Now that network functions virtualization (NFV) has the support of 38 operators worldwide, companies like Huawei and Red Hat are doing their part to speed deployment of the technology. That also means making sure it works with multiple vendors' architectures.
The companies this week announced the completion of the first phase in "agile integration" of multiple vendors' mobile broadband architectures by adopting NFV technologies. As part of their partnership, Huawei and Red Hat said they successfully conducted high performance LTE tests in heavy traffic situations in NFV/software-defined networking (SDN) Open Labs in Zi'an, China.
As one of the nine open-source labs certified by the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) standards organization, Huawei's NFV/SDN Open Labs are dedicated to multi-vendor integration verification, joint innovation and partner ecosystem development, according to the company.
To date, Huawei has conducted pre-verification testing for 13 carriers around the world and has begun cooperating with an additional 14 partners. A Huawei spokeswoman said the company is under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with most of the carriers so it can't identify them, but Vodafone is among the carriers it works with.
Huawei's NFV Open Lab actually comprises three facilities based in China, Germany and the U.S. The company said carrier-grade SDN solutions from its lab will conform to the OPNFV source as well as emerging NFV standards. While there have been NFV proof-of-concept and trials with the customer base in the U.S., the lab is also bound by NDAs and can't disclose further details, according to the spokeswoman.
The company says the industry has slowly begun to understand the necessity of NFV-based mobile broadband network architectures, but carriers still face many challenges as they work toward NFV network evolution, such as how to ensure the consistency, reliability and interoperability of multiple vendors' products.
According to a press release, Red Hat has supported Huawei's efforts to integrate Huawei FusionServer E9000, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, Huawei CloudEdge solutions (for Virtualized Unified Intelligence Controller [vUIC], virtualized Evolved Packet Core [vEPC] and virtualized Multi-Service Engine [vMSE]), as well as management and orchestration (MANO).
The two companies also tested and verified multi-vendor vertical integration, virtualized network function (VNF) integration, MANO integration, data throughput capabilities and load balancing capabilities. Huawei and Red Hat plan to further cooperate on more NFV products in the future, including the Huawei CloudCore solutions and FusionServer F8000 servers.
"Our joint effort is critical to the rapid development of NFV," said Zhai Zhongcheng, general manager of NFV Integration Services at Huawei, in a release. "As a leader of OpenStack and the open-source domain, Red Hat is a major contributor to development in this field. Huawei will continue to collaborate with Red Hat and other partners to promote NFV technology development. We hope to conduct more tests in NFV/SDN Open Labs to provide carrier-grade NFV-based solutions, and to tackle challenges in network evolution."
Huawei says it also cooperates with over-the-top (OTT) partners, such as Tencent, to integrate and verify new services. Huawei says it will continue to actively cooperate with carriers, standards organizations, OTTs and other industry partners and developers to build the NFV ecosystem.
Last year, Nokia Networks and Red Hat extended their collaboration to enable mobile operators to create a more efficient and flexible telco cloud infrastructure. That agreement bundles Nokia Networks' carrier-grade virtualized core applications and cloud application management products with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.
- see this release
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