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Telco Bits & Bytes – 2 April 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Announcing VMware User Group for Telecoms Services and Operations

Announcing the VMware Telecoms Services and Operations User Group

In November I posted a blog overviewing an invitation-only Telco user forum, held on alongside VMworld Europe. Over 20 representatives from 10 customers began the process of building the first VMware community for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). The community will focus on supporting telecom infrastructure and services projects.

Delegates meet at Telco Customer Forum, November 2019. Barcelona

I’m delighted to announce that the Telcoms Services and Operations VMUG is now live!

Delegates agreed that the new community should meet through a combination of online and face-to-face activities. Coronavirus has had a massive impact on all our lives and face-to-face activity is no longer an option for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, VMUG is a fantastic online community platform.

Our first event will be on April 21st 2020: An Introduction to VMware Telco Cloud. You can register here or through the VMUG Group page. The webinar will provide the context for follow-on, deeper dives  and highlight some key technologies including Orchestration and Assurance.

Get Involved!

If you are part of a team planning or operating virtualised telecom infrastructure including NFV, or the next wave of Enterprise services such as SD-WAN, join the conversation by joining the Telecoms Services and operations VMUG or contacting memberservices@vmug.com for more information.

I would like to thank the teams at Telia, BT, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Swisscom and MTS for their input and support that has led to the creation of this group.

About VMUG: Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 19th March 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the first edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat.  Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Industry Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Introducing Telco Cloud Automation

Accelerate network agility with VMware Telco Cloud Automation™

Today we announced VMware Telco Cloud Automation general availability (GA)—VMware’s next-generation telco cloud orchestrator (previously announced under the name, Project Maestro). VMware Telco Cloud Automation transforms the CSP’s telco cloud experience and delivers tremendous value through unified lifecycle management automation, multi-cloud agility and improved MANO interoperability.

Many communications service providers (CSPs) have set their sights set on the cloud in hopes of achieving operational agility, lower costs, and network resiliency while also delivering an exceptional service experience to their customers. However, the cloud is evolving quickly, both in terms of technology and multi-cloud expansion; and this doesn’t necessarily align with the traditional CSP’s carrier-grade technology adoption pattern. It’s a big shift that serves up new challenges in terms of learnings, growing complexity, and interoperability – especially as you bridge physical and virtual ecosystems. In a nutshell, as the cloud and networks evolve with containers, 5G and MEC, the challenge to contain operational costs will become increasingly more difficult. We are today at a crucial moment– and CSPs that build a foundation that enables them to innovate quickly and control their operational costs will have a distinct advantage over their current competitors and OTT players.

The good news is that CSPs can bypass much of the complexity with VMware Telco Cloud Automation, a new orchestrator that accelerates time to market for network functions and services while igniting operational agility through simplified automation—across any network and any cloud.

VMware Telco Cloud Automation

Figure 1: VMware Telco Cloud Automation

An orchestration and automation platform for the telco cloud

VMware started this journey back in 2016, by assessing the market and listening to customer requests.  Our findings were twofold. First, CSPs must implement orchestration and automation as soon as possible to improve efficiency and to ensure readiness for future cloud network innovations. Second, most of the MANO solutions on the market today are designed around telco vendors’ vantage points with traditional pros and cons (vendor lock-in, heavy integration costs, etc.).  These all share a fundamental flaw: none have fully taken advantage of the cloud’s capabilities over time, nor have they tapped into possibilities associated with the multi-cloud. To this end, we’re applying VMware cloud expertise and designed a new cloud-first approach to MANO, a strategy that abstracts much of the cloud complexities and exposes the new multi-cloud ecosystem through standard telco interfaces (following ETSI standards). At the very heart of this approach is VMware’s ability to build native integrations at each layer and to continuously synchronize the bottom infrastructure stack (VIM/NFVI) with the upper MANO stack (NFVO/VNFM).

This new approach allows the service and application layers to be cloud/multi-cloud aware and to leverage all available data centers as a shared pool of resources. It also enables more savvy policy/placement decisions that avoid rollbacks, a major problem in most of today’s MANO implementations.

