In their press release on July 9th Nokia announced a generational step in data center networking; new OS and tools give cloud builders unprecedented ability to adapt, automate and scale.
The key take aways of their announcement:
- Nokia improves data center networking for all cloud builders – webscale companies, service providers and enterprises – empowering them to rapidly design, deploy, adapt and automate data center network fabrics at massive scale to keep up with increasing business demand from 5G and Industry 4.0;
- Apple is an early adopter of the innovative technology, deploying the solution within its cloud operations in its data centers;
- Nokia redefines openness, application development flexibility, robustness and operational tools for rapidly building and confidently operating data center networks at scale.
Launch of a new Network Operating System
Nokia has redefined data center fabrics with the launch of a new and modern Network Operating System (NOS) and a declarative, intent-based automation and operations toolkit. This will allow cloud and data center builders to scale and adapt operations in the face of year-over-year exponential traffic growth and constant change brought on from technology shifts like 5G and Industry 4.0. The new Nokia Service Router Linux (SR Linux) NOS and Nokia Fabric Service Platform (FSP) were co-developed with leading global webscale companies, including Apple, who is deploying the technology at its data centers.
Facing massive growth in demand for cloud-based applications and use of new technologies like AI, machine learning and AR/VR, today’s large and growing community of cloud builders require an unprecedented level of customization and flexibility from networking components to operate and monitor sprawling data centers.
Network Operating Systems have not kept up. Though evolving, traditional systems are restrictive and difficult to customize, integrate and automate. For example, today’s leading systems expose limited functions for customization and even then require cumbersome integrations. Often this means rudimentary applications that require re-compiling each time the NOS vendor upgrades releases. Newer open systems attempts are nascent, challenging to operationalize and generally unproven at scale.
Nokia SR Linux
Nokia SR Linux is a genuine architectural step forward as it is the first fully modern microservices-based NOS, and the SR Linux NDK (NetOps development kit) exposes a complete and rich set of programming capabilities. Applications are easily integrated through modern tools like gRPC (remote procedure call) and protobuf, with no recompiling, no language limitations and no dependencies. SR Linux also inherits Nokia’s battle-tested Internet protocols from the service router operating system (SROS), which is the trademark of the huge installed base of Nokia carrier-grade routers. SR Linux is in effect the industry’s first flexible and open network application development environment.
Nokia FSP provides the set of tools cloud builders need to implement intent and policy-based operation of the network. Well beyond a node-centric management system, FSP was designed to build, deploy and monitor the entire data center network with powerful network level constructs. Finally, the FSP includes technologies that were only available to the largest cloud builders, such as a real-time state-correct virtual digital twin for validation and troubleshooting.
The combined solution provides the openness, flexibility, robustness and automation to make data center and cloud environments easier to scale, adapt and operate.
“We regularly upgrade our data center equipment with technology to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Using Nokia's new system will enable better networking and routing capabilities in our Viborg, Denmark facility.”
Adam Bechtel, Vice President and Networking lead at Apple