HP is touting its new NFV System, a pre-integrated network functions virtualization platform designed to enable communication service providers to accelerate production NFV deployments.
HP has been a leader in NFV, and while it's a relatively new concept for some service providers, HP wants the world to know that its expertise goes back years. "No one is arguing about whether or not NFV will happen," Sarwar Raza, vice president of product management for HP's NFV business told FierceWirelessTech. "It's happening."
It just so happens that HP would like to hasten NFV's deployment. The HP NFV System actually includes the HP NFV Starter Kit, an all-in-one kit comprised of compute nodes with carrier-grade performance and more; the HP NFV Compute Kit, which includes server nodes that run virtual network functions (VNF) workloads; and the HP NFV Control Kit, which consists of HP Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade virtual infrastructure management (VIM) software and physical infrastructure management software, among other things.
HP has been engaged in NFV trials and proof-of-concepts for more than 18 months with carriers around the world. Last fall, HP announced a partnership with Nokia Networks (NYSE:NOK) where Nokia is landing some of its virtualized applications onto HP's platform. At Mobile World Congress in March, HP announced that it was chosen as the prime systems integrator for Telefónica and to provide its NFV platform.
"A lot of service providers are now looking to convert those trials into actual deployments," Raza said. "What we're launching … is a set of solutions that enables them to do exactly that. It allows you to go from a trial stage to deployment very, very rapidly, by leveraging the solution expertise that we bring to the table."
How does a vendor differentiate itself when the world is going open source and open platforms? "A lot of our credibility and our success is predicated on just how open our solution is," he said, noting that there are a couple levels to the question of openness.
The first has to do with industry standards. Are you adhering to the industry standards that the carriers themselves are asking for? "The answer is absolutely," he said. If you look at ETSI NFV and who is originating the architecture, the use cases, "it's all customer driven. It's the largest service providers in the world," and they're driving it.
"We as a vendor have responded to that by making sure that the solutions we put out as NFV solutions map directly to that architecture" and support and implement those very interfaces, adhering to the spec. "Not everyone is able to do that," he added.
Service providers are saying they do not want proprietary systems, which is another reason for open solutions. They want to mix and match vendors or at least have the option later on of introducing other vendors into the mix. "At HP, we have spent the last several years on the enterprise and cloud side supporting OpenStack," he said.
There are currently more community leaders from HP elected to work on OpenStack than any other company, he said. These are not positions whereby the company elects itself; they are elected by the community.
"We really believe in open and open source and we have a commitment to transparency in the development of OpenStack."
Last year, HP welcomed leading telecom organizations to the HP OpenNFV Program to help carriers take advantage of NFV technology. Partners include 6Wind, Brocade, Genband, Intel, the Israel Mobile & Media Association, Mellanox Technologies, Spirent, SK Telecom and Wind River.
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