What Is Kubernetes and How Will It Affect 5G on Cloud Infrastructure?

Matthew George | Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What Is Kubernetes and How Will It Affect 5G on Cloud Infrastructure?

Did you know that a company's average annual cloud budget was $2.2 million in 2018, and around one-third of a company's IT budget goes to cloud services today? In 2020, the global public cloud computing market is expected to exceed $330 billion, but there are many roadblocks to companies’ cloud adoption — including a lack of staff training. And there’s a lot of promise and potential associated with 5G wireless technology, too.

Trends in cloud computing and 5G will only continue growing, which means the demand for skilled talent in relevant areas and technologies will also continue growing. In this article, we walk through some of the ways one technology in particular — Kubernetes — will affect the 5G application on cloud infrastructure.

What Is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source container system for automating computer application deployment, scaling and management. It has a specific server architecture and an elaborate group of software built around it for the server.

One article describes Kubernetes as a "workload distribution and orchestration mechanism for clustered servers in a data center." Another article elaborates on this definition, focusing on a common analogy that illustrates Kubernetes as an orchestra conductor coordinating different instruments and sections. Kubernetes organizes the sections that make up a computer application sitting on a server. It responds to many users quickly and efficiently, even though there is demand at all times for other parts of the application. Some people consider it to be a "super coordinator."

Kubernetes also improves server structures. It serves the computer applications we use today — from the emails you get on your laptop to the videos you stream through your phone — and creates more efficiency. Using the orchestra analogy, consider the owner of a concert hall who separates the space into multiple smaller venues so that several orchestras can play simultaneously. While the site is being used more efficiently, it isn’t an ideal situation quite yet, as you would need multiple conductors and orchestras to have all of these concerts in the same venue. This isn't efficient.

Instead, picture a virtual reality (VR) technology — using holograms, perhaps, rather than VR goggles — that allows an audience to go to one of these concerts whenever they want and experience a virtual performance equivalent to the real thing.

Similar to the VR technology in the orchestra analogy, Kubernetes delivers the image of an application to users in real time, on demand. It temporarily uses whatever server space is available for the task. Then, when the application is no longer needed, Kubernetes shuts down and withdraws it from that server space, which frees up the space to be used in other ways.

5G as an Application

Verizon and other mobile carriers have rolled out the next generation of wireless network technology — 5G — over the past few years. Key markets that already released 5G to the public have experienced high mobile speeds.

5G uses radiofrequency waves to send out and receive data, which has dramatically increased the speed of receiving and sending data. It's expected that it will take one millisecond for two phones or devices on a network to receive a response from each other, giving the end-user a virtually instantaneous response delivery experience.

But before 5G can be fully rolled out, telecommunications vendors are looking at cloud-native technology. Specifically, many are testing Kubernetes for a flexible, scalable and automated system to set up 5G on their data structures and networks.

The Role Kubernetes Plays in 5G Application and the Cloud

Kubernetes is expected to manage the container-based infrastructure necessary for 5G networks and similar services to automate what used to be very manual-labor–intensive operations.

Mobile carriers want the platform to work as a standard base compute infrastructure across many cloud providers and bring consistency across the board to these different providers.

At this point, there aren’t any alternative methods or strategies, so everyone is getting serious about the role Kubernetes plays in 5G application. For example, AT&T is investing eight figures into Kubernetes. Before this investment, AT&T had tested and assessed other companies, but found that no others have been able to check all of the following necessary boxes for this to work:

·        Backhaul for Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), including Virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and Radio Access Network (RAN)

·        Traffic shaping servers

·        User tracking

·        Smart voicemail

·        Video streams

·        Customer services

This list covers almost everything related to the application and its setup. Companies are looking to structure 5G application in other ways, too, but each method and strategy includes Kubernetes as its foundation to continue driving 5G’s engine. 5G’s cloud dependency makes it both complicated and powerful.

The Timeline

Companies say tests and work toward implementing 5G application will be carried out anywhere between 2020 and 2025. They’re working to ensure zero privacy risks on mobile phones with 5G application. They have processed tasks on edge servers and appliances, which pushes past privacy risks involved in sending data to the cloud.

Even though there have been breakthroughs and new discoveries in the past year, there is still a lot of work to do, including determining the best use cases for edge, 5G and AI to ensure everything goes smoothly.

The Future of Technology

As Kubernetes brings us into the future, cloud 5G application brings new strength to network communications. With Kubernetes serving as the foundation of this application and helping to create an efficient way for it to run and work, it is crucial for IT professionals to maintain relevant cloud-related skills and prepare to test different Kubernetes-based strategies.

Bring your IT team up to speed on the cloud before they dive into Kubernetes with vendor-approved training from ExitCertified, which offers over 9,500 online and in-person instructor-led training courses at all levels. Custom training options are available for individuals, groups, corporate teams and government institutions. Contact us today to find the best training fit for your company's software network and cloud initiatives. 

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