After helping its carrier customers organically for the past couple of years to virtualize aspects of their core networks, VMware began “to realize that NFV is going to stay,” says David Wright, the vice president heading the company’s telecom group. “We’ve had enough production instances. It works. It became natural to look at [telcos] as a target market.”
VMware claims nearly 100 NFV deployments at various stages of implementation with service providers including Vodafone Germany, Vodafone UK, TeliaSonera, Vip Mobile, and Ooredoo.
This week’s announcement includes the newest release of the vCloud NFV platform, a new NFV accreditation program, and new carrier-grade services.
vCloud NFV is designed so service providers can use multiple vendors; it supports more than 40 virtual network functions (VNFs) from 30 different vendors. vCloud NFV includes other VMware components such as vSphere and Virtual SAN to support mobile core and IMS functions and the storage requirements of network functions. vCloud Director-SP provides new self-service provisioning capabilities, vApp enhancements, and tenant throttling. Integrated OpenStack includes load balancing as-a-service (LBaaS).
VMware is also debuting its Ready for NFV program, which allows partners to certify VNFs to ensure compatibility with VMware’s NFV infrastructure. Initial partners committing to the program include Affirmed Networks, Brocade, Metaswitch, Mitel, NEC, and Versa Networks.
Finally, VMware’s carrier-grade support offering will include enhanced service level agreements (SLAs) around response and restoration of service. In conjunction with this, Nokia launched a new care package — Nokia TotalCare for VMware — focusing specifically on carriers’ implementations of VMware infrastructure.