Figure 2: Difference between traditional blueprint-first and VMware new cloud-first approach

By applying this cloud-first philosophy combined with a standards-based and a network function vendor-neutral position, VMware Telco Cloud Automation helps CSPs to:

  • Orchestrate and automate network functions/services with multi-cloud agility from the core to the edge, and from private to public cloud.
  • Unify the management of network functions of any vendor on VM-based and Container-based infrastructures (ETSI standard-compliant VNF/CNF/PNF).
  • Streamline the orchestration journey with native VIM integrations and a pluggable architecture following ETSI-MANO standards.
  • Enable a thriving multi-vendor telco cloud ecosystem with standard interfaces and the certification of partner’s network functions from the NFVI to the NFVO.

Vetted by customers and partners

From day one, we have worked with customers and partners to create a product adapted to their needs. We are thankful to them for all the guidance provided and the time they’ve devoted to proof the product’s capabilities.

As a positive response, VMware is already engaged in Beta trials with several customers.  More notably, the platform is being rolled out in various Opcos of a large Tier 1 carrier, supporting its next-generation automation initiative. As part of that project, VMware Telco Cloud Automation manages the orchestration and automation of hundreds of network functions and services for both 4G and 5G networks – plus the implementation of new cloud-native 5G network services.

A fundamental aspect of any MANO solution is its ability to evolve in a multi-vendor ecosystem. As an infrastructure provider for many years, VMware already has a robust group of VNF partners certified on its technology (150+ VNFs certified from all major equipment providers).  And, as part of our Telco Cloud Automation efforts, we’ve worked with many of these partners to integrate their VNFs and now CNFs, including Affirmed Networks, Metaswitch, Altiostar, Mavenir, Altran, VeloCloud, and Avi Networks. The Ready for NFV Program, extended for VMware Telco Cloud Automation, will open soon after this announcement. Any partner can submit a certification request today and will be contacted once the certification program becomes available.

A closer look at the core capabilities and features provided with this version:

The core capabilities for VMware Telco Cloud Automation can be grouped into four areas:

  • Generic VNF Management (G-VNFM) unifies and standardizes network function management across physical (PNF), VM (VNF) and Container-based (CNF) infrastructures.
  • NFV/Domain Orchestration (NFVO) simplifies the design and management of centralized and distributed multi-vendor network services (chaining PNF/CNF/VNF).
  • Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Management abstracts cloud complexity, eases VIM registration, synchronizes inventories/resources, and collects faults and performance from infrastructure to network functions.
  • Policy and Placement engine enables intent-based and multi-cloud workload/policy placements from the network core to edge, and from private to public clouds.

Figure 3: VMware Telco Cloud Automation & multi-VIM integrations

A set of features to simplify and transform network operations 

  • Native VIM/Kubernetes integrations. VMware Telco Cloud Automation integrates natively with VMware vCloud NFV 2.1/3.2.1/3.3 (vCD/OpenStack editions), VMware Cloud (VMC) 1.9, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) Cluster API 1.16 (w/ Helm support for resource description).
  • Multi-cloud, multi-VIM registration. The multi-VIM registration process allows CSP to easily add multiple VIMs to Telco Cloud Automation. Through its local VIM distributed component, it auto-discovers all required VIM/tenant configurations without needing API integration or complex commands to execute.

Figure 4: Multi-cloud – multi-VIM

Figure 5: Simplified VIM registration

  • Continuous VIM synchronization. Once registered, the VIM automatically synchronizes with Telco Cloud Automation, providing real-time information about its configurations, state, faults/performance (FM/PM) and inventories – from resources (CPU, storage, memory, etc.) to network, deployed VMs and network functions.
  • Single pane of glass. The orchestrator lets you view all elements of your telco cloud in a centralized location, from network services and network functions to the cloud virtual infrastructure. CSPs can quickly assess the state of all components and their performance, and trigger automatic actions to remediate identified issues.

Figure: 6: Telco Cloud 360° awareness

  • Access all network functions and services in a single location. The centralized catalogs offer access to all onboarded network functions (PNF/CNF/VNF) including those onboarded using VMware Telco Cloud Automation and others managed through third-party S-VNFM (see southbound integrations). Similarly, all onboarded network services are available in a centralized catalog.
  • Easily onboard any network function and service. VMware Telco Cloud Automation enables onboarding of SOL001/004-compliant network functions and services. Once onboarded, the network functions and services are added to their respective catalogs for review and instantiation. Note that the VMware Ready for NFV program lets VNF partners certify VNFD and package on VMware vCloud NFV and VMware Telco Cloud Automation.
  • Design network functions and services through an easy-to-use visual composer. The visual composer provides an end-to-end environment to design new or modify existing ETSI-MANO compliant TOSCA templates. The network function template integrates elements such as VDU/HELM, network, resources, automation interfaces, and other artifacts. Similarly, network services can chain network functions from different vendors and technologies (VNF/CNF/PNF). In parallel to the design, the solution generates a YAML source file as part of the package that can be further edited. Once saved, the ETSI compliant package is automatically onboarded or can be downloaded.

