We’ve been hearing for years how 5G networking will smash bottlenecks and boost the performance of all sorts of technologies. Do businesses and vendors have the groundwork laid for when 5G finally arrives in their domains? They might have a head start if they’ve containerized their networking infrastructure. 

In order for service providers to tap the power of 5G, they will have to upgrade their network architecture to be “telco grade,” according to Benito Lopez (pictured, right), senior manager of business development at F5 Networks Inc. 

“The architecture is going to horizontalize. It’s going to require a telco-grade type of infrastructure manager, a telco-grade OS, and … it’s going to require a telco-grade proxy and security platform,” Lopez said.

Sounds demanding — but, according to Lopez, service providers can accomplish it. How? With those small, ephemeral problem solvers showing up everywhere called containers — basically, a virtualized method for running distributed applications.

Lopez and Ken Holtz (pictured, left), principal partner manager at Red Hat Inc., spoke with Lisa Martinhost of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA event. They discussed the importance of containerization in 5G and how F5 and Red Hat are partnering to help service providers build a telco-grade network. (* Disclosure below.)

Making it all happen at Kubernetes ingress/egress point

Moving from virtualized software to containerization, which generally allows businesses to move to a service-based architecture, is critical for 5G, according to Lopez. This is because disaggregation of applications into microservices allows you to scalably add and subtract different types of network functions in 5G. 

F5 is positioned to handle all fronts of the 4G-to-5G transformation through its go-anywhere “adaptive application services,” according to Lopez. “We act as the ingress/egress point in the Kubernetes environment where we’re able to scale and support telco-specific protocols that Kubernetes today does not support.”

This helps service providers construct a telco-cloud-like platform and can also render a container-based architecture service-provider grade, Lopez added. 

F5 has partnered with Red Hat and uses the OpenShift container platform to offer these capabilities to customers. They’ve co-engineered this solution with 5G in mind, according to Holtz.

For the first time, OpenShift networking is natively integrating seamlessly with the commercial load balancers from F5, making it ready for telco 5G,” he concluded. 

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA event. (* Disclosure: Red Hat Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Red Hat nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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