Deutsche Telekom Rolls Out 5G on Kubernetes with Weaveworks

  • Deutsche Telekom accelerates continuous application delivery and continuous operations for 5G workloads with Weaveworks
  • First global telco running Kubernetes across core and edge sites

30th Nov 2021: Deutsche Telekom rolls out Kubernetes optimized for cloud native 5G deployments with its partner Weaveworks. This disruptive enhancement to the 5G telco cloud follows the $36M investment in Weaveworks by Telekom Innovation Pool (Deutsche Telekom’s strategic investment fund) together with other regional and global telcos; cloud providers AWS and Google Ventures; and private VCs to optimize Kubernetes for cloud native 5G deployments.

5G brings a new level of integrated infrastructure and services to the cloud. Mobile operators like Deutsche Telekom are using Kubernetes and GitOps for faster and more flexible network deployment while overcoming the hurdles delaying 5G deployments.

Kubernetes Cluster-as-a-Service (CaaS)

Deutsche Telekom is the first global telco running Kubernetes across both its core and edge sites to deliver multiple use cases through a single telco-grade platform. Deutsche Telekom and Weaveworks collaborated to achieve a fully open, GitOps-enabled, distributed Kubernetes Cluster-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform at massive scale, allowing 1000’s of application owners and vendors to securely deploy workloads and other services on-prem and on top of Virtual Machines (VM) or bare-metal servers.

Built using Weaveworks’ automated application and platform management solution, Weave GitOps Enterprise (among others) makes possible cost-effective innovation through continuous application delivery and operations with full control and transparency.

“In 2019 we saw that Kubernetes and containers would transform how we deliver software inside telcos. By using best of breed open source and selected leading contributors to cloud native technology as partners, we could enable a rapid 5G rollout,” said Abdu Mudesir, SVP Technology at Deutsche Telekom, “As soon as we empowered our internal Kubernetes platform team to move forward with Weaveworks’ support, they shipped a working system into production in a matter of months, and onto 5G in 2021. All this has been possible through the GitOps model.”

Alexis Richardson, Weaveworks CEO and co-founder, added: “Kubernetes has become the rock-solid foundation of modern cloud infrastructures and the time is right for telcos to adopt cloud native. Cloud native Kubernetes can offer significant capital and operational cost reduction while speeding deployments to operators like Deutsche Telekom as they roll out 5G. By replacing legacy delivery tools that have long upgrade cycles with an open, layered software stack, Deutsche Telekom enjoys full control. They can pick and choose which vendors to work with for different use cases within the 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) and as the foundation for new IoT, cloud computing, AI and autonomous driving applications. The future is cloud native software and continuous delivery – enabled today by Weave GitOps and Deutsche Telekom.”

5G workloads demand continuous patches, upgrades, and updates to match fast-changing market needs. Weaveworks together with cloud native network software provider Mavenir and Deutsche Telekom have designed and implemented the industry’s first 5G application lifecycle management in a cloud native environment. This enables Deutsche Telekom to push out updates on demand in a fully automated way, with high availability, auditability, and security.

Joel Fisch, VP Ecosystem Foresight at Deutsche Telekom and MD of the Telekom Innovation Pool concluded: “Telcos are rapidly modernizing their networks and completing the journey from monolithic, black box hardware to modern, cloud native implementation. We invested in Weaveworks to promote an ecosystem supporting the digitization of our industry. Today’s announcement about our utilization of Weave GitOps is an important milestone of the partnership, and we are glad to see other industry players joining this direction.”

What’s Next for 5G Rollouts on Kubernetes?

  • Publication of best practices. Weaveworks invites telcos to work with them via this tool chain, to disaggregate vertical solutions and enhance their control and velocity.
  • Telco industry 5G reference design for distributed Kubernetes Cluster-as-a-Service (CaaS) at scale in mobile networks. Weaveworks is committed to open-source and wants other telcos to be able to leverage a reference design for managed Kubernetes that allows them to own their cloud infrastructure. The goal is to provide flexible resource management and cost efficiencies in delivering a multi-vendor / multi-cloud 5G network.
  • Open source and standards. Deutsche Telekom and Weaveworks continue to harden the 5G solution with Mavenir, including work on bare metal deployment options.
Packet Core (vEPC, 5G)
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