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Telco and Ubuntu: 2020 roundup

2021 is around the corner and we had such a tremendous journey this year. Like many others, at Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, we lived different times and maybe more than ever we saw how important it was to stay connected. Therefore, Canonical continued to innovate in the telco world and brought Ubuntu closer to it, by offering open source systems and supporting the deployment of various applications. From 5G to network function virtualisation (NFV), from virtual events to webinars for our users, we spread energy around and gathered enterprise feedback.

Telco carriers announcements

Canonical has been working with more enterprises from the telco world over the years, but in 2020, the company went beyond its private cloud expertise and kicked off the deployment of 5G, the big step that the industry has been talking about.

MTS and Ubuntu deploying cloud infrastructure

In November, MTS, Russia’s largest mobile operator and a leading provider of media and digital services, announced the selection of Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack to power the company’s next-generation cloud infrastructure. The company mentioned that this is the foundation of the 5G rollout that would come in the following months, enhancing their network’s edge compute capabilities.

Malawi’s TNM and Ubuntu leading virtualisation charge

November has been a month of good news, as Malawi’s TNM also announced that they have selected Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, and its Charmed OpenStack distribution, an open-source private cloud solution that allows businesses to control large pools of compute, storage and networking in a data centre, to modernise and virtualise its entire telecommunications infrastructure. TNM is Malawi’s leading telecoms provider and aims to create faster time to market across its product range through the move.

Telco events

From physical meet-up-s we moved to virtual, but it did not stop us. We invited everyone to join us at the Open Infrastructure Summit, where the theme was “The Next decade of Open Infrastructure”. The content is available on-demand for a few months. Check it out before it’s gone.

In the era of virtual events, Africa was not out of our radar, so in October 2020, Canonical took Ubuntu to AfricaCom,  the largest and most influential tech and telecoms event on the continent, where topics included opportunities to manage capabilities from core to edge. 

After sponsoring a few other events, by the end of the year, in September, Canonical and Ubuntu organized the first virtual event dedicated to telecom industry, “Transforming Telco infrastructure”, where Arno Van Huyssteen – Director, Field Engineering Telco EMEA-APAC and Tytus Kurek – Telco Product Manager talked about the challenges and trends in the telco landscape.
When people talk about telco, they also think of NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO). Whereas Charmed OSM has been around for quite some time, Canonical’s presence at OSM Hackfest this year has increased. In September, we shared the presenter floor with the rest of the Open Source MANO (OSM) community, where we introduced end-to-end scenarios, shared insights about running OSM on Kubernetes and helped push forward the latest OSM release.

Ubuntu and Canonical’s achievements in telco

2020 was a busy year, with events, big announcements and new pieces of content. However, Canonical & Ubuntu never stopped working on the engineering side, getting new technical achievements.

Canonical announced the availability of center of Internet security (CIS) automation tooling to its Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure customers. The compliance tooling has two objectives: 

  • It lets our customers harden their Ubuntu systems effortlessly
  • It quickly audits those systems against the CIS Ubuntu benchmarks

Less than a month after this good news, Canonical also had new things to share with its customers. In May 2020, we announced that OpenStack Ussuri can be deployed on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The most notable enhancements were related to the Open Virtual Networking (OVN) driver and the Masakari project which allow organisations to run highly available workloads on top of an open-source Software-Defined Networking (SDN) platform.

OpenStack Charms 20.10 became available in October 2020 and they introduced a range of improvements and features that enhanced Charmed OpenStack. In consequence, OpenStack Victoria can be deployed on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS  and Ubuntu 20.10 with full support from Canonical until April 2030. At the same time, OVS to OVN migration for Charmed OpenStack has been smoother and provides a fully functional open source SDN platform.

Ubuntu and Canonical share knowledge

Part of our philosophy is to share, therefore Ubuntu empowers not only through open-source projects but also through sharing knowledge and pieces of content that could be revisited when needed. 

In the telecom world, Ubuntu powers the entire infrastructure of leading Global Service Providers, including tier-1 carriers. As part of this journey, we presented an entire NFV stack based on established Open Source technologies.
Tytus Kurek had a talk around NFV, cloud-native and OSM, approaching technical aspects such as current trends in implementation or challenges in CNFs orchestration, followed by a live demo during which we demonstrated how to deploy and operate network services for mobile core network management, using Magma.

To conclude

The telco ecosystem has been important for Canonical and Ubuntu in 2020. Hoping not to forget anything, we look forward to more good news in the following year. As technology keeps evolving, we will keep growing and innovating in this landscape where everything moves fast and where staying connected is more than ever part of our normal lives.

See you in 2021!

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