Spotlight on Tech

Introducing Rakuten Telecom eBPF

David Soldani
SVP, Innovation and Advanced Research, Rakuten Mobile
Rakuten Mobile
February 27, 2023
minute read

The extended version of the Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) is a technology for instrumenting the behavior of a Linux kernel (and now MS Windows) without invasive modifications. Especially, its dynamic programmability and reliability make it a powerful tool for cloud-native observability, security and networking. eBPF is to Linux kernel (and now Windows) as Java-script is to Web browser. eBPF enables programs to run in the kernel of the host operating system and to instrument the kernel without changing the kernel source code. This revolutionary technology allows us to program the kernel safely and dynamically without rebooting or crashing the machine.

According to Gartner [1], by 2025, over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021. Simultaneously, Kubernetes is becoming the de facto standard for cross-cloud orchestration and a pillar of cloud-native architectures.

The cloud-native architecture is one of the key drivers of eBPF based applications, also because more kernel subsystems become extensible using eBPF, drivers and soon kernel modules could be written in eBPF. And, according to Groundcover, 2023 is going to be the year of eBPF when it comes to monitoring. For the reasons presented above, we will see more and more observability and security solutions based on eBPF. Legacy vendors, alongside many new emerging players, will heavily rely on eBPF as part of their stack, offering customers new alternative solutions to observability.

Today, I am pleased to announce our white paper on “eBPF for Telco”, where we introduce what eBPF is and its potential for Telco cloud. We review some of the most promising use cases, pricing and billing models applied to the utilization of this revolutionary technology and discuss the eBPF technical feasibility and business availability for current (5G) and future mobile communication networks (6G and beyond).

We hope this White Paper helps you understand what you can do with eBPF in telecom and we look forward to any industry opportunities to collaborate.

eBPF for Telco official white paper

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[1] Gartner, ‘Gartner says cloud will be the centerpiece of new digital economy’, Press Release, Stamford, Conn., Nov. 2021.

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