Etisalat turns to Canonical in NFV cloud infrastructre deployment

Canonical described a network functions virtualisation (NFV) cloud launched by Etisalat in Abu Dhabi as a first of its kind in two ways.

In addition to the Abu Dhabi NFV cloud being the first deployed by Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is also the first to combine multi-vendor equipment in a single infrastructure, Canonical stated.

The telecoms platform integrates Canonical's Ubuntu OpenStack with Quanta servers and Arista switches -- a combination the company said was the first of its kind globally.

Etisalat's NFV cloud in Abu Dhabi is the first in a programme named Sahaab -- which Canonical explained is an Arabic word that translates to 'cloud' -- that will see the operator upgrade its operations throughout the UAE. Canonical stated that the programme aims to "harmonise between the hardware-centric telecom services and the software-centric cloud services across the operation."

Esmaeel Alhammadi, SVP of network development in Etisalat and Sahaab programme lead, said the company had stepped into a "different world" and explained that the cloud transformation programme involved more than just upgrading infrastructure.

"We thought it was a technological step, requiring a mere upgrade of the network and services. But it turns out to be more than that. It's a shift in mindsets and how things get done," he stated.

Alhammadi added that Etisalat is deploying NFV cloud infrastructure to enable it to respond to "customer wishes faster" and to open "new avenues for future innovations and collaborations."

Anand Krishnan, EVP of cloud at Canonical, said Etisalat is utilising the company's Juju services modelling product to manage its NFV cloud.

The operator is "demonstrating real vision and innovation by the speed at which they are embracing network function virtualisation," Krishnan noted, adding that Canonical plans to "work closely with Etisalat to ensure their customers can benefit from the virtualisation and cloudification [sic] of network functions" that the cloud platform will deliver.

For more:
- see this Canonical announcement

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