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VMware guiding telecom industry on journey towards network function virtualization and software-defined networking

A dramatic evolution is currently taking place within the telecommunications industry. Mobile, fixed and broadband network operators and service providers worldwide are fundamentally challenged with proprietary and expensive legacy telecom network infrastructure. The increasing number and diversity of mobile devices accessing their networks for not only voice, but also multimedia data, causes traffic to surge while voice ARPU (average revenue per user) is flat or declining. Coupled with the reality that telecom networks have been built with myriad complex, closed, inflexible application and content-specific hardware appliances, and the need to support more and more enterprises, operators and their network equipment provider (NEP) suppliers must move from the traditional, closed, proprietary, and costly service development model to a framework that is open, lower-cost, faster, developer-friendly, consumer-centric and enterprise cloud-ready.

Now what?

At VMware, we believe the best solution is a carrier-grade, customer-proven, virtualization and cloud infrastructure solution for mobile, fixed and broadband network infrastructure. While government regulations, reliability, uptime and the real-time data volumes required for mobile users were an initial concern for adopting this type of architecture, the complexity and profit squeeze for operators and service provides has them demanding their NEP vendors to provide virtualized network infrastructure and services. NEPs have always competed on the value-added and managed services side of the telecom industry, and as the underlying hardware becomes more commoditized, using virtualization software and industry-standard low-cost servers, switches and storage, NEPs are increasingly embracing network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) as a way of enabling them to reach broader market/industry segments through innovative software offerings.

To effectively address the demanding technology, business, competitive and end-user requirements of the rapidly evolving telecommunications industry, VMware’s industry-leading virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions, along with our deep experience and knowledge of having delivered enormous cost savings to over 450,000 customers worldwide, offer the following compelling business and technical benefits to the telecom industry:

  • Most mature infrastructure and application virtualization technology
  • Lowest latency in the industry
  • Security solutions for the telecommunication industry
  • Security for enterprise applications at a cost structure suited for next-generation requirements
  • Standards-based solutions that will equip customers to meet regulatory requirements
  • Business and operational flexibility
  • Mobility to eliminate application downtime from planned server maintenance by migrating running virtual machines between hosts
  • Near-real time functionality
  • Industry standards-based solutions

Collectively, these VMware solutions and capabilities can transform mobile, fixed and broadband network infrastructure and services to better deliver on:

  • Flexibility and support of legacy protocols: 2G, 3G, and 4G remote resource assignment capability allowing operators to remotely adjust virtual capacity in wireless towers for 2G, 3G, and 4G transmission, based on varying network capacity requirements, without using additional space for legacy protocols.
  • Operational flexibility: Application lifetime management and upgrades allowing upgrades without downtime and ongoing support and flexibility with older applications and operating systems.
  • Improved availability and reduced risk of failure: Return to redundancy by negating the need for a truck roll for onsite maintenance. Spares can be powered on virtually using unused capacity on industry-standard hardware.
  • Reduced capex in deploying value-added network services: Offloading and virtualizing on-premise services and turning them into service revenue opportunities, such as VPN.
  • Scalable access to data: Since virtualized applications are not dependent on physical location, data-intensive services, such as caches, can be moved to the edge of the wireless network to increase performance and user satisfaction.
  • Multitenancy: Future VXLAN capability empowering operators, service providers, and enterprises to outsource their network from larger/global clouds.
  • Cloud-based centralized management: Existing and future cloud management features that will be the logical choice from VMware with its technology leadership and innovation.

In close collaboration with the global NEP, ISV, standards body and operator communities, VMware will draw upon its extensive customer-tested virtualization best practices and apply its unparalleled product and technology expertise to transform the telecom network infrastructure and services, to deliver greater flexibility and agility, faster time-to-market of revenue-generating innovative services, and radical reductions in capital and operating expenditures.

About VMware Wireless Network Infrastructure Virtualization Solutions

VMware Wireless Network Infrastructure Virtualization Solutions fundamentally transform operator networks with radically lower CAPEX and OPEX structures, and enable rapid delivery of unique, differentiated services capabilities that produce new revenue streams. VMware’s comprehensive portfolio builds on our industry expertise in cloud computing and virtualization technologies. Drawing on our unparalleled virtualization and cloud infrastructure technologies and customer-tested delivery expertise, we collaborate with your team to address the technical issues, process and financial considerations to deliver results that will differentiate your offerings while meeting your customers’ demands for virtualized, wireless networking solutions.

(Originally posted 2/21/13, Office of the CTO blog)