TIP OpenRAN Project Group Makes First Version of OpenRAN CI/CD Platform Available to TIP Community
Telefónica and the Telecom Infra Project’s OpenRAN Project Group are pleased to announce that a first version of an OpenRAN Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery & Deployment (CI/CD) Platform is now available for TIP members to advance development of CI/CD use cases, technology and solutions.
In software engineering, CI/CD generally refers to the combined practices of continuous integration and either continuous delivery or continuous deployment or both. CI/CD bridges the gaps between IT app development and operation activities and teams by enforcing automation in building, testing and deployment of applications.
New network developments such as disaggregation of network hardware and software, greater interoperability between vendors and the speed of software releases, could radically transform the way telecom networks are built and operated, enabling faster, more efficient connectivity. However, this promise will only be delivered if operators actively develop tools to manage a more diverse value chain. This change in paradigm is perfectly represented in the OpenRAN space but can be extrapolated to other parts of the network.
CI/CD methodologies have traditionally been used in software engineering to better connect IT app development and operations activities and teams. As network functions become much more like IT apps: virtualization layers, programmable integrations and speed of releases we have applied the same tools and methodologies that have succeeded in IT to the network, initially to OpenRAN.
The OpenRAN CI/CD platform is an assembly of micro-services that take suppliers’ RAN software deliverables (also called artifacts) as input, and performs integration, testing, and deployment automatically. The platform can also support zero-touch provisioning by integrating with the supplier’s specific RAN management open interface plug-ins.
When employed, the CI/CD platform helps operators to efficiently manage their OpenRAN network set-up with automation. It will also make possible to study how in the future CI/CD could be adopted across operators’ network supply-chain and lifecycle management, as well as to understand its impact on people, organization and processes.
CI/CD platforms will be a key driver for OpenRAN to deliver substantial improvements in network economics, through shorter time to market, more flexibility for innovation and most importantly; creating a sustainable and cost-efficient operation. CI/CD will be a key technology to transform operators from hardware specific to software centric deployments. In order to fully unleash the benefits of OpenRAN, the lifecycle from System Integration, validation, delivery and deployment through operations to optimization must be managed automatically with minimum human intervention.
“CI/CD tools will enable operators to maximize the benefits of OpenRAN by automating the integration, delivery and deployment of the network; helping operators to make their delivery pipeline more cost efficient and reduce the time to market of connectivity . Ultimately this will improve the quality and agility of networks around the world,” said David Del Val Latorre, a board member of TIP and Director of Product Innovation at Telefónica.
The platform has been drawn from a rich set of open source components, libraries and tools to accelerate integration and deployment of 4G/5G RAN. It is based on Kubernetes and microservices.
“Momentum of OpenRAN development is high and we see OpenRAN is mature for large scale deployment. For operators to fully benefit from OpenRAN technology, automation enabled by CI/CD tools will be a catalyst to shorten time to market and improve operational efficiency for OpenRAN. Tech-Mahindra is happy to be part of the journey with TIP partners, especially with our team being a major contributor to developing the CI/CD platform” said Vivek Tiwary, Head of Delivery Business, Network Services, Americas Networks at Tech Mahindra.
“TIP Community Lab is pleased to be part of the development of the first version of the CI/CD platform, with which we can further innovate technology and processes, explore new ways of working, and accumulate experience in OpenRAN integration, delivery and deployment automation. In the future, we expect to be able to share the learnings with broader TIP community partners,” said Moe Motamedi, TIP Community Lab Manager.
TIP community members are invited to utilize the OpenRAN CI/CD Platform to deepen the understanding of how CI/CD and DevOps can be applied in OpenRAN and in other network domains, helping advance the technology and develop new use cases that leverage CI/CD automation, zero touch provisioning, and low touch operations. To find out more, please join TIP’s OpenRAN Project Group.
Read more on this in our recently published white paper “Toward OpenRAN CI/CD Automation” and watch the video below on the OpenRAN CI/CD Platform:
About the Telecom Infra Project (TIP)
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a global community of companies and organizations that are driving infrastructure solutions to advance global connectivity. Half of the world’s population is still not connected to the internet, and for those who are, connectivity is often insufficient. This limits access to the multitude of consumer and commercial benefits provided by the internet, thereby impacting GDP growth globally. However, a lack of flexibility in the current solutions – exacerbated by a limited choice in technology providers – makes it challenging for operators to efficiently build and upgrade networks. Founded in 2016, TIP is a community of diverse members that includes hundreds of companies – from service providers and technology partners, to systems integrators and other connectivity stakeholders. We are working together to develop, test and deploy open, disaggregated, and standards-based solutions that deliver the high quality connectivity that the world needs – now and in the decades to come. Find out more: www.telecominfraproject.com