Home > Blogs > VMware Telco NFV Blog

Ericsson and VMware forge Alliance to simplify network virtualization

As communication service providers ramp their investments in 5G, they must respond to increasing customer demands for network performance while containing costs and maximizing value. Market leaders like Ericsson and VMware are helping them achieve these goals.

Heading into Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Ericsson and VMware are announcing a new, 5-year alliance agreement aimed at strengthening their longstanding partnership and delivering class-leading experience for communication service provider customers deploying and running a combination of Ericsson applications and VMware’s vCloud NFV platform.

Long Standing Partnership

This new agreement builds on the long-standing partnership between VMware and Ericsson that dates back to 2012.  Working in production, Ericsson has deployed over 300+ VNFs across 50+ unique CSPs running on VMware’s vCloud NFV platform – and we expect to see an increase in demand for our joint solutions continue.

It includes interoperability testing across Ericsson’s portfolio of Virtual Network Functions, Billing and Charging solutions, Automation and Orchestration, with VMware’s vCloud NFV platform to ensure speedy on-boarding and deployment, as well as increasing efficiencies in network operations. Our two companies want to simplify the deployment process for CSPs so they can maximize revenue and be ready for the increasing demands that will be placed on the network with the emergence of 5G and IoT driven use cases.

Ericsson does not stop at VNF certification, however.  With this new 5-year Alliance agreement, we will engage in technical collaborations e.g. in the Cloud Core and Cloud Communication domain, to jointly help secure optimized performance and platform utilization for high volume workloads. All to ensure that CSPs will get a thoroughly tested, interoperable and system verified solutions when they choose to deploy Ericsson VNFs on VMware vCloud NFV.

Beyond network functions virtualization, the Ericsson and VMware partnership will enable deeper technical collaborations, including management and orchestration interoperability with OSS and BSS solutions and exploration of future cloud native solutions and overall automation across the network.

Mobile World Congress

If you are planning to be at Mobile World Congress, we would love to connect and discuss how to help you accelerate your business. Please visit Ericsson in Hall 2 Stand 2060 and VMware in Hall 3 Stand 3M11.

Read the press release here.

 

Accelerating time to market for new digital services in Europe’s largest Telco market

In Russia, Europe’s largest country and largest telco market, it takes a grander mindset to succeed.

MTS is the market leader. It has more than 100 million active subscribers across all services, and operates in Ukraine, Armenia, and Belarus. And it is much more than a provider of mobile phone services. MTS has business lines covering mobile broadband, fixed line, pay-TV, and video on demand. It has a bank, it invests in FinTech, and it is starting to offer services around Big Data, eSports, cyber security, and IoT. It also sells branded devices.

Naturally, to make sense of this vast portfolio, MTS needs, where possible, common platforms.

The company is creating a global IT and network infrastructure, one that is unified and universal. MTS wants its service infrastructure to be at a high state of readiness, should an opportunity present itself – scalable, efficient and easily replicable in the regions. If a new service isn’t generating a decent margin, it wants to spot this and terminate it. MTS doesn’t want to be saddled with huge under-utilized resources.

MTS wants to be faster to market with new services, particularly digital. To do so it wants to transform its service infrastructure, creating a software and data-driven, programmable and automated service delivery platform. Once complete this will provide the economics, scale, innovation and operational flexibility needed.

VMware vCloud NFV is a fully integrated, modular, multi-tenant Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform. It provides MTS with compute, storage, networking, management and operations capabilities. vCloud NFV helps the business accelerate time to revenue, automate service lifecycle and simplify operations management – all while reducing network infrastructure costs.

It is also more efficient to manage and orchestrate. vCloud NFV delivers a single pane of glass with 360-degree visibility and monitoring of the MTS platform along with predictive analytics and logging insights to give greater control of the network. With policy-based automation, MTS can streamline key network processes and allocate and provision VM resources to rapidly provision and deploy NFVs.

This is more than theoretical, it is delivering a real, competitive advantage. Time to market is critical in a highly competitive telco market, particularly one that covers 11 time zones and 17 million square kilometres. Who provides their services fastest, across the whole of Russia, wins.

