Someone needs to tell Deutsche Telekom (DT) that communications services providers (CSPs) do not have the cloud chops to pull off a private telco cloud like DT’s Next-Generations IP Multimedia Subsystem (NIMS). After all, hyperscalers like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have decided that telco workloads belong in the public cloud. End of story.
This is the point where the needle scratches across the record grooves, and we come to a screeching halt.
Breaking myths and proving yet again that CSPs are committed and capable of wrangling cloud technology, Deutsche Telekom (DT) has updated the industry on the status of their ground-breaking NIMS voice platform, and the results are impressive. In a short production soak time, the NIMS cloud platform has already surpassed 10 million voice subscribers, handling billions of interconnect minutes and connecting roughly 100 interconnect partners. It’s astonishing as DT marches toward the next milestone: migrating up to 18 million subscribers in Germany to NIMS.
Adopting a Cloud Operational Model versus a Technology
“What’s so astonishing?”, you ask? DT’s NIMS platform is not your grandfather’s cloud. Designed to replace DT’s legacy IMS service, NIMS is the brainchild of Christoph Hilz, SVP of Service and Platforms (DevOps) at Deutsche Telekom Germany. Hilz observed the failures of status quo cloud models where cloudification was treated as a technology. He was determined that DT would not make the same mistake.
Cloud is more than virtualizing an application or service; a fact often misunderstood by others when setting goals and objectives for their own cloud projects. Cloud is an operational model that relies on alignment from every cog in the organizational wheel involved in delivering services to customers. Understanding the intricacies and challenges of deploying telco clouds, DT set its sights on an unorthodox but ingenious strategy to achieve success.
Turning Vision into Strategy
Circling the wagons, Telekom shared its vision with all stakeholders. The team was able to unify and mobilize all partners behind the NIMS ‘3 -2 -1 -0’ strategy:
- 3 months from idea to production
- 2 days for software release validation and live deployment
- 1 day for software patch validation and live deployment
- 0 maintenance windows (normal, 9-5 daytime operations)
The vision was revolutionary, but the execution was both extraordinary and risky. DT engaged and challenged vendors to execute NIMS as a consortium, working as partners alongside DT to deliver a truly open, horizontal cloud platform with brutal E2E automation from day one. And it did work. NIMS was delivered in a shorter time than the previous IMS platform but with a scalable, high-octane and automation-driven service engine for all existing NIMS telco workloads. NIMS paved the path to cloud-native, where workloads are run as containers and microservices using Kubernetes orchestration.
So yes, delivering critical voice services with award-winning quality to over 10 million subscribers on a multivendor, fully automated cloud deserves a hearty round of applause and the industry’s acknowledgment. Juniper Networks is proud to be the Prime Integrator for the NIMS project and a founding member of the ‘co-creation partners’ team that brought NIMS successfully to market.