What was announced?
On June 29, 2023, Red Hat announced an agreement with Nokia to tightly integrate Nokia’s core network applications with Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift, the leading hybrid cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes. As part of this strategic partnership, Red Hat will support Nokia cloud infrastructure platforms, including Nokia Container Services and Nokia CloudBand Infrastructure Software, while developing a transition path with Nokia for customers who choose to move to Red Hat platforms.
Additionally, Red Hat will serve as Nokia’s primary reference platform to develop, test and deliver its core network applications. Nokia will certify its core network portfolio of cloud-native network functions and virtualized network functions on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform and service providers will have a greater choice of deployment for bare-metal, virtualized and public cloud telco infrastructure offerings, including those from Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and others.
Certain Nokia cloud infrastructure teams (over 350 Nokia employees) are expected to transition to Red Hat to provide continued roadmap evolution, deployment services and support on behalf of Nokia to its customers.
Why is this change happening, and how does it support Red Hat’s open, hybrid cloud strategy?
Nokia recognizes Red Hat as the industry leader in open hybrid cloud, enabling customers to run any application or workload consistently across any footprint, including on-premises, bare metal, at the edge, and in the cloud.
By combining Nokia’s expertise with Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud vision and portfolio, service providers will be able to transform their 5G networks, applications and services to be cloud-native and future-ready with service and support from Red Hat and Nokia as the industry accelerates to the edge. Service providers will be able to better meet the demands of compute-heavy applications for core network, open RAN, multi-access edge computing, private 5G, and more.
Also, with this planned move, Red Hat will have access to a wide range of new customers that come with a stamp of approval from Nokia. Red Hat will gain a wealth of talent and knowledge to help build upon our established Telco, Media and Entertainment (TME) teams that will help push Red Hat to the next level in developing next-generation networks, applications and services.
What are Nokia Container Services (NCS) and Nokia CloudBand Infrastructure Software (CBIS)?
Nokia Container Services (NCS) is ready to use, pre-integrated, and based on open source toolsets and software services, including Kubernetes. Designed for communication service providers (CSPs), it enables deploying and managing cloud-native applications, whether inside a virtual machine (VM) or bare metal (BM).
CloudBand Infrastructure Software (CBIS) is a ready-to-use, open source-based virtual infrastructure that provides serviceability, operability and universal applicability for OpenStack virtual machines, with a highly available, more secure and protected solution that is designed to be simple to use and easily upgradeable.
Does this mean Red Hat plans to ship NCS and CBIS?
No. NCS and CBIS will continue to be shipped and delivered by Nokia inline with customer contracts and product lifecycle. Nokia will provide customers with the option to migrate to Red Hat OpenStack Platform and/or Red Hat OpenShift.
Does this mean Red Hat will take on support for NCS and CBIS?
Nokia will continue to be customers’ point of contact for support. Red Hat will assume the responsibility for the ongoing evolution, advanced support and continuity of Nokia’s cloud infrastructure business to meet all current customer lifecycle and road map commitments.
Does this mean Red Hat will stop shipping Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform?
No, Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack Platform will continue to be sold and supported by Red Hat. Red Hat platforms are planned to become Nokia’s primary replacement for NCS and CBIS. Nokia plans to use Red Hat software as its primary reference platform to develop, test, and deliver core network applications.
Do these offerings run as a service (e.g. cloud.redhat.com, or on public cloud providers) or on-premises?
Currently, these are on-premises offerings.
Does this mean that we plan to offer NCS and CBIS as separately priced Red Hat offerings?
No. Nokia will continue to be the point of contact for customers wishing to purchase NCS or CBIS and for front-line support. These offerings will not be available for sale directly from Red Hat. Customers who want a similar solution from Red Hat will need to purchase Red Hat OpenShift or Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
Is it planned that NCS will be included with Red Hat OpenShift?
No. Nokia will continue to be the point of contact for customers wishing to purchase NCS. Red Hat is working with Nokia on the Red Hat OpenShift-based replacement for NCS.
Is it planned that CBIS will be included with Red Hat OpenStack Platform?
No. Nokia will continue to be the point of contact for customers wishing to purchase CBIS. Red Hat is working with Nokia on the Red Hat OpenStack Platform-based replacement for CBIS and on paths for customers wanting to move to cloud-native applications on Red Hat platforms.
Does Red Hat plan to open source the code?
Nokia’s Cloud Infrastructure Platforms are predominantly based on open source projects today. As it stands, NCS has embraced Kubernetes as the core of its platform, and CBIS is an OpenStack-based virtual infrastructure solution. However, these offerings also contain components that are not currently available as open source. As Red Hat takes on support of the offerings, these components will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
This transaction is subject to local legal processes and approvals as necessary.
About the author
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.