Ericsson and Red Hat today announced a broad alliance to work together on network functions virtualization (NFV) products. And the telco infrastructure provider will now support the Red Hat OpenStack Platform.
Ericsson already has a longstanding distribution partnership with Red Hat that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss Middleware. The existing distribution partnerships define not only commercial terms, but also joint support models, co-engineering and certification testing, and joint go-to-market collaboration.
With today’s announcement, Ericsson adds the Red Hat OpenStack Platform to this partnership. And the companies will provide the same joint collaboration across sales, marketing, engineering, and customer support.
For Ericsson, the partnership means that its infrastructure products now support the Red Hat ecosystem, which is broadly used across many enterprises and service providers; the Red Hat OpenStack Platform is especially popular among telcos as they deploy clouds.
As an aside, Cisco — which is also in a close partnership with Ericsson — is also a Red Hat partner around Red Hat’s Linux, Middleware, and OpenStack offerings. Cisco and Ericsson are both now using Red Hat OpenStack Platform as part of their NFV infrastructure. So today’s announcement means that Ericsson is now aligned with Cisco on a common partner in this space.
Open Source Collaboration
Ericsson and Red Hat also plan to work together in open source groups. They will take an “upstream first” approach to collaboration across open source projects, including OpenStack, OPNFV, and OpenDaylight.
“In short, what this means is that any changes we make — feature enhancements, bug fixes, or other improvements — are driven in collaboration with the upstream [open source] projects,” says Mark Coggin, senior director of solutions marketing at Red Hat. “Therefore, the changes are made available for everyone.”
The upstream approach prevents “forking” work within the community, where coders end up working on code that’s destined only for a particular company. For customers, the upstream approach helps them to avoid vendor lock-in.
“Ericsson is committed to working with Red Hat to ensure that our mutual customers truly benefit from standards-based, open source solutions that are not proprietary,” says Coggin.
In addition to open source work within NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) communities, the two companies will also work together on the evolution of containers and will collaborate in upstream activities — for example, in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Open Container Initiative (OCI) communities.