Guests: Arpit Joshipura (LinkedIn) | Kandan Kathirvel (LinkedIn)
Organization: Linux Foundation (Twitter) | Project: Nephio

Nephio Release 1 (R1) has recently been announced aiming to simplify cloud-native automation for the telecom industry. The open source solution uses intent-based automation to help tackle the challenges of configuration management for the entire stack for telecom.

In this episode, Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking, Edge and IoT at Linux Foundation and Kandan Kathirvel, Technical Steering Committee Chair, Nephio, join us to discuss Nephio R1. They talk in depth about the project, the key challenge it is trying to solve, and the community around it.

Highlights of this interview:

  • The Nephio project was launched under the Linux Foundation  in April 2022 with the goal to solve the problems of cloud-native automation. Joshipura talks about how cloud-native principles have brought together telecom, enterprise and cloud. He explains why it was beneficial for them to unify and look at things on an architectural level.
  • Kathirvel takes us through the Nephio project, explaining that it uses intent-based automation. He talks about what this entails and why it simplifies automation compared to the legacy automation approach.
  • Even though Nephio had a very specific focus, that is to solve intent-based cloud-native automation, because it is a Linux Foundation project they were able to collaborate with other adjacent projects in Linux Foundation networking which helped ensure that they can provide an end-to-end, open-source-based solution.
  • Nephio’s focus is for the complete automation of the cloud stack and all the interdependencies and the network functions for telecom. Kathirvel talks about how Nephio simplifies automation techniques for telecom and solves the challenges of configuration management for the entire stack for telecom.
  • Joshipura discusses the three use cases that the community are currently focusing on: multi-cloud, multi-vendor network functions, and multi-domain.
  • The telecom industry has undergone a significant transformation from the days where their entire networking stack was proprietary to where open source is being increasingly embraced. Joshipura talks about the impact open source has had on the telecom industry from core, edge, and access perspectives.
  • Joshipura explains how the Nephio project fits in with other projects and how they ensure it harmonizes with the other projects and that if there is an overlap, that the technical communities understand this.
  • Kathirvel feels that Nephio bridges the gap in the industry where there weren’t any configuration management best practices or implementation methods using a cloud-native approach.
  • The Nephio R1 delivers the fundamental building blocks necessary to run the automation including a control plane based on Kubernetes with the GitOps approach for management of the entire configuration, and configuration templates.
  • Kathirvel talks about where the community’s focus lies in the near future, saying that they will be looking at enhancement of the fundamental building blocks and supporting additional use cases.
  • Joshipura talks about key companies involved in the Nephio project like Bell, Orange, Telus, and Google and how in the next stage he expects a second wave of adopters to utilize Nephio into their solutions and eventually contribute.

This summary was written by Emily Nicholls.

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