According to Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing and business development at Pluribus, those components are vital to the deployment.
As a quick recap, Ericsson last week made good on a previously announced deal with Swisscom to launch a cloud-based enterprise service. That platform was described as a full-stack cloud deployment that takes advantage of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).
The platform details included use of Ericsson’s Cloud Manager, Cloud Execution Environment, Cloud SDN, Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, and professional services.
“Our first service is now live, servicing the small and medium enterprise market, and we will continue to work closely with Ericsson to onboard other services in the immediate future,” Staub said in a statement.
As part of its architecture (pictured below), Ericsson notes that Pluribus provides the networking component to the HDS 8000 product. Shalita said Pluribus’ Netvisor OS and Adaptive Cloud Fabric architecture are also part of the picture.
For the Swisscom deal, Shalita said the deployment includes at least two virtual evolved packet cores (vEPCs), with one deployed in Zurich and one in Lausanne, Switzerland. The one in Zurich has been live for several months, and carrying voice, data, and messaging traffic over the network.
Shalita said all of the traffic travelling across those platforms is running across Pluribus’ network. This includes connectivity, automation, policy, security, and metrics.
“The network is running 40-gig traffic in the core and connecting all the compute and RAN [radio access network] functions using NFV,” Shalita said. “And all EPC services and traffic is traversing our network.”
Shalita said Pluribus is optimized to work without an SDN controller, which he said limits the ability to manage the network in a more flexible manner.
“An SDN controller prevents the ability to manage a deployment from multiple locations,” Shalita explained. He did note that Ericsson uses an SDN controller as part of its cloud deployment for management across its various systems, with Pluribus integrating into that controller.
While Ericsson did not respond by press time for details on the deployment or Pluribus’ role in the platform, Ericsson has been an investor in Pluribus. The vendor was part of a $50 million Series D round that Pluribus closed in early 2015.
As for the broader market, Shalita said Pluribus is seeing increased attention from mobile operators interested in tapping virtualization. He noted that as those operators made the move to all IP infrastructure as part of their transition to 4G networks, it has allowed them to really get behind disaggregation of network components.
“They are just barreling full-steam ahead on the notion of disaggregation using SDN and NFV,” Shalita said. “I have never before seen this sort of adoption across the board.”
On the other hand, enterprises are moving somewhat slower than expected. Shalita said this has been due to a lot of vendor lock-in issues where enterprises are tied to a single vendor and hampered on making the transition.
“Many are locked into Cisco or another vendor and thinking about how to move to a new vendor,” Shalita said. He added that other vendors like Arista Networks are an option as they have garnered credibility within the enterprise space, but are just too similar to Cisco in their mindset and products to be a real alternative.
A Slice of the Pie
Shalita also noted Pluribus is behind Ericsson’s network slicing platform. Ericsson recently released results of a survey on network slicing that found operators can generate up to 35 percent more in revenues by introducing new services on network slices.
“We are 100 percent part of the network slicing work at Ericsson,” Shalita said.
Network slicing is seen as a key component for the business case around 5G networks. The technology will allow operators to parse out distinct sections of their network deployments to serve specific market segments, like IoT, or even specific customers.