Nokia Allies With Red Hat for OpenShift and OpenStack Support

Nokia announced that it will standardize its infrastructure for building software on the Red Hat OpenShift platform based on Kubernetes and the Red Hat OpenStack platform.

Fran Heeran, senior vice president and general manager for core networks, cloud and network services for Nokia, said the company previously built software for its platforms and customers using a proprietary software stack it built and maintained. Shifting to the Red Hat OpenShift platform will enable Nokia to devote more time and resources to building applications versus maintaining core infrastructure software, he added.

As part of that effort, Red Hat will provide support for Nokia cloud infrastructure platforms including Nokia Container Services and Nokia CloudBand Infrastructure Software, Heeran said.

Darrell Jordan-Smith, senior vice president for telco, media and entertainment and edge for Red Hat, noted that Red Hat OpenShift makes it possible to run both container applications as well as monolithic applications originally built using virtual machines.

Nokia, like many companies, is in the middle of a transition between cloud-native applications built using containers and legacy applications running on virtual machines. Via support for the open source kubevirt software, Red Hat OpenShift makes it possible to encapsulate virtual machines in containers.

It’s not clear how quickly container-based applications might eventually replace legacy monolithic applications running on OpenStack, but Red Hat has been making a case for a single platform capable of running both classes of applications. Not every monolithic application running on OpenStack, however, might lend itself to be containerized, but as more of them are, it becomes possible to streamline IT operations using a single platform.

Llike most of its customers, Nokia will be supporting a mix of cloud-native and monolithic applications for many years to come. What has become apparent is that building and maintaining a stack of software infrastructure to run those applications doesn’t make much economic sense when more resources need to be allocated to building and deploying applications.

Containers, for example, make it simpler to build and deploy applications at the network edge where data is increasingly processed and analyzed as close as possible to the point where it is created and consumed. The edge computing applications, in turn, need to access cloud services running on a mix of OpenStack and Kubernetes platforms.

No one know for sure how many organizations are maintaining their own stack of infrastructure software, but at a time when many are more sensitive to the total cost of IT there is a compelling case for reevaluating those strategies. The software used to create those platforms may be freely available as open source code, but the cost to integrate and maintain that software can be considerable. In addition, keeping pace with the updates required to remediate vulnerabilities in a timely fashion is also labor intensive.

Of course, there is no shortage of curated instances of Kubernetes and OpenStack available. The decision to switch to one of these platforms will most likely come down the level of support the distributors of these platforms provide.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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