Figure 7: VNF/CNF onboarding and design

Figure 8: TOSCA-template network service visual composer (also available for CNF/VNF design)

  • Customize automation processes. VMware extends ETSI-MANO standard automation capabilities with custom workflows enabled through interfaces. Telco Cloud Automation integrates natively with VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) to trigger—and simplify—the design of new custom workflows. CSPs can also easily reuse any existing VNF workflows created through vRO.
  • Intent-based placement. Continuous synchronization between Telco Cloud Automation and the VIM enables effective intent-based placement. Telco Cloud Automation automatically optimizes workload placement on the most suitable cloud, matching the descriptor requirements with the cloud profiles. These cloud profiles include available resources, networks and VIM-specific capabilities (e.g., SR-IOV, DPDK, etc.).
  • Distribute workload placements. The orchestrator lets CSPs take full advantage of their multi-cloud ecosystem, distributing workloads among multiple clouds. As part of the network service instantiation process, CSPs can assign clouds in similar or different locations, and each network functions part of the service. The right transport network is then assigned to provide connectivity across sites.
  • Hybrid cloud placements. CSPs can now take advantage of public clouds as an alternate set of resources. Telco Cloud Automation allows for workload placement and mobility across both private and public clouds such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google (via VMware VMC).

Figure 9: Multi-cloud and hybrid placement

  • Automate lifecycle management. The orchestrator offers automation capabilities driven by a policy engine that executes standard closed-loop policies described in VNFD and NSD, plus custom defined workflows. These policies apply to the entire lifecycle management (day 0; day 1; day 2 operations – instantiate, heal, scale, update, etc.) of network functions and services for lean operational processes. They also remove complicated, tedious and repetitive tasks while maximizing overall resource utilization through dynamic scaling and multi-cloud workload mobility.
  • Auto-action operations. The orchestrator allows actions to be triggered from various decision points including NFVO, G-VNFM and Element Manager.
  • Tailored governance. Telco Cloud Automation combines multi-tenancy and role-based access control to enable a tailored governance model. The multi-tenancy allows the isolation of network functions and services to specific group(s) (and/or Opcos) while the roles-based access control enables data and operation segregations (e.g., NFVO, VNFM, VNF Designer, Voice VNF Manager, etc.). These governance capabilities apply to both GUI and API interactions.

A product that speaks telco and cloud

VMware Telco Cloud Automation supports core ETSI-MANO guidelines for telco component interoperability and leverages native integration with VIM and Kubernetes for northbound interfaces (e.g., placement, KPI collection, etc.). This architecture provides a streamlined and flexible approach for orchestrating telco standards-compliant workloads on a fast-evolving multi-cloud ecosystem. CSPs can interact with telco standards and allow Telco Cloud Automation to translate the requirements in cloud capabilities.

Telco standardized interfaces facilitate Telco Cloud Automation deployment and interactions within a multi-vendor MANO architecture. Here’s a list of supported interfaces:

  • VNF descriptor definition and package IFA011/SOL001 and IFA014/SOL004
  • S-VNFM integration to NFVO through IFA007/SOL003
  • EMS integration to G-VNFM and NFVO through IFA008/SOL002
  • Service Orchestrator/Service Assurance/OSS/BSS integrations to NFVO through IFA013/SOL005 and relevant TMF API’s

Figure 10: Southbound interfaces

Northbound VIM interfaces are supported by Telco Cloud Automation through native integrations with VMware vCloud NFV 2.1/3.2.1/3.3 – (vCloud Director and VMware Integrated OpenStack editions), VMware Cloud (VMC) 1.9, and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) – Cluster API 1.16 (w/ Helm support for resource description).