For MTS, whether it is banking, eSports, video on demand or a new application for mobile customers, it would take an age to implement a new service on traditional infrastructure. Невообразимый*, as they say in Russia.

VMware Shortlisted for Mobile World Congress 2019 GLOMOs

With just a month to go before GSMA’s Mobile World Congress 2019 kicks off, the GSMA has announced shortlisted companies for its 2019 Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards. VMware, with its reputation for innovation and rapidly growing traction in the telco space, has been shortlisted in the Best Network Software Breakthrough (companies more than $10 million annual global revenue) category for vCloud NFV OpenStack Edition 3.0.

According to the Mobile World Congress website, the GSMA’s GLOMO Awards offer organizations across the global mobile ecosystem the opportunity to showcase the latest and best mobile products, apps, devices, services and initiatives to the industry and the world. These prestigious awards recognize leading companies making an impact on the telco market around the world.

VMware’s shortlisted solution, VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack Edition 3.0, is the next generation of the company’s production-proven network functions virtualization (NFV) platform for communications service providers (CSPs). This version of vCloud NFV-OpenStack Edition, which includes VMware Integrated OpenStack-Carrier Edition 5.0,  delivers breakthrough improvements in network performance, new carrier-grade networking capabilities and intent-based service assurance to help improve the total economics of software-defined, open standards-based 5G and multi-cloud telco networks.

GLOMO winners will be announced at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona Feb 25 – 28, 2019

VMware, a GSMA member, will be demonstrating a range of 5G solutions in Hall 3 booth 3M11 and is the exclusive sponsor of the Connectivity Theme at this year’s event

VMware announces the General Availability of VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition

VMware has taken another step in the expansion of its NFV offerings, announcing the launch of VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition.  With support for VMware vCloud Director 9.5, the new release features key enhancements in NFV performance, secure multi-tenancy, networking, and multi-site operations, enabling Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to quickly scale and grow revenues while reducing cost and complexity.  Purpose-built for demanding carrier environments, the modular NFV platform lets CSPs deploy both third-party and in-house VNFs with the confidence that all the component solutions will interoperate efficiently, allowing them to focus on delivering profitable applications and services to customers.

                                                       VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition

 

A key challenge facing CSPs at the dawn of the 5G era is to dynamically deploy and manage the growing number of services and multi-cloud environments.  Enhancements in VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 help CSPs realize the true potential of distributed multi-cloud services through accelerated time to revenue leveraging NFV automation and service onboarding, lower infrastructure costs while delivering greater performance, and optimized operations for increased network efficiency and reduced operational costs.

 

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition Advantage

  • Secure Multi-tenancy and Enhanced RBAC

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 includes support for vCloud Director 9.5 that implements a redesigned multi-tenant Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) model. The model allows CSP administrators to create Global Tenant Roles assigned to tenant users enabling self-service management without the need of service provider involvement. CSP administrators can also create rights bundles that correspond to tiers of service, separately monetizable functionality, or any other arbitrary rights grouping and make them available to various organizations.

  • Deterministic NFV Performance

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 includes support for VMware NSX-T Data Center, which adds Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) based techniques to deliver accelerated data plane network performance with the new NSX Managed Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS) in Enhanced Data Path mode. Efficient separation of data plane functions from control and management plane functions enables CUPS based architectures while automated NUMA alignment, multi-tiered routing, bare-metal edges, and HugePages support enable increased workload performance while preserving the benefits of key vSphere functionalities like HA, vMotion, and DRS.

  • Efficient Multi-cloud Deployment

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 enables CSPs to achieve the scale and manageability required to efficiently deploy and operate distributed multi-cloud deployments. It facilitates efficient cloud services management with the flexibility to deploy centralized VIM for a common management plane across sites or a distributed architecture with federated management. Decoupling NSX-T Data Center functionality from vCenter server enables cloud-scale performance using a distributed control plane architecture, while the separation of data plane workloads from control plane and management plane workloads enables CUPS-based scalable architectures.

