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Ready for 5G? Better be prepared for DevOps!

With its ability to validate new software releases in days rather than months and allowing new services enhancements to be launched within a few hours, it’s no wonder that DevOps is catching the attention of many operators. In fact, when we recently asked operators ‘What systems and technologies do you plan to deploy for your digital operations?’, almost two-thirds said they have already started to implement DevOps or plan to do so. As 5G kicks in and the market demands new services more quickly, operators need the tools to respond and clearly many think that DevOps is the right way forward.

Getting automated and integrated

Responding to the demands and opportunities of 5G means making processes more automated, more digitized. DevOps is a major plank in this digital transformation. 

The key to adopting DevOps is to target the legacy processes, tools and personnel skills that have been built up as operators have moved from 2G to 4G. Often, existing tools are isolated, processes are restricted to a specific network domain and people can be too focused on individual work areas or tools.

The result is skilled people needing to perform mundane tasks like moving data manually between systems, wasting huge amounts of time.

More agile, efficient operations are made possible when people, processes and tools support end-to-end, fully automated service lifecycles, from production to delivery. This frees people from repetitive manual tasks and allows them to focus on what they do best – making the big decisions.

New software features in days

Paving the way, Nokia has transformed its own operations. Adopting Agile principles means Nokia can create and test a new feature within days. This allows smaller, more frequent software releases every two to four weeks, instead of a major one every 6-12 months.

With more frequent software releases that can be tested and taken into service quickly, operators are better able to meet the fast-changing business and customer needs of 5G.

Automation speeds up the lifecycle

The process of getting the software into service has also been speeded up. Automated delivery and deployment, including configuration, software lifecycle management and testing means an operator can eliminate much of the complexity of testing and delivery.

For example, the process from code commit to live operations could typically involve up to 100 steps - this can be reduced to 25 to 40 steps, bringing down the time taken for software to be validated for live operations from several months to just days.

Automation is also applied to the operator’s service and network lifecycle management. This can cut the time taken to deploy a service from up to six months, to as little as days or even a few hours.

So what’s next? To get more details on the transformation journey, including people, processes and tools, stay tuned for further posts in our DevOps blog series.

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Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #5G #cloud #DevOps #ICT #innovation

Stefan Kindt

About Stefan Kindt

Stefan is with Technology Marketing at Nokia Software, heading the operations automation and DevOps marketing. He loves to work on cutting edge technology, always looking for the trends with real business impact.

Prior to his current role Stefan was leading the Cloud Market Development at Nokia where he was responsible for the market positioning of Nokia cloud to enterprises and communication service providers. 

Find Stefan in LinkedIn. Tweet us @nokianetworks

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