Accelerate the network transformation journey while controlling operational costs

CSPs switching to the network cloud can now do so with great ease thanks to VMware Telco Cloud Automation. Its broad feature set simplifies and expands your capabilities, delivering consistency from infrastructure to network services. The latest addition to VMware’s growing cloud portfolio, VMware Telco Cloud Automation empowers CSPs with a solution that streamlines the orchestration journey, enables a thriving multi-vendor ecosystem and delivers the multi-cloud agility that modern networks require.

Learn more about VMware Telco Cloud Automation, the new telco cloud orchestrator for CSPs brought to you by VMware:

10 Predictions on 5G

With the current year promising to be a breakout one for 5G, I’ve taken the opportunity to outline some of the key changes I see coming in the Telco & Edge Cloud area as a result of this arrival.

  1. We will see robust, nationwide 5G networks and services in the US beginning in the latter half of 2020.
  2. The growing popularity of eSim technology will chip away at the traditional barriers to multi-carrier solutions and dynamic carrier switching, making both much more feasible and popular.
  3. The primary driver of consumer 5G usage will be the growing adoption of credible enterprise 5G use cases such as advanced conferencing and private network connectivity.
  4. 5G connectivity will emerge as a credible replacement for WiFi. For the majority of us who are accustomed to always asking ‘What’s the WiFi password?’, this will be a liberating sea-change.
  5. Tier 1 telcos will get comfortable with a ‘virtual-first’ architecture for their core network functions, turning their attention to the Edge and RAN.
  6. The battle for the Edge among telcos and public cloud providers will heat up significantly. Hybrid architectures that connect telco clouds to hyperscale public clouds will gain traction.
  7. We will see the emergence of edge-native applications spread across two categories:  latency sensitive and high data volume. By the end of 2020, latency-sensitive apps will lead in edge deployments.
  8. Radio (RAN) infrastructure will see significant software-driven upheaval due to the disaggregation and separation of radio, distribution, and control.
  9. Increased IoT device-based cyberattacks will compel CIOs to assert more control over IoT deployments. Security will become an inherent requirement of the 5G infrastructure supporting IoT.
  10. The adoption of programmable network architectures will increase among global carriers, enabling strong policy-based security solutions.

Roll Up! See how VMware and Dell Technologies accelerates your 5G journey from Core, to Edge, to Device at MWC 2020

Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are now on the road to deploying 5G. The journey will be exciting for some and certainly have its twists and turns for others. At VMware, we’re working to smooth the highway ahead for CSPs and accelerating their journey so they can deliver a successful cloud centric 5G network quicker. This will help them improve the customer experience and generate new revenues with innovative applications and services at the Edge. Would you like to see what that trip looks like? We thought so and we’re happy to share this journey with you at a certain large tech event happening soon?

At MWC 2020 in Barcelona, we’ll be mapping the way with a variety of demonstrations at the Dell Technologies and VMware stand 3M11 in Hall 3. Enjoy an all-encompassing experience complete with augmented and simulated reality demos, showcasing our 5G telco cloud solutions and the latest in modern networking solutions for you to test drive.

No matter where you sit in your organization, we can put you in the driving seat with a demo applicable to your business. Telco Cloud. Private Cloud. Multi-Cloud. Edge. SD-WAN. Enterprise Services. Consumer Services. End User Computing. We’ve got something for everyone!

We will show you how CSPs are deploying next-gen 5G networks using our solutions all the way from the Core, to the Edge, to the Device. With our team of subject matter experts on hand to navigate you through the latest developments from VMware and Dell, here’s some of what you can see…

Starting at the Core

In addition to the full range of our Telco Cloud Products and Solutions on show, we’re excited to show you our 5G Network Operations Center (NOC). Come and see how you can manage and orchestrate 5G services and view how your existing network topology can be monitored and analyzed all the way from the network to the subscriber, all using VMware’s Telco Cloud solutions.

Other Telco Cloud Solutions on show:

  • vCloud NFV – our award-winning 5G Ready NFV Platform, available with either vCloud Director or Virtual Integrated OpenStack (VIO)
  • Telco Orchestration – the latest addition to our suite of Telco Cloud solutions, which accelerates operational agility across any network and any cloud
  • Smart Assurance – your answer to 360 Degree view across physical and virtualized infrastructure, telco services and RAN
  • Uhana – real time RAN analytics, which provide granular insight into subscribers’ mobile experiences and AI-driven Root Cause Analytics to understand issues and fix them
  • 5G Network Slicing – end-to-end network slicing and service orchestration in a multi-domain and multi-cloud environment. Everyone’s talking about it, come and see it live!

 Accelerating to the Edge

Along with our partners and the latest in Dell Edge infrastructure hardware, we’ll also show you the latest and greatest in 5G Edge Services for Consumers and Enterprises. Edge Services unleash low latency and high bandwidth capabilities, and we’ve got some great examples of how these will be practically deployed on VMware’s Telco Cloud platform and managed at the application layer.

For consumers, we will be showing off augmented reality based real-time services developed with our partners MobiledgeX, Vuzix and Zoi. Using AR glasses, we’ll be translating and transcribing conversations in real-time at the Edge.

For enterprise services, we’ll be demonstrating how you can interact and collaborate in virtual reality at the Edge. Again, with our partners MobiledgeX and a leader in simulated reality, Dimenco, we’ll use interactive 3D screens and ultra-haptics to show off some low-latency, real-time collaboration.

The VeloCloud, now a part of VMware, team will also be in attendance to show how you can power up your performance across any application, any cloud and any device. Using their market leading SD-WAN solutions and the latest 510LTE device, watch demos of network slicing, UCaaS and maintaining uptime and connectivity in brownout and blackout scenarios.

Finishing on the Device

Finally, we’ll be showing off the many advantages of using Workspace One, a single platform that creates a digital workspace that will excite and energize employees, increase IT and employee productivity with rapid deployment and enrollment of applications, administration and remote management of any device (including wearables), coupled with the speed of 5G.

So, make space in your Barcelona road trip to come and learn how your 5G journey can proceed smoothly and speedily from Core, to Edge, to Device at the Dell Technologies and VMware stand in Hall 3. Remember, there are other ways to meet with us at this year’s event and you can learn more about presence at MWC 2020 here.

We look forward to meeting you in Barcelona!

Why bet your future on unproven cloud solutions? Let’s meet at MWC 2020!

VMware takes a cloud-centric approach to the network, and unlike traditional vendors, virtualization and cloud are at our core. Learn how we can help you take full advantage of your 5G strategy and focus on new business opportunities. Meet us at Mobile World Congress 2020, Hall 3 Stand M11.

At MWC 2020 thousands of us will be discussing ‘Limitless Intelligent Connectivity’.

According to GSMA’s website5G promised endless possibilities. An era of Intelligent Connectivity – the convergence of AI, Big Data, and IoT – powered by 5G. A new digitally driven industrial revolution. As new 5G rolls out, so possibilities become reality. And by connecting everyone to everything, across every industry these opportunities are without limits.But who can truly help you take advantage of these limitless opportunities?

VMware – the trusted advisor to Service Providers and Enterprises globally for more than 20 years

VMware’s solutions already keep pace with the hype, spanning telco, private and public clouds all the way to the edge.  It’s how we enabled one customer to deploy close to 1000 VNFs across 50 locations in 15+ countries. We give telco’s and enterprises of all sizes the choice, efficiency, and agility to deliver any app, on any cloud, to any device to create the workplace of the future.

Join us at the Dell Technologies and VMware stand in Hall 3 to see the latest in 5G and Edge based services for consumers and enterprises, powered by our 5G-ready NFV platform.

What will you see and do at the VMware booth? 

At our stand you will learn about how our common platform for Telco, Edge, Private and Hybrid Clouds provide the agility, scalability, and cost savings needed to take part in the cloud economy.

You can also meet with our executives and subject matter experts who will guide you through our solutions including Telco Cloud, Enterprise Services and Consumer Services.

Finally, join us throughout the day at our ‘Café of the Future’ for a rejuvenating coffee or a beer at the end of each day.

Still don’t believe us? Attend the VMware & Mercy Ships keynote to learn how you can take part in the cloud economy.

VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger and Rosa Whitaker, President, Mercy Ships, will present one of the  main stage keynote presentations on Wednesday, 26th February. They will discuss the practical realities of the new generation that 5G is enabling right now and how our technology will be the rising tide that lifts all ships – literally in this case – through the lens of its potential effect on Mercy Ships.

Need a break from the whirlwind of MWC?

Customers and Partners are invited to the Dell Technologies, Intel and VMware reception being held on Tuesday, February 25th. Don’t miss this opportunity to travel in time with us back to the early days of Dell. Register for this exclusive event here.

Come and learn more at MWC 2020 about new 5G reality VMware is already delivering.

We look forward to meeting you and you can learn more about our presence at MWC 2020 here.

4 VMware Telco Events to Get You Ready for MWC Barcelona 2020

The biggest telco event of the year, Mobile World Congress, is fast approaching, and of course, VMware will be participating, exhibiting, and presenting our innovative telco cloud solutions in Barcelona. But what if you can’t wait till the end of February to hear what we’ve got in store?

Well, you’re in luck. We have a number of events coming up for you to learn more about our latest solutions and how we’re helping our customers today. Here’s how you can connect with us in the next few weeks:

Event: TM Forum’s Middle East Event

Join us at TM Forum’s Digital Transformation Middle East event in Dubai on the 20th and 21st where 400+ communication service providers and suppliers from across the globe will come together at the Conrad Dubai hotel to share best-practices around accelerating their internal digital transformation. We’ll be there and if you’re interested in meeting our regional team, send an email to telcocloudteam@vmware.com and we’ll put you in touch.

Webinar: Taking Innovation and Disruption to the Edge

Register for the Mobile World Live ‘Taking Innovation and Disruption to the Edge’ webinar on Tuesday, January 28th where ASOCS, VMware and GSMA Intelligence will discuss how you can successfully deliver edge cloud services. Amongst other things we’ll be presenting what it takes to successfully deliver telco edge cloud services including how to overcome barriers and sharing successful use cases.

Webinar: The Total Economic Impact™ Of A Common Platform Approach to NFV (coming soon)

Stay tuned for details about our upcoming webinar with the GSMA on Tuesday, February 11th. In the webinar, we’ll discuss the Forrester Consulting ‘The Total Economic Impact™ Of A Common Platform Approach to NFV’ study which compares the incremental total economic impact of a common platform deployment for NFV with a vertical stack approach. Once details are final, we’ll post them to our LinkedIn page.

Webinar: Orchestration & Automation for the Telco Cloud Era

Enroll for the Light Reading ‘Orchestration & Automation for the Telco Cloud Era’ webinar on Thursday, February 13th. VMware subject matter experts will be discussing the growing need for cloud-first orchestration including the state of Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) in the market and what’s required for the transition from NFV to telco cloud. Finally, bookmark and keep up to date on our plans for MWC2020 on our dedicated event microsite which showcases some of the ways you can meet with us in Barcelona including how to request a meeting with us at our stand in Hall 3 and details of our key note speaking session.

We’re really excited about what’s coming up in 2020 and we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona if not before at these events!

Check out telco.vmware.com for more information on VMware Telco Cloud offerings and follow us on Twitter (@vmwaretelco) for all the latest news and announcements around VMware telco. 

VMware’s Telco Cloud Solutions Receive Industry Recognition

Thank You – Thank You Very Much

VMware has been a leading provider to Enterprises for the last 21 years, but in Telco we are a relative newcomer, so getting recognized by our peers, doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

This month our VMware vCloud NFV Open Stack platform was recognized for innovation and excellence by the World Communications Organization #WCA19. For 21 years, the World Communication Awards have recognized innovation and excellence for global telecoms, and today continue to be the most revered mark of achievement in the telecom industry. The market has changed considerably since the first awards in 1999 and the relationship between operators and vendors has been and continues to be redrawn. To reflect this, the categories presented are changed every year and now reflect the latest trends of #5G, #AI, #digitaltransformation, #NFV and #IoT as well as the traditional awards such as global and wholesale operator.

While we appreciate the accolades, our focus for our Telco customers is paramount. We want them to succeed in their digital transformations, and to become formidable participants in the new cloud economy that will be enabled with 5G.

World Communications Award 2019


Winner: VMware vCloud NFV for OpenStack

  • Huawei Fully Converged Cloud Core Network for 5G
  • Parallel Wireless Virtual 5G Native Architecture
  • Red Hat Technology for NFV
  • Saudi Telecom Company STC Telco Cloud
  • ZTE Corporation ZTE NFVI SDN Solution

“With this solution, VMware delivers breakthrough improvements in network performance, carrier-grade networking capabilities, and intent-based service assurance to improve the total economics of software-defined, open standards-based 5G and multi-cloud networks.”