  • Advanced Networking

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 supports a range of new carrier-oriented networking capabilities through dual stack support for NSX-V and NSX-T. The vCloud NFV platform delivers increased network resiliency through fast link failure detection, ERSPAN port mirroring, and support for a broad category of workloads including container-based workloads, multi-cloud workloads, and PaaS platforms.

  • Intent-Based Service Assurance

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 with support through vRealize Operations 7.0, vRealize Log Insight 4.7, and vRealize Network Insight 3.9, delivers a new paradigm in NFV operations with intent-based assurance that allows CSPs to define operational and business intent for the network and continuously verify performance against the defined intent through Day 0, Day 1 and Day 2 operations.

 

Additional Resources

Open Works Here! Migrating Telco Providers and Partners to a Tried and True Multi-Cloud Ready Open Stack

Greetings from OpenStack Summit! We’re here this week to talk about the opportunities for OpenStack. Telcos and CSPs in particular have looked to OpenStack as the centerpiece of their virtualization and software-defined infrastructure strategy, which is needed as we move towards 5G, multi-access edge computing (MEC)/edge and IoT scenarios. Unfortunately, OpenStack has not quite realized its potential in this regard. Telcos trying to stand up OpenStack for their NFV deployments today face significant operational complexity, cost overruns and scaling challenges—inviting questions about the efficacy of their deployments and causing them to look for new ways to problem solve for OpenStack. Further complicating matters is the drive to a distributed architecture with cloud, core and edge computing, and the move toward modern application architectures in the mobile-cloud era.

VMware has embarked on a two-pronged approach to address the dire need to make OpenStack work:

  1. Deliver a robust OpenStack offering VMware Integrated OpenStack, that provides the best of OpenStack, yet fixes some of its key flaws, and
  2. Enable providers and partners to convert & migrate their VNFs to be able to take advantage of VMware Integrated OpenStack and vCloud NFV, leveraging VMware HCX.

VMware Integrated OpenStack: OpenStack That Works:

VMware is addressing the need for more effective OpenStack deployments head-on with a leading virtualization platform, allowing our system integrator partners to provide a unified framework across IT, network and edge for telcos worldwide. VIO is VMware’s answer to the challenges of operationalizing OpenStack—and customers using the VMware OpenStack migration service will automatically have access to VMware Integrated OpenStack. We released VMware Integrated OpenStack 5.1 today.

Key features include:

  • Queens-based OpenStack Distribution—take advantage of the latest upstream functionality using the most recent OpenStack release
  • Streamlined OpenStack Deployment—quickly deploy a standard OpenStack on top of VMware SDDC. Perform upgrades with minimal disruption. This results in accelerated time to revenue.
  • Best-of-Breed Infrastructure—take advantage of advanced enterprise and cloud features and capabilities delivered by VMware vSphere, VMware NSX and VMware vSAN, including better security, high availability, simplified maintenance and disaster recovery.
  • Integrated Operations and Management—Out-of-the-box vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Automation integrations for streamlined operations such as health checks, troubleshooting and capacity management, as well as governance and control with user management, role-based access control (RBAC), quotas and more.
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack “in a box”—build small-footprint, highly-resilient micro data centers based on VMware Integrated OpenStack and have full control over these micro data centers and apps via automated, API driven orchestration and lifecycle management.

HCX – OpenStack Migration Services:

We talked about how VMware Integrated OpenStack significantly solves some of the critical issues above. But how do we get to the desired state? To help with this change, we’re introducing new migration services to enable customers to move from alternative OpenStack deployments to VMware Integrated OpenStack. We welcome providers and partners to contact us regarding early engagements with VMware to leverage such migration services.

 

The migration service leverages VMware HCX technology, which provides a seamless way to migrate workloads across private, hybrid and public clouds. HCX now additionally can convert OpenStack VMs running on KVM to migrate and run on VMware Integrated OpenStack. For telcos and CSPs, this capability now creates a common foundation across their IT, B2B, and NFV environments (the telco cloud). Additionally, it also connects these telco clouds to private, public, hybrid and edge environments. Thus, for the first time, we can have a unified architecture across IT, cloud tech (CT), network tech (NT) and edge tech (ET), accelerating the journey to 5G, edge/MEC, and IoT use cases.

