Nokia begins major data centre networking gambit

The company has secured high-profile early adopters, including Apple and BT for its routers, switches, and OS

Nokia has launched a set of tools, equipment and an operating system for data centre networking to help large companies manage growing traffic in light of increased 5G and machine learning adoption.

Working in collaboration with Apple to build the technology, Nokia has launched a data centre Network Operating System (NOS) as a toolkit to allow for intent-based automation and operations in data centres. This is in addition to new routers and switches.

The company’s data centre venture is based on the idea that the data centre will overlap with cloud and telecoms networks, with technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) causing demand for data movements to rise.

All together, Nokia’s foray will allow what it describes as ‘cloud builders’ – webscale firms, service providers and large enterprises – to scale-up and adapt their data centre environments in light of the surging traffic.

“With decades of experience serving the world’s telecom operators, we understand the engineering challenges of building and operating business and mission-critical IP networks on a global scale,” said Nokia’s president of IP and optical networks, Basil Alwan.

“However, today’s massive data centers have their own unique operational challenges. The SR Linux project was the proverbial ’clean-sheet’ rethink, drawing from our partnership with Apple and others. The resulting design is impressive in its depth and strikes the needed balance for the future.”

Nokia describes its Service Router Linux as the first fully modern microservices-based network operating system. It’s built on technology used in more than a million IP network routers, and runs standard Linux. This can be combined with the Nokia Service Router Linux NetOps development kit, which allows customers to take advantage of a rich set of programming capabilities.

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