Nephio R1 Launches Redefining Cloud-Native Automation for Telcos

The Linux Foundation - Nephio R1

Linux Foundation’s Nephio project introduces its debut major release, Nephio R1. This open source initiative, supported by industry players and propelled by Google’s seed code, brings a pragmatic approach to enhancing 5G operations.

The Nephio project, announced by the Linux Foundation over a year ago, is making headway with its maiden major release, Nephio R1. This collaborative endeavour aims to simplify cloud-native automation for telecommunication companies while maintaining a grounded perspective.

The project leverages Kubernetes as a foundational layer for the seamless management of cloud infrastructure and network functions, catering to the evolving demands of 5G operations.

According to Kandan Kathirvel, Nephio Technical Steering Committee Chair, Nephio R1 focuses on automating cloud infrastructure and network functions using Kubernetes. He underlines the importance of aligning network functions with global infrastructure, a significant move given the shift towards container-based deployment in recent years.

Nephio R1 adopts the Kubernetes Resource Model (KRM) approach for service deployment, replacing the customary Helm Charts. The GitOps-inspired KRM model introduces controlled version management and updates for smoother deployments.

Kathirvel highlights Nephio’s intent-based automation model, stating, “The user has to express the intent for what they really need and then the automation system is capable of identifying what configurations are needed.”

Deployed as a separate Kubernetes cluster, Nephio serves as an automation engine for telcos, simplifying workload and cluster automation. Its versatility extends to network functions down to physical switches, with potential for customised Kubernetes operators.

Looking ahead, Kathirvel envisions Nephio expanding beyond 5G, accommodating various use cases. The project aims to bolster out-of-the-box automation through additional operators, advancing operational efficiency.

Nephio R1 signals a significant leap towards efficient telco cloud-native automation. With Kubernetes at its core and intent-based automation, the platform underlines a pragmatic approach to network management and growth.


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