 

“VMware has made a breakthrough in OpenStack production readiness—no question,” said John Antonio, CSO of IDX, a VMware partner. “Telcos and CSPs have struggled with making OpenStack work effectively in their environments, and instead of abandoning their investment, they can now work with VMware to benefit from their “PRODUCTION READY” legacy and entirely managed migration of their OpenStack deployments. VMware has the virtualization chops and the right mix of traditional and new technology to effectively serve these customers and enable them to make the most of OpenStack.”

By providing a dependable OpenStack solution that includes a robust stack, and a migration service to get there, VMware is taking the complexity out of OpenStack to enable customers to capture value from their existing deployments. Finally, there will be an OpenStack that can work for carriers and CSPs at scale.

For more information on VMware’s OpenStack migration managed service, please visit booth B14 at OpenStack Summit in Berlin.

 

 

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud Named Best SD-WAN & Enterprise Service and VMware vCloud NFV wins for Best NFV Ecosystem – Layer123 SDN NFV World Congress Network Transformation Awards 2018

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud was recognized again for a prestigious industry award when it was named the Best SD-WAN & Enterprise Service at the Network Transformation Awards 2018 gala in the Hague, Netherlands. This award is another feather in VMware’s cap for its SD-WAN by VeloCloud solution which is widely recognized as the #1 SD-WAN solution in the market.

 

Additionally, VMware’s vCloud NFV group was awarded the SDN/NFV World Congress Network Transformation Award for Best NFV Ecosystem. The simultaneous awards by both leading VMware business units demonstrate the best-in-breed solutions that are available to customers.  

These Network Transformation Awards recognize achievement in advancing the industry to the next generation of networks and celebrate innovation and excellence in delivering the next generation of products and services founded on SDN and NFV.  

Layer123 is one of the very important SDN/NFV industry events, and the Network Transformation Awards are known for the highest credibility and integrity.  

The Awards were judged by an independent panel comprising leading industry analysts from firms including Analysts Mason, ACG Research, 451 Research, Appledore Research, IHS Markit and Strategy Analytics. 

Click here to see all the awards bestowed on VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud. 

VMware at Mobile World Congress Americas: Service Assurance is Key to 5G Success

Today at Mobile World Congress Americas, VMware is highlighting the next phase of 5G readiness for communications service providers (CSPs) worldwide. At the event, we will showcase how the VMware Service Assurance Suite will integrate into VMware’s NFV portfolio and illustrate real-world service assurance use cases for CSPs as they prepare for 5G.

2018 has been a year of unprecedented momentum for VMware’s Telco NFV business. Solution innovation, the movement to acquire Dell EMC’s Service Assurance Suite, continued customer momentum and expansion and the ability to address more use cases have defined the first part of the year. 5G deployments will not be possible without virtualization, service assurance and a solid multi-cloud strategy. With VMware, customers have everything they need to become 5G-ready while still meeting the demands on today’s networks and reaping the benefits.

Last month, we announced our intent to acquire the Dell EMC Service Assurance Suite portfolio: software spanning network health, performance monitoring and root cause analysis for communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers. The addition of the Service Assurance Suite to the portfolio of VMware telco solution offerings will enable CSPs to maintain operational reliability in their core network, cloud and IT domains across physical and virtual infrastructure and operationalize competitive new services faster. Service Assurance Suite is now a part of VMware’s robust telco portfolio, engineered to enable CSPs to bridge the gap from 4G to 5G through simplified networks, service enablement and multi-cloud support.

So how does it work? VMware Service Assurance Suite focuses on automating a variety of key operational use cases for CSPs aimed at reducing operational costs and improving customer experience,  such as:

  • Network and Service Availability Management: with automated root-cause and service impact analysis
  • Performance Management and SLA Monitoring: with deep analysis for historical and real-time views, trending, forecasting and adaptive alerting
  • Network Configuration Management: enabling automated network infrastructure change and compliance management
  • Application & Service Level Monitoring: with cross correlation of Network Applications and/or Virtual Network Functions (VNF) with service delivery infrastructure
  • Hybrid Assurance: Correlation spanning physical, NFVi, VIM and service layers offering unparalleled operations management with deep NFV closed loop integration

VMware Service Assurance Suite covers a rich variety of network segments such as: Backbone/Transport, IP, MPLS, Mobile, SDN/NFV, SD-WAN, IPTV, Unified Communications and Managed Enterprise Networks.

