Network Aware Container Orchestration for Telco Workloads
In recent years, with the maturation of container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, containers are now becoming the default way to deploy cloud-native applications, designed as microservices, on public and private clouds. These trends have also spread to the field of Telecommunications, boosted by the onset of 5G. Network functions processing millions of packets per second, earlier run as proprietary physical boxes, are now being realized as disaggregated container based microservices (CNFs) running on commodity clusters managed by orchestrators, like Kubernetes, on Telco clouds. While container orchestrators have evolved to meet the needs of enterprise applications, Telco workloads still remain a second class citizen, as the orchestrator is presently unaware of the networking needs of CNFs and cannot guarantee QoS of network intensive functions. In this work, we examine orchestration of network sensitive functions and identify the key networking requirements of containerized Telco workloads from the orchestration platform. We design and propose NACO - Network Aware Container Orchestration, a minimal, cloud-native and scalable extension to the Kubernetes platform to address these requirements and provide first class lifecycle management of CNFs used in Telco workloads. We implement a prototype of the system and demonstrate that we can achieve network aware container orchestration with minimal operation times.