Winner! Digital Transformation Asia 2019: Best New Catalyst in Show

In addition, we’re proud to share that in participation with ecosystem partners: Ericsson, Infosys, Intel, and HPE and operator champions: Airtel, AIS, Globe Telecom, KDDI Research, Optus, Singtel, Telkomsel our joint catalyst project “Being Edgy” won “Best new Catalyst in show” at TM Forum’s Digital Transformation Asia 2019.

5G will be the gold mine for enterprise business units of telcos. The ability of dynamic network slicing with zero-touch orchestration is touted to be a critical success factor for 5G. However, this is just solving half of the puzzle. Edge cloud management is the other missing piece. Edge use cases have varying characteristics and thus require various edge implementations in order to be efficient and cost-effective. Being able to scale beyond public, private, and hybrid clouds extending automated lifecycle management to the edge is of great importance.

There is currently no standardization in this space and many open source projects have tried to address the requirements in this space. This Catalyst, which leveraged vCloud NFV Open Stack as a common platform, explored the maturity of the solutions in the market for edge cloud management and how they could be wired up consistently with the automation and orchestrating happening close to the core sites.



VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0: What’s New




VMware recently announced VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 6.0. We are truly excited about our latest OpenStack distribution as this release enables customers to take advantage of advancements in the upstream Stein release including support for Cinder generic volume groups, improved admin panels, and security improvements throughout the stack.

For our Telco customers, VIO 6.0 delivers scale and availability for hybrid applications across VM and container-based workloads using a single VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Manager). VIO 6.0 is built with a Kubernetes-managed high availability control plane built on top of VMware SDDC, providing resilience in addition to availability. Upgrades from VIO 5.1 to VIO 6.0 is seamless with zero data plane downtime. We are super excited to bring these features in VIO 6.0!


VIO 6.0 Feature Details:

Advanced Kubernetes Support:

Kubernetes-powered OpenStack control plane: VIO 6.0 is now intent based running on top of a dedicated Kubernetes cluster. The intent-based design allows the VIO control plane to self-heal from failures. Since OpenStack services are now deployed as pods in Kubernetes, the new intent-based control plane also allows VIO components to be horizontally scaled up or down seamlessly and independently of one another. The new control plane architecture achieves a lower out-of-the-box footprint while allowing cloud admins to easily expand capacity.

Tenant-facing Kubernetes: In addition to providing a Kubernetes managed control plane, VIO provides tenant facing clusters powered by Essential PKS. A reference implementation using Heat is available for download from github. The Heat stack is intended to accelerate Essential PKS on VIO. The Heat stacks are open source software and provide support for either native integration with NSX-T using NCP (NSX Container Plugin) or Calico (v3.7) networking.

Feature Enhancements:


  • New multi-attach feature allows a volume to be attached to multiple instances at once
  • vSphere First Class Disk (FCD) support:
    • FCD does away with the need for shadow VM’s to house unattached Cinder volumes
    • Faster than VMDK driver for most operations
    • Compliments the existing VMDK driver: FCD can be enabled as an optional secondary backend
    • Users can create traditional VMDK or FCD volumes using volume types

IPv4 / IPv6 and Dual Stack Support:

  • Dual stack IPv4/IPv6 for Nova instances, Neutron security groups & routers
  • Support IPv6 with NSX-T 2.5 and NSX-P Neutron plugin
  • IPv6 addressing modes: static, SLAAC
  • Static IPv6 routing on Neutron routers
  • IPv6 support for FWaaS


  • Federation support using JSON Web Tokens (JWT)

OpenStack at Scale:

VIO 6.0 features seamlessly scaling OpenStack services to meet changes in demand and load. VIO 6 supports horizontally scaling the controllers as well as the pods that are run in those controllers. An out of the box compact deployment uses only one controller and an out of the box HA deployment uses three controllers, but users can scale up to a maximum of 10 controllers with a few clicks or CLI commands. This provides increased flexibility for cloud admins to right-size their deployments according to their needs. The ability to scale controller nodes provides for simple expansion of capacity for higher-load environments. VIO 6.0 supports scale out of individual OpenStack services by increasing pod replica counts. OpenStack services can be scaled out with just few clicks from the UI or a command from CLI without affecting other services or causing data plane downtime.

