The tier 1 telcos have made clear their interest in adopting network functions virtualization so they can benefit from the cost savings of industry-standard hardware and the flexibility of more software-centric architectures. But successfully getting to NFV involves more than simply buying software and running it on any x86 server, according to HP, the leader in the x86 server space.
Collaboration and integration between hardware and software suppliers are necessary to make sure these vendors provide telcos with reliable solutions, said Lloyd Marchhew, worldwide business development manager for the telecommunications industry at HP Servers, and Arun Gaur, head of worldwide business development for HP Moonshot.
And in some cases, they add, carriers may want to employ more specialized hardware to power network functionality with higher-level requirements.
“That’s why partnerships like HP and GENBAND are absolutely vital,” said Gaur.
GENBAND, which last month announced it has joined the HP OpenNFV Partner Program, is pre-integrating specific network functions on HP servers, including on HP’s Moonshot hyperscale platforms.
“HP has a long history of enabling telecom operators to realize the economics and business agility of high volume IT industry servers in their network data centers and central offices,” said Marchhew. “HP is the industry leader in qualifying and characterizing volume enterprise IT technologies for deployment in the telco network infrastructure. This is enabling telecom service providers to significantly reduce their costs and to more rapidly innovate in an increasing competitive landscape for telecom operators.”
Traditionally servers have been used by telcos to support peripheral functions such as billing, call detail records, and operational support systems, explained Marchhew. But now telcos are bringing these servers into their core networks and into the data plane as part of the move to NFV, so these platforms need to be low latency, very deterministic, and have very efficient packet processing, said Marchhew, who was HP’s server representative on the ETSI NFV committee that fueled the network functions virtualization movement.
To address these new requirements, HP is working closely with companies including 6Wind and Intel, which are leaders in DPDK, a technology that can improve packet-processing performance by multiples (up to 10 times, according to Intel).
And just last week, HP formally announced a partnership with Wind River. The companies are working together to develop solutions with HP Helion OpenStack technology to enable carrier-grade NFV capabilities. Key areas of focus for this effort include manageability, performance, and reliability.
HP offers an array of server solutions to address the new telco network. That includes a portfolio of blade, rack-mount and work-load optimized servers for demanding core network applications; -48v, NEBS and ETSI compliant configurations for central office deployments at commercial prices.
GENBAND will participate in the NFV booth at the HP Discover event happening in Barcelona from Dec. 2-4, offering a chance to learn more about the hottest trends shaping the industry today.