You’ve surely heard their names before, but Dell EMC and VMware are now looking to push their plays in a new arena: the burgeoning world of telco network function virtualization (NFV).
At Mobile World Congress this week, both companies were on hand to discuss what they have to offer operators who are increasingly eyeing – and participating in – the NFV movement.
Dell EMC came out with two announcements on the front, including a new packaged services model that offers operators what John Roese from Dell EMC’s Office of the CTO called a “more turnkey environment to deploy NFV.”
Roese said Dell EMC already created a converged infrastructure market in the enterprise space, but realized service providers don’t use the technology the same way. So, he said, Dell EMC pulled together all the disparate solutions groups that do service provider work under one roof and are now starting to deliver much more packaged offerings.
“It’s taking the compute, storage, IO, virtualization, and even the partner ecosystem and making it incredibly easy to consume those without having to do a huge amount of integration,” Roese explained. “If you’re a Tier-1 telco, you don’t mind doing the integration. But we know the industry is very broad and if you’re a Tier-2 or a regional operator you really don’t want to be doing a lot of customization work, you want to get in the market because the value of NFV is the ability to standup and monetize services.”
Additionally, Roese said Dell EMC is revamping its partner program in order to allow service providers to resell its technology as a way to flesh out their own offerings in areas like NFV. That, he said, will beef up operator bundles to customers, thus helping their win rate and boosting revenue in turn.
VMware had an NFV announcement of its own in the launch of its vCloud NFV 2.0 platform.
According to VMware, the second iteration of its platform leverages feedback and experiences from its 80 plus production implementations of NFV with more than 45 carriers. The new platform, VMware’s VP of Telco Solutions Gabriele Di Piazza said, is based on four key pillars: service automation, security, operational intelligence, and carrier grade functions.
On service automation, Di Piazza said the focus is on streamlining the definition, creation, and deployment of services from automated VNF onboarding and service catalogues to creating security and policies at the time of function creation. For security, the platform takes aim at end-to-end security via access controls and isolated management of those controls. The operational intelligence pillar is targeted at giving operators 360 degree visibility into their new virtualized infrastructure in the absence of traditional indicators, and carrier grade functions refers to features like the platform’s stability and reliability as well as automatic updates, security encryption, and zero touch upgrades and patching, he said.
Di Piazza said VMware’s platform offers a series of benefits to carriers, including accelerating service deployment from months to hours, simplifying operations, and offering increased choice among the 34 virtualized network function that are already running on its platform.
Both Roese and Di Piazza emphasized that the NFV space is rapidly picking up steam, reporting that there isn’t a single service provider in the world that isn’t planning for, experimenting with, or deploying NFV.
And for good reason. As Roese said, it’s all about speed and agility.
“That’s the key for the service provider being able to take risk, because they don’t take risk today,” Roese said. “If you’ve got to dump $100 million dollars to build a piece of hardware and deploy it into an infrastructure to deliver a service, you spend three years debating it. If you can literally push a button to deploy software and it doesn’t work out and it costs you literally $20,000 to do it, you’ll take a lot more risk, which means you’ll have a lot more opportunity to find new, creative ways to monetize your infrastructure. So these are a big deal for the service provider world.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure