Canonical Could Ease NFV Adoption with New Lab

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 25, 2016

As this year began, we spotted a lot of action from telecom players and the open source community surrounding Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technology. For example, Red Hat and NEC Corporation said that they formed a partnership to develop NFV features in the OpenStack cloud computing platform, with the goal of delivering carrier-grade solutions based on Red Hat's OpenStack build.

Now, Canonical is starting a new interoperability lab to allow telecom players  to validate the capabilities of virtual network function appliances ahead of  deployments in production environments. The lab could help streamline the adoption of virtual network function tech in the telecom industry.

Specifically, Canonical announced V-PIL – its VNF Performance Interoperability Lab. Backed by IBM, V-PIL will provide deployment automation, performance testing and functional interoperability testing for evaluating VNF applications and cloud infrastructures, regardless of platform or vendor. Similar to its OpenStack Interoperability Lab (OIL), which helps to ensure that vendor products integrate and work together with Ubuntu OpenStack solutions, V-PIL will ensure collaboration from across the ecosystem to better mitigate deployment and integration challenges and ensure the smoothest path to production for mobile operators. 

Telecom companies have traditionally had a lot of proprietary tools in the middle and at the basis of their technology stacks. Open virtual network tech is an effort to combat that, and to help the parallel trends of virtualization and cloud computing stay as open as possible. 

According to The OpenStack Foundation:

"NFV is changing the networking landscape by offering telecom providers a way to significantly diminish reliance on expensive, proprietary hardware while at the same time dramatically increasing the speed and agility with which new network services are provisioned for clients when compared with traditional networks that rely on proprietary, purpose-specific networking hardware. Telecom providers are the driving force behind the development of NFV technology, which leverages cloud computing, software and automation for networking infrastructure. NFV promises to expand the portfolio of revenue-producing services and reduce CapEx and OpEx burdens."

 The adoption of NFV is considered to be in its early stages, but the NFV market is projected to grow dramatically. Infonetics Research forecasts a fivefold increase in the NFV market, reaching $11.6 billion by 2019. SNS Research estimates a compound annual growth rate of 54 percent between 2015 and 2020. A 2015 Heavy Reading global survey found that nearly 60 percent of telecommunication professionals are actively exploring NFV. Those numbers are nothing to shake a stick at.

Canonical has done big things with its OpenStack Interoperability Lab, and its new lab should be influential, too.