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Nokia takes new step in data centre networking

Published : 12 Jul 2020, 18:41

Updated : 13 Jul 2020, 01:49

  DF Report

File Photo Nokia.

Nokia has redefined data centre fabrics with the launch of a new and modern Network Operating System (NOS) and a declarative, intent-based automation and operations toolkit, said the company in a press release.

This will allow cloud- and data centre-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, which is deploying the technology at its data centres.

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 centres.

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.

According to the release, “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 centre 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 centre and cloud environments easier to scale, adapt, and operate.”