT devices to the next level, 5G enhances connectivity up to a point that it enables secure and reliable zero-latency ‘real-time’ commercial and industrial operations, drives the acceleration of OT and IT convergence, and supports new advances in virtual reality, asset control performances, and ‘un-wired’ automation in production; local data processing through edge computing, HPC, and a revolution in software, analytics, and AI dramatically increase the value that can be extracted from (real-time) data.
Communication service providers (CSPs) have all grappled with one central question through every generation of wireless networking: what’s the “killer app” that will help them attract more customers and grow revenues? Each generation has found its own answer that changed the way people used their mobile devices. But with 5G, things are different: because 5G opens up so many new opportunities in untapped enterprise markets, and no single killer app can possibly be applied across every single vertical. Organizations in the transportation industry are going to need very different things from 5G services than the healthcare sector would, for example.
It’s helpful to take a step back here, and recognize that for 5G, the killer app will be the network itself, which will be an enabler for quickly creating and launching tailor-made 5G services to meet the needs of customers across different vertical markets with different use cases. Getting to market faster with new services while optimizing the costs of services is the key to generating real business value in the 5G era.
Achieving the kind of flexibility and agility needed for this will require an established foundation first, which means taking critical steps, including the establishment of a cloud native network core and adoption of automation-driven continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), CSPs can add value to their networks.
Cloud automation is incredibly important. 5G services will continually need updated capabilities. DevOps helps CSPs automate delivery, installation & testing.
At its core, DevOps for cloud is the automation of agile methodology. DevOps automation is becoming cloud centric. Most public and private cloud computing providers support cloud DevOps systemically on their platform, including continuous integration and continuous development tools.
The high degree of complexity in connectivity services, with their multi-vendor and multi-domain supply chains for software, and multiple production environments, requires an additional level of process focused on delivery operations.
Introducing Nokia Continuous Delivery (NCD)
The Nokia DevOps pipeline was designed specifically for this task – reduces time to value and improving its efficiency with all necessary assets automatically delivered (including software images, Helm charts, Test cases, etc) while the DevOps platform controls installation, test execution, and results reporting.
Nokia Continuous Delivery is a modular CI/CD solution for Nokia applications, delivering software in a secure, automated fashion while providing end to end automation for deployment, acceptance testing, and promotion of those applications in a customer network. NCD is designed around industry standards and provides the closed loop automation to manage the complexity of CI/CD for cloud native network services.
For more information, check out Nokia’s cloud-native solutions web page.