Traditional methods of solution development are no longer suited to the high-speed telecoms world of SDN (software-defined networks), NFV (network function virtualization) and 5G. OSS and BSS teams need to adapt to new challenges, and change the way they deliver new functionalities, as well as the tools they use to do this. DevOps methodology provides a solution based on a mindset that combines microservice architecture, process standardization and automation, the right toolchain, infrastructure as a code, and organizational changes.
What is DevOps?
DevOps derives from the agile movement, promoting incremental, iterative solution delivery and encouraging cooperation while aiming to eliminate cumbersome siloed steps and focusing on the automation of processes and changes in application architecture. For this methodology to work, each telecom DevOps team must have full control of their part of the environment. This can be achieved using microservices to divide systems into small areas of responsibility, each small enough to be upgraded quickly.
In all this, automation is the key and “Continuous Everything” the motto. All processes of the telecom software lifecycle, need to be automated, mainly by using tools such as Open Source projects that deliver many essential functionalities. In essence, the only manual aspects of delivering a new functionality should be writing business value code, configuration, and committing it to the repository.
The DevOps toolchain - PaaS
When the toolchain is combined well, it starts to work as a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution for DevOps teams. Separation between each layer of abstraction is required, and all layers should be exchangeable to avoid an operator becoming hostage to a single technology. Delivery and maintenance of a PaaS layer, with the tools needed by DevOps teams, should be the operations team’s responsibility. This toolset is shared among all DevOps teams and should be treated as a standard enabling all aspects of automation and ensuring consistent monitoring and orchestration of all microservices in a telecom environment. And, when the configuration and deployment description of each microservice is treated as code, it becomes written, versioned and maintained just like the source code, so any changes can be traced or reversed.
DevOps methodology also facilitates the use of APIs, often standardized, which let third parties and CSPs develop and deliver new telecom products and features on top of existing systems. Microservices make it possible to build and integrate such extensions automatically.
This all means that developers are no longer isolated, removes complex environment lifecycles, saves time, and allows daily changes. DevOps teams get faster feedback, operations teams gain control over the delivery platform, end users get more stable software that can be upgraded easily, and business continuity is ensured.The DevOps-based approach to OSS development and delivery is the basic principle for Comarch OSS teams.
The stack and standards used support deployments in a variety of scenarios, so customers can adapt solutions to their needs. It’s possible to deploy the system on bare-metal, cloud or virtualized telecom environments capable of launching a pure Linux operating system, or on any PaaS environment. Comarch OSS
is not tightly bound to any standard or technology, so firms using it can build on top of it or use it in more extensive DevOps projects.