Essential PKS on OpenStack:

  • Provides a hybrid VM and container platform that combines best of breed components.
  • OpenStack and Kubernetes APIs for workloads, cluster and resource lifecycle management
  • Ability to deploy Essential PKS with OpenStack Heat for a native OpenStack experience and repeatable cluster creation
  • OpenStack multi-tenancy for more secure separation of container workloads
  • VMware Certified Kubernetes distribution, support and reference architecture with Essential PKS

Enhanced Management Tools:

  • viocli rewritten in Golang, new enhancements added
  • Bash completion and CLI shortcuts added to Life Cycle Manager
  • HTML5 WebUI:
    • No dependency on vCenter Web Plugin
    • Native Clarity theme provides a congruent user experience for VMware admins

Photon 3:

  • VIO control plane VM’s now use VMware Photon OS 3, a lightweight, secure, container-optimized Linux distribution backed by VMware
  • Containers are also built on Photon OS 3 base images

Industry-standard API’s:

  • Proprietary OMS API’s replaced with standard Kubernetes API’s and extensions
  • Many parts of VIO can optionally be managed with kubectl commands in addition to viocli
  • Cluster API responsible for additional VM bringup/management


Automated VIO Backups: Cloud administrators can schedule backups of the VIO control plane to a vSphere Content Library

Lifecycle Management: VIO provides lifecycle management for OpenStack components including deployment, patching, upgrade (with NO data plane downtime) and rich day-2 operations via Kubernetes deployment rollouts.

Versioning:  VIO 6.0 comes with built-in versioning of configuration and config version control for control plane configuration changes.

Clarity Theme:  VIO 6.0 Horizon now ships with a Clarity theme. The VIO 6.0 life cycle manager web interface also uses Clarity to familiar look and feel for vSphere administrators.

OpenStack Helm:  VIO 6.0 uses OpenStack-Helm for deploying OpenStack components. OpenStack-Helm is an OpenStack community project that provides deployment tooling for OpenStack based on the Helm package manager, which is a CNCF project.

OpenStack-Helm provides benefits such as:

  • Better management of loosely coupled OpenStack services
  • Better service dependencies handling
  •  Declarative and easy to operate
  • Enhanced rolling update workflow and rollback


Assurance & Intelligent Operations:
Service impact and root-cause analysis with Smart Assurance
Operational Monitoring and Intelligence with vROps OpenStack Dashboards and Container monitoring
vRealize Log Insight integration to get insight into the OpenStack day to day operations.
Visibility across physical and virtual OpenStack networks
Automated approach to operational intelligence to reduce service impact and OpEx

VIO 6.0 Demos:
Below are a list of videos that provides a step by step walkthrough of deployment, upgrade, 360 degree visibility and Deployment of VMware Essential PKS on top of VIO 6.0.

1. VMware Integrated OpenStack Deployment: This demo video shows the step by step deployment of Virtual Appliance on your vCenter Server instance and deployment of OpenStack by using the Integrated OpenStack.

2. VMware Integrated OpenStack Upgrade 5.1 to 6.0: Upgrading VIO 5.1 deployment to VIO 6.0 allows you to take advantage of new features and functions, plus it also ensures you zero downtime.

3. VMware Essential PKS on top of VMware Integrated OpenStack 6.0: VIO provides pre-built open-source Heat stacks to help deploy Essential PKS on top of VIO for individual tenants of the cloud. Using the Heat orchestration engine simplifies and speeds up the deployment of Kubernetes as well as managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes (e.g. scaling out, tearing down clusters, etc), and does so using an orchestrator that OpenStack users will already be familiar with. This demo video shows step by step process to deploy Essential PKS on top of VIO.


4. 360 Degree Visibility: This demo video shows the integration of VIO 6.0 with vRealize Operations Manager and vRealize Log Insight. vRealize Operations provides a comprehensive dashboard for monitoring the Health, Risk, and Efficiency of your entire SDDC infrastructure. vRealize Operations OpenStack Management Pack offers OpenStack the ability to monitor and troubleshoot VMware Integrated OpenStack or other OpenStack distributions. vRealize Log Insight extends analytics capabilities to unstructured data and log management, giving you operational intelligence and deep enterprise-wide visibility across all tiers of your IT infrastructure and applications.