Cloud-native networks "ready for mainstream"

This article was first published in Capacity Media on January 20, 2021. 

You can read the original article here.

RtBrick has declared cloud-native networks as "ready for the mainstream" after it partnered with Deutsche Telekom to connect the first live customer to a disaggregated broadband network.

Deutsche Telekom used RtBrick routing software running on bare-metal switch hardware, to deliver up to 1000Mbps of internet connectivity.

“Connecting real customers over a disaggregated network of this scale is a significant milestone for the whole industry,” said Hannes Gredler (pictured), founder and chief technology officer at RtBrick.

“The shift to building networks using open software, rather than proprietary systems, is probably the most important development the industry has seen since the arrival of the internet, and this deployment is proof that cloud-native networks are ready for the mainstream," he added.

RtBrick provided full stack BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) running on the Access 4.0 spine/leaf fabric connected to Deutsche Telekom's IP core production network.

Replacing traditional chassis-based routing systems, RtBrick's routing software acts as the BNG in the network, which terminates broadband subscriber traffic, along with providing other functions, such as quality of service, lawful intercept and IPTV. The software runs in a Linux container on bare-metal-switches, configured using zero-touch-provisioning and programmed through RtBrick’s open APIs.

Hans-Joerg Kolbe, chief product owner Access4.0 at Deutsche Telekom, said disaggregation represented "a new era for our network".

Kolbe continued: “We wanted to embrace a new cloud-native approach to building and running our network. Disaggregation allows us to independently select the best hardware and software for any job, it’s simpler to automate and it’s more flexible and open than using traditional systems. That’s why we are one of several operators who have recently highlighted the benefits of open BNG software, like that provided by RtBrick, in the Open BNG white paper and further pursue this path as part of the TIP (the Telecom Infra Project) community.”

Deutsche Telekom said the first subscriber was connected to an exchange in Stuttgart, Germany, and that "a wider roll-out is being planned".