Understanding XGVela: Bringing more power to 5G with cloud-native telco PaaS

Sagar Nangare is a technology blogger, focusing on data center technologies (Networking, Telecom, Cloud, Storage) and emerging domains like Open RAN, Edge Computing, IoT, Machine Learning, AI). Based in Pune, he is currently serving Coredge.io as Director - Product Marketing.

A platform as a service (PaaS) model of cloud computing brings lots of power to the end users. It provides a platform to the end customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an application.

In the roadmap to building a 5G network, telecom networks need these breakthrough models that help them focus more on the design and development of network services and applications. XGVela is a 5G cloud-native open-source framework that introduces platform as a service (PaaS) capabilities for telecom operators.

With this PaaS platform, telecom operators can quickly design, develop, and innovate telco network functions and services. This way, there will be more focus on seizing business opportunities for telecom companies rather than diving into the complexities of telecom infrastructure. China Mobile initiated this project internally which was later hosted and announced by the Linux Foundation in part to support the initiative to accelerate telco cloud adoption. Apart from China Mobile, other supporters of XGVela are China Unicom, China Telecom, ZTE, Red Hat, Ericsson, Nokia, H3C, CICT, and Intel.

For initially building XGVela, PaaS functionality was brought from existing open source PaaS projects like Grafana, Envoy, and Zookeeper. These were then further enhanced with telco requirements.

Why need XGVela PaaS capabilities for the 5G network?

  • XGVela helps telecom operators to align with fast changes in requirements to build a 5G network driven by cloud-native backhaul. They need faster upgrades to network functions and services along with agility in new service deployments
  • Telecom operators need to focus more on the microservices-driven and containers-based network functions (CNFs) rather than VM-based network functions (VNFs). But they need to continue to use both concurrently. XGVela can support both CNFs and VNFs in the underlying platform
  • Telecom operators want to reduce network construction costs by adopting an open and healthy technology ecosystem like ONAP, Kubernetes, OpenDaylight, Akraino, or OPNFV. XGVela adopted this to reduce the barriers that are brought into end-to-end orchestrated 5G telecom networks
  • XGVela simplifies the design and innovation of 5G network functions by allowing developers to focus on application development with service logic rather than dealing with underlying complex infrastructure. XGVela provides standard APIs to tie many internal projects

XGVela integrates CNCF projects based on telco requirements to form general-PaaS. It is architected with the microservices design method for network function development in mind and further integrated into telco PaaS.

You can subscribe to the XGVela mailing list here to track the project progress.

Editor’s note: You can download Calsoft’s eBrief – A Deep Dive into Kubernetes for Edge – here.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

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