We will be showcasing the VMware Service Assurance Suite and NFV solutions in booth #S1714 at Mobile World Congress Americas, September 12-14 in Los Angeles, Calif. Our executives will also be participating in a panel on network analytics, diagnostics & service assurance on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 pm PDT. Stop by for more information—we hope to see you there!

 

VMware & Nokia at MWC Americas 2018

 

Nokia and VMware continue to collaborate to deliver integrated and proven end-to-end NFV solutions which are widely deployed at communication service providers (CSP) globally.  Together we bring joint value with decades of telecom innovation combined with virtualization and cloud expertise. Powered by continued networking and cloud technology portfolio investment, supported by the research and creativity of Bell Labs, Nokia has the industry’s most complete, end-to-end Telecom portfolio of products and services. Likewise, VMware brings more than two decades of innovation and has delivered the most trusted and widely deployed virtualization and cloud solution to the market. The end result is a solid, unified solution that helps our customers address not only today’s rapid technology shifts, but also capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. Ultimately positioning CSPs for rapid growth by accelerating their digital transformation journey to the new era of enhanced mobile broadband,  IOT and 5G

Leveraging VMware vCloud NFV Platform, Nokia and VMware have delivered the following joint Virtual Network Functions (VNFs)

Additional details such as solution overview, solution white papers and  ready for NFV certification details can be found on the solution exchange: https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/company/nokia

Nokia and VMware have put their heads together to simplify the day to day operational requirement to efficiently run NFV services.   To learn more about our joint capabilities of how we intelligently automate network functions on a virtualized telco cloud, visit us at Mobile World Congress USA in Los Angeles in South Hall Booth 1714 and see a live demonstration.  Here is a sneak peak of what you will see:

In one demo, we will show an instance of a Nokia Cloud Packet Core network function that is exceeding its defined capacity thresholds.  Our joint solution will show the automated scaling of a Cloud Packet Core network function to address dynamic VNF demands.

As more and more CSP networks transition from bare metal to NFV, the upgrade of the NFV infrastructure has quickly become a significant operational challenge. Over the past 20 years, VMware has evolved to become the industry standard for seamless and effortless upgrades. This fundamental capability is also readily available in VMware’s vCloud NFV platform. Nokia and VMware have partnered to demonstrate how to upgrade NFV infrastructure without service disruption of traffic through Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core functions.  Join us to see how effortless NFVI upgrade can be with Nokia and VMware.

 

Telco Operations in an NFV World: eBook

Over the past year, I have written about and demonstrated the operational intelligence framework within VMware vCloud NFV. The intent was to help communication service providers (CSPs) anticipate and mitigate challenges associated with deploying and operationalizing NFV based services. While NFV environments provide a new level of flexibility and service agility, dealing with new layers of operational complexity can often make or break the business viability of a CSP transformation effort.

Several CSPs we work with see the vCloud NFV Operational Intelligence framework as a crucial enabler of the tangible transformation required to deliver best in class services, and somewhere along the way, we realized the need to bring these learnings together in an easily-digestible format. The result is the “Telco Operations in an NFV World” eBook – a free resource to help guide CSP operations through various stages of the NFV services lifecycle.

The eBook first introduces key components in the vCloud NFV Operational Intelligence framework – vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Log Insight, and vRealize Network Insight.

