Virtualization and Containerization in Open RAN

Hi All,
In Open RAN, for O-DU please tell hardware has to be proprietary or its on COTS?
What is difference between virtualization and containerization?


Virtualisation in general concept. Containerizarion is specific technology within it

Ok thanks. For O-RU as well it’s COTS, correct?

Need to check but pretty sure.
Whole idea behind Open RAN is to move away from proprietary Hardware.

Yes it’s seem but not mentioned for O-RU and O-CU whether it’s on COTS or proprietary vendor hardware.

Virtualization can be done with any Linux flavour like centos ubuntu, but containerisation requires kubernet.

Thanks. This DPDK is part of virtualization is it correct?


One objective of O-RAN & vRAN is to reduce the depency from traditional vendors and use generic Hardware with specific Software. You can find in the following link a short interview with Samsung explaining their vRAN solution, where they mention: “That the fully virtualized RAN replaces vendor specific hardware with software elements that can be operated on any COTS server”, below an example…

On the other hand, I found this very good explanation that maybe can help you with the difference between Virtualization & Container techology:

"Virtualization enables workloads to run in environments that are separated from their underlying hardware by a layer of abstraction. This abstraction allows servers to be divided into virtualized machines that can run different operating systems.

Container technology offers an alternative method for virtualization, in which a single operating system on a host can run many different applications from the cloud. One way to think of containers versus VMs is that VMs run several different operating systems on one compute node, whereas container technology offers the opportunity to virtualize the operating system itself.

A VM is a software-based environment geared to simulate a hardware-based environment, for the benefit of the applications it will host. Conventional applications are designed to be managed by an operating system and executed by a set of processor cores. Such applications can run within a VM without any rearchitecture.

On the contrary, container technology has been around for more than a decade and is an approach to software development in which pieces of code are packaged in a standardized way so that they can quickly be plugged in and run on the Linux operating system. This enables portability of code and allows the operating system to be virtualized and share an instance of an operating system in a same way that a VM would divide a server. Therefore instead of virtualizing the hardware like a VM, a container virtualizes at the operating system level. Containers run at a layer on top of the host operating system and they share the kernel. Containers have much lower overhead relative to the VMs and much smaller footprint."

Hi Ankgitam,

O-Ran primarily goes with COTS HW and mostly implementation will be based on that.

Virtualization and Containers - Virtualization is a technique where you create Virtual machines which will come with their own respective Guest- OS (In addition of Host OS which is provided by Infra). However in Containerization, they use the same Host OS and just use the Bin and Dependencies in containers. Because we have only one layer of OS, Containers are normally faster and more efficient than VM’s.

Hope that helps.