Fujitsu has been offering managed IT services as part of its business services unit for more than 10 years. But about a year ago, the company created a software-defined networking (SDN)/network functions virtualization (NFV) Solutions Practice within its business services unit.
The group begins by assessing a customer’s business problems, and then it does everything from soup to nuts to help the customer use virtual network functions (VNFs).
The new SDN/NFV practice is almost like a startup, operating within the bigger business services consulting practice. Santitoro has a core team of solution architects, engineers, and business people. And his team can pull from the bigger services group when needed.
Vendors and service providers doing end-to-end NFV implementations use a variety of reference architectures. For instance, AT&T is using its own ECOMP platform, while Verizon has also created its own NFV reference architecture. And from the vendor perspective, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has created its own OpenNFV architecture.
Santitoro says MEF’s LSO is “a much more holistic architecture than some of the others” because it supports legacy infrastructure as well as inter-operator orders.
“Inter-operator orders” refers to MEF’s roots in Metro Ethernet wherein MEF stresses the importance of carrying an operator’s end-to-end service across other operators’ networks.
VNF Vendor Partners
Although Fujitsu is vendor-agnostic when it comes to the pieces and parts to create a complete NFV end-to-end implementation, it doesn’t have an official partner program.
“Our services organization has always been multivendor,” says Santitoro. “When I started the practice, I said, ‘these are the vendors I want to work with.’ We had some already, but others we went out and developed relationships with. A lot of times our clients ask us to evaluate vendors.”
Fujitsu sees itself as unique in the NFV integration space because, unlike other vendors, it doesn’t sell VNF products. “HPE wants to sell servers; Juniper wants to sell orchestrators,” says Santitoro. “Our consulting does not push products. We take this very neutral approach.”