China Mobile has deployed nearly 2,000 public cloud servers at two existing data centers in Beijing and Guangzhou. And it chose Nokia’s Nuage Networks software-defined networking (SDN) technology for the project.
China Mobile is creating a public cloud service for its enterprise customers, mainly in China, using OpenStack and Nuage’s SDN. It’s akin to an enterprise consuming a virtual private cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), says Charles Ferland, Nuage’s VP of business development. “It’s very similar, but for Chinese enterprise customers,” he says.
However, AWS is not built on OpenStack, while China Mobile’s public cloud is. Outside the United States, OpenStack is more popular as a public cloud platform, according to recent findings from Forrester Research.
Ferland says one of the most significant aspects of the China Mobile project is its scale. “Two thousand OpenStack nodes is really quite large for production of OpenStack,” he says.
In fact, in October China Mobile won the OpenStack Superuser Award.
Nuage in China
This deal strengthens the relationship between China Mobile and Nuage Networks.
“We started to work with [China Mobile] over two years ago when they were building a private cloud,” says Ferland. “Since then, we have evolved, working closely with them enabling their public cloud.”
It’s noteworthy that the carrier chose Nuage as opposed to a China-based supplier.
“We had to be really on-point with what they wanted to accomplish,” says Ferland. “For them, time-to-provision was critical. The way the Nuage template and networking policy is structured, they’re able to reduce network provisioning time by a factor of 10.”
Nuage’s SDN technology is called the Virtualized Services Platform (VSP). It automates the configuration, management, and optimization of virtual networks.
While some vendors might turn a hardware switch into a virtualized switch (vSwitch), Nuage’s VSP does more. It uses a virtual services directory that creates a template, so a web server can talk to database servers. When a web server is detected, VSP pulls down a template and dynamically builds the service.
“We provision that at the same time through the OpenStack plug-in we have made,” says Ferland. “This is fundamentally different than configuring each vSwitch separately.”
Nuage’s SDN also includes security that’s suitable for multiple tenants sharing the same physical infrastructure in the public cloud. VSP provides tenant isolation with access controls for individual applications and workloads.