Slowly but surely, HP is building up partners for its network functions virtualization (NFV) platform. NEC is the one being announced Tuesday, meaning its virtual network functions (VNFs) and management software will be pre-validated to work with HP’s OpenNFV.
The announcement is being made at Mobile World Congress Shanghai.
OpenNFV is HP’s attempt at building a comprehensive NFV platform that can include the company’s Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade (although OpenNFV can work with KVM-based environments as well) as well as its NFV orchestration software.
The goal is to turn NFV into more of a plug-and-play offering for service providers. Along those lines, HP hopes to offer VNFs from a variety of partners.
Today’s announcement means NEC’s VNFs are on that list. Availability is slated for later this year.
It’s tempting to draw a parallel between OpenNFV and Virtual f(n), the NFV app store launched recently by Masergy. But OpenNFV “will be less a store where CSPs can buy directly from us” and more “a catalogue that lists the tested and validated apps with their use case descriptions, characteristics and performance data,” writes Werner Schaefer, vice president of HP’s NFV business, in an email to SDxCentral.
It’s taking time to build up that stable of VNF providers for OpenNFV, which was launched in February 2014. The only VNF partner announced before today was Nokia, in November. Still, more than 150 partners are “interested” in OpenNFV, “with several dozen agreements signed and a dozen or so completed the testing of their VNFs in our HP OpenNFV labs,” Schaefer writes.