Red Hat and Partners Aim to Infuse Open NFV Tools in Telco Data Centers

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 05, 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, we're seeing a lot of action from telecom players and the open source community surrounding Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology. Telecom companies have traditionally had a lot of proprietary tools in the middle and at the basis of their technology stacks. NFV is an effort to combat that, and to help the parallel trends of virtualization and cloud computing stay as open as possible.

In September, The Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Project, a group comprised primarily of telecom operators working across open source projects and vendors to implement NFV within their organizations. News has also steadily arrived from Red Hat about its work to drive NFV and telecommunications technology into OpenStack.  Now, Huawei and Red Hat have announced a new global partnership to enable OpenStack-based cloud deployments. By expanding their relationship, Huawei and Red Hat aim to accelerate collaboration around OpenStack for NFV required by Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

According to the 2014 SDN and NFV Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, conducted by Infonetics Research, 93 percent of telecommunications operators interviewed plan to deploy NFV as carriers work to modernize the way telecommunications networks are built and operated. As OpenStack establishes itself as the platform of choice for NFV workloads, Huawei and Red Hat are engaging in a global partnership to cooperatively engineer carrier-grade cloud solutions for CSPs.

Huawei and Red Hat plan to integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Huawei’s FusionSphere Cloud OS at the management layer to offer a single open, flexible, and production-ready cloud platform to support telecommunication carriers' NFV evolution. Huawei and Red Hat say the will align on contributions, engineering, product, and efforts to drive the adoption of OpenStack for NFV implementations by CSPs.

After the OpenStack Summit in May, an NFV community team formed to accelerate development around NFV-specific features.  Red Hat has also collaborated with eNovance, a leader in the open source cloud computing market, to drive NFV and telecommunications features into OpenStack.

Tim Yeaton, senior vice president of Infrastructure Business at Red Hat said, in a statement:

“Carriers and telecommunications service providers are under pressure to modernize their network infrastructure to meet demands created by new service offerings and the explosive volume of data crossing the network. As a result, many are exploring the benefits OpenStack-based clouds can bring to NFV projects. By combining Huawei’s leadership in the telecommunications industry with Red Hat’s leadership in OpenStack and, more broadly, enterprise open source, we are well positioned to deliver cloud solutions that enable carriers to meet their network modernization challenges.”

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As noted, NFV is an effort to rethink the architecture of data centers:

"This is the telco industry re-imaging their data centers as elastic infrastructure clouds running their 'network functions' as virtualized, horizontally scalable applications on these clouds...These huge telcos want to rebuild their entire data centers with OpenStack and open source."

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