Deutsche Telekom talks cloud-native at the edge with Kubernetes build

Deutsche Telekom talks cloud-native at the edge with Kubernetes build

Deutsche Telekom is using containers to support its move to 5G and roll out applications to the edge. The company said it has built out a Kubernetes-as-a-Service platform with WeaveWorks and says it is shifting its 5G core and network edge to a cloud-native environment. DT which invested in GitOps specialist WeaveWorks in 2020.

The move is a significant one given how legacy hardware suppliers like Cisco, Nokia Ericsson and Huawei dominate the infrastructure of big carriers like DT. The hope has always been that 5G will usher in a more software-defined era, but 5G has been slow to arrive and for the most part runs off a 4G core, obviating many of 5G’s most attractive features.

That said, Deutsche Telekom is building out a 5G core and in its view, 5G workloads demand continuous patches, upgrades, and updates to match fast-changing market needs, which naturally lends itself to a container-based approach.  So DT along with Weaveworks and Mavenir have designed an application lifecycle management in a cloud-native environment.

The Kubernetes platform is called Das Schiff (the ship); the Kubernetes team doesn’t build the containers but provides the underlying platform, deploying workloads where they can be run securely and reliably. Much of the work here is integrating legacy vendor software and encouraging application owners elsewhere in Deutsche Telekom to take a cloud-native approach. And it’s all on-premise.

The goal is an open vendor-agnostic platform. By replacing legacy delivery tools that have long upgrade cycles with an open, layered software stack, Deutsche Telekom says it 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.

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