In the realm of network functions virtualization (NFV), we all know that no single vendor has all the answers. But while many NFV technology vendors talk about the value of partners, few put their money where their mouth is.
When it comes to the real work of cultivating vibrant partner ecosystems, HPE and Intel stand apart with the two largest NFV ecosystems in the industry. HPE‘s OpenNFV program includes more than 80 NFV application partners and more than 200 virtualized network functions (VNFs), and the Intel Network Builders ecosystem is even larger. These ecosystems are much more than an opportunity to name-drop companies in a marketing campaign or add logos to a PowerPoint slide. Together, HPE and Intel are investing significant time, effort, and resources to help our partners expand their NFV knowledge and work together to develop true carrier-grade solutions that Communication Service Providers (CSPs) need.
The HPE and Intel OpenNFV Integration Fest held in Dallas this past July is just one example of that type of collaboration in action.
Hands on Integration
The partners working with Intel and HPE represent a wide range of NFV knowledge and adoption. Some partners are just beginning to develop virtualized solutions while others are intimately familiar with core NFV technologies (like OpenStack) and are seeking to refine and strengthen their solutions. In fact, many (more than half of HPE’s OpenNFV partner program) have already developed and validated carrier-grade NFV solutions, and are now seeking to further fine-tune their NFV offerings and gain additional hands-on NFV experience.
At the recent OpenNFV Integration Fest event, these partners had ample opportunity to expand their NFV capabilities. The program ranged from training on the fundamentals of OpenStack to intensive “hack-a-thon” sessions to onboard and validate multi-partner VNFs for carrier environments. This year, the hands-on work included:
- Performance characterization: HPE and Intel worked with Brocade to help them maximize the performance of their VNFs and documented the results. The result?: HPE or Brocade can confidently promote the performance of their joint solutions, increasing CSP customer confidence in how those solutions will perform in their environments.
- Orchestration with scale-in/scale-out: HPE and Intel worked with GENBAND to integrate four GENBAND VNFs with HPE’s hybrid orchestration solution, HPE NFV Director. We not only demonstrated that it’s possible to successfully deploy and manage GENBAND VNFs with HPE NFV Infrastructure, but also integrated it with full scale-in/scale-out orchestration to validate the practical deployment of those solutions for real-world production environments.
- Service chaining: Working with Brocade and Allot, we validated a full software-defined networking (SDN) service function chaining integration for a GiLAN environment. Over two sessions, we demonstrated service chaining of network functions (including Brocade’s virtual router and Allot’s parental control gateway and firewall) using HPE’s OpenDaylight-based Carrier SDN controller. And we built an environment that could dynamically route traffic on a per-subscriber basis to optimize network traffic flow.
This type of multi-vendor, in-depth, hands-on cooperation represents the kind of cross-pollination that needs to happen if we’re going to meet the promise of NFV and deliver carrier-grade solutions for real-world environments. Without efforts like these, the burden to integrate and implement NFV solutions falls to CSPs—which means longer deployment cycles, extensive solution optimization, and higher deployment costs.
HPE and Intel are committed to making NFV simpler, more reliable, and higher-performing for our CSP customers. We believe that events like these are more than worth the effort. After all, we’re devoting enormous amounts of time and energy to develop capabilities to accelerate carrier-grade NFV solutions. Bringing partners along in that journey is part of the process!
More importantly, by working closely with our partners through events like these, we’re taking significant steps to accelerate the development and adoption of carrier-grade NFV solutions for customers. We believe that these investments yield direct benefits to our CSP customers in the form of faster implementation cycles, more optimized NFV infrastructures, and a higher payback on their NFV investments.