Wind River introduces Kubernetes-based cloud native solution for complex 5G vRAN network edge needs

Wind River has announced Wind River Cloud Platform, a high-performance, production grade Kubernetes-based offering for managing edge cloud infrastructure. Optimised for the network edge, the platform addresses the service provider’s complex challenges of deploying and managing a physically distributed, cloud native vRAN infrastructure. 

“Telecommunication infrastructure has been evolving from vertically integrated, monolithic solutions to disaggregated technology based on virtualisation and the cloud. Existing cloud infrastructure is unable to meet the new edge compute requirements that applications such as 5G, IoT, and MEC introduce,” said Paul Miller, vice president of Telecommunications at Wind River. “Wind River Cloud Platform’s revolutionary capabilities make 5G possible by solving the problem of deploying and managing distributed networks and is an ideal match to service providers’ need for an operationally friendly, edge capable, multi-thousand node cloud. This new technology can become a de facto standard for production grade, distributed cloud infrastructure.”

Cloud Platform leverages the OpenStack Foundation’s open source project StarlingX to deliver the foundation for a geographically distributed managed solution able to simplify Day 1 and Day 2 operations by providing single-pane–of-glass (SPoG), zero-touch automated management of thousands of nodes, no matter their physical location. The platform provides orchestration of fully automated software updates and upgrades across a geo-distributed cloud, with rollback capabilities. Unlike enterprise-class IT platforms, Cloud Platform is an out-of-the-box open source solution designed specifically for edge compute that delivers ultra-low latency with deterministic performance. This is critical for high-availability, performance sensitive 5G virtualized radio infrastructure, as well as advanced applications such as autonomous vehicles.

“Wind River has been a long-standing contributor to open source projects. We are excited to have Wind River as a member of CNCF and we look forward to their contributions and collaboration to drive container technology to the edge,” said Dan Kohn, executive director of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “With Wind River Cloud Platform, Wind River is helping to further advance technologies such as Kubernetes at the edge.”

“The scope of edge computing is vast and complex. StarlingX fulfils a real need for the right infrastructure to successfully realize cloud technology and services at the edge,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director at OpenStack Foundation. “With the introduction of Wind River Cloud Platform, we are delighted to see the rapid maturity and innovation of a commercial implementation of StarlingX.”

Cloud Platform scales from a single compute node at the network edge to enable ultra-low cost deployments, up to thousands of nodes to meet the needs of high-value applications as they grow. Remote nodes can survive control plane disconnection and continue to operate and re-synchronize upon reconnection. All control functions can exist at all sites. Remote sites can be zero-touch enrolled and replicated across thousands of sites with fully automated deployment of known-good configurations. 

Cloud Platform’s common virtualisation architecture can enable service providers to create a single approach to cloud infrastructure across far edge, near edge, regional, and core data center site elements within a planned 5G deployment topology. The distributed infrastructure can be managed as a single high-availability cloud, and do so with both containers and VMs co-existing seamlessly.

Wind River has for decades provided a backbone for global telecommunications infrastructure, with offerings used by all top telecommunications equipment manufacturers (TEMs). The company is a leader in the early 5G landscape, powering the majority of 5G RAN deployments. Now with Cloud Platform, Wind River can deliver, directly to service providers, one of the industry’s most advanced cloud native distributed infrastructure solutions for 5G vRAN network deployment. Cloud Platform is a commercial implementation of the StarlingX open source project. StarlingX is a container-based cloud infrastructure software stack for edge implementations that demand ultra-low latency.

The rise of 5G connectivity also creates the potential to have a transformative impact across industries. Use cases in areas such as autonomous vehicles, drones, industrial automation/IIoT, and medical systems involve high stakes and demand more intensive requirements, specifically in regard to low latency, smaller footprint, and reliability. Wind River Cloud Platform can help companies deliver a distributed edge cloud solution for these demanding 5G use cases. With deterministic low latency required by edge applications and tools that make the distributed edge manageable, Cloud Platform provides a container-based infrastructure for edge implementations in scalable solutions ready for production. The unique presence Wind River holds across these industries ensures that service providers selecting edge vRAN 5G infrastructure have the ideal partner to enable the use cases driving 5G adoption.

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