After getting familiar with the framework and component functionality, we then take a deeper look at the CSP operations lifecycle and the capabilities required at each stage of service evolution. You may find this comprehensive approach to end-to-end service operations particularly useful when calibrating your own approach to complete operations automation. The eBook breaks this down into five phases:

  • Phase 1: Onboard Service Operations – Service and resource discovery, Security and alert definitions, Remediation workflows, Multi-tenant dashboards, and Micro-segmentation
  • Phase 2: Launch Service and Operate – Unified visibility from apps to infrastructure, Availability, performance, capacity, and security monitoring, Interactive analytics, API/SDK access
  • Phase 3: Dynamic Optimization and Issue Avoidance – Automated closed-loop optimization, Predictive Distributed Resource Scheduler (pDRS), Pattern recognition-driven alerts
  • Phase 4: Issue Isolation – SLA violations, Performance degradation alerts and recommendations, Network and app visibility, Underlay and overlay traffic routes
  • Phase 5: Plan Demand and Expansion – Capacity and utilization, Combined operational and business insights, Procurement planning, Resource reclamation

Within each phase are detailed considerations and links to demo videos that illustrate the operational intelligence built into the vCloud NFV platform. The eBook also contains a reference section with links to other related solution briefs and whitepapers.

 

Service onboarding, performance monitoring, and dynamic optimization are quickly becoming primary considerations in a well-designed operations management strategy. CSPs must achieve simplification, multi-tenancy, proactivity, and efficiency with a shared infrastructure layer, dynamic re-sizing and movement of workloads, distributed topologies, and owned and leased cloud environments which will drive the need for self-correcting and self-adjusting automation. The eBook attempts to take a critical look at the operational intelligence CSPs need to manage such dynamic environments. I hope you find the eBook a useful resource in your NFV journey.

A Transformation Towards a 5G-Ready NFV Infrastructure

Mobile wireless technologies have gone through systematic generational refreshes over the last three decades. The next such refresh, called 5G, isn’t just an incremental upgrade from 4G, but represents a significant leap forward.  5G promises to improve efficiency, enhance security, reduce latency times, increase network capacity, and accelerate current data connections by 10, or even 100 times.  And for the first time, 5G brings wireline technologies into greater prominence and convergence with wireless infrastructure, enabling telecom carriers to extract efficiency from their full network.

However, before the benefits of 5G can be widely exploited, Communications Service Providers need to invest in virtualized and cloud-based infrastructure. 5G requires both a software-driven architecture and Network Functions Virtualization, or NFV, to be successful.

At VMware, we see 5G as a big opportunity and challenge for Communications Service Providers to leverage the benefits of 5G with new business models and to reassert their influence in the cloud economy.  While NFV is the foundation to deliver 5G, CSPs are going to require a telecom transformation that represents a new approach to delivering agile services and enables the ability to have these services move between clouds, include private, edge, and public clouds.

A key aspect of 5G networks is network slicing.  For CSPs, network slicing provides the ability to divide and scale the network on an as-a-service and ‘on-demand’ basis.  This requires an advanced, software-defined infrastructure that allows multiple virtual networks to be created atop a shared physical infrastructure. Virtual networks can then be customized to meet the needs of applications, services, devices, customers or other global CSPs.

For CSPs, network slicing enables new business opportunities. Services such as remote health and surgery, smart metering, smart drones, and connected cars all require connectivity, but with vastly different network characteristics.  New technologies, such as virtualization, network programmability, and network slicing will enable networks to be customized and meet the needs for each application.  As a result, new products and services can be introduced to market quickly and can be easily customized, deployed, and adapted to fast-changing demands.

VMware and Telia have jointly collaborated on a 5G Technical Whitepaper: 5G-Ready NFV Infrastructure- A Transformation Journey Towards Full Automation.  In this paper, we have outlined the characterization of the network driven by 5G and the requirements that CSPs should take into consideration to support new services and SLAs.  In addition, the paper highlights the requirement to provide an efficient network infrastructure that can deliver services at the best price point, along with creating an on-demand network to support new business consumption models and a frequent service rollout cadence.

We believe 5G to deliver massive changes as it will create a larger, more efficient network that offers new possibilities for developers and CSPs.  The collaborative nature of 5G may also prompt more partnering across the ecosystem and alter the competitive landscape of the industry.  Hybrid environments that leverage the best of both worlds, coupling hyper scale public cloud infrastructures like those from Amazon Web Services, or IBM, and the NFV enhanced clouds from CSPs, could become the basis for new marketplaces for consumer and enterprise applications and tools.