The VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program now exceeds a major milestone in its evolution: More than 265 network functions, including virtual network functions (VNFs) and containerized network functions (CNFs), are now certified to run on VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure or VMware Telco Cloud Platform.
Why is this milestone such an important achievement? Although we acknowledge that exceeding the 265 mark validates the velocity and ease of the program, the real benefit is for you: As an engineer or architect at a communication service provider, you can use the program to do two critical things to reduce risk and streamline operations while adapting to a rapidly evolving telecommunications landscape:
- Choose the best network functions for your requirements from a multitude of vendors while avoiding vendor lock-in
- Improve automation for onboarding and lifecycle management of VNFs and CNFs
In addition, if you are a VMware partner, you can bring your network functions to market faster and speed up their deployment in 4G and 5G networks.
Multi-Vendor Networks Call for Unified Automation
Rapidly deploying 5G networks that minimize risk and improve flexibility calls for a multi-vendor approach for not only the core but also the radio access network. Automation and orchestration need to be abstracted away from individual network functions so they can be managed efficiently from a centralized location at scale. As for CNFs, improvements in automation become a prerequisite for managing them efficiently.
Sure, a monolithic stack might seem attractive at first glance when you just want to meet a get-to-market objective as quickly as possible, but such an approach heightens long-term risk, slows down innovation, undermines flexibility, and results in hard-to-manage silos, which in turn increase operational complexity and cost.
The success of your 5G network will, of course, hinge on your ability to disaggregate your networks, roll out new services, and operate at a faster pace and a larger scale with greater efficiency and lower costs. Using network functions validated by the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program lets you quickly onboard and deploy multi-vendor VNFs and CNFs to save time, money, and integration work. The program delivers flexibility and automation to accelerate your 5G deployments, benefit from cloud-native technology, and simplify your networks.
The Role of VMware Telco Cloud Automation
With the rise of VMware Telco Cloud Automation, many of the partners participating in the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program have used the program to improve the ease of onboarding and lifecycle management for their VNFs and CNFs.
The program’s certification process validates the CSAR package conformity of a partner’s network function and the crucial steps of onboarding and lifecycle management. The result limits the risk associated with interoperability while speeding up deployment.
There are two certification levels in the program:
- VMware Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure
- VMware Ready for Telco Cloud
The Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification is for VNFs that are proven to interoperate with VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure. The Ready for Telco Cloud certification is for VNFs and CNFs that are ready for deployment and lifecycle management with VMware Telco Cloud Automation.
Newly Certified Network Functions and Services
The VMware Marketplace contains a variety of certified network functions and services from various vendors. Recent additions include network functions and services from the following partners as well as others:
- Elisa Polystar
- Enhouse Networks
Check Out the Catalog of Certified Network Functions and Services
The software development and delivery models for telecommunications networks are evolving to become more collaborative, significantly faster, and more automated. The program strives to accelerate the adaptation of software-based network functions, move in the direction of a cloud-native future, and elevate 5G innovation.
As such, the program seeks to ensure that a network function is interoperable with the foundational cloud platform and to automate deployment and lifecycle operations. The scope of the certification focuses on the following aspects of onboarding, automation, and validation.
- Platform compliance checks
- Seamless VNF or CNF onboarding
- Zero-touch or near zero-touch Cloud Service Archive (CSAR) deployment artifacts
- Functional interoperability with the applicable components of VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure, VMware Telco Cloud Platform, and VMware Telco Cloud Automation
- Traffic simulation
The scope of certification does not include system validation, functional testing, or performance testing.
Continuously Evolving to Enhance Speed and Ease
The program is continuously working to make it easier and faster for you to certify your network functions and services by using either a self-service path or a VMware-driven path. There is, for example, expanded documentation to improve CNF onboarding and more self-training material, including videos, to guide you along a fast path to certification.
What’s more, the self-certification path is being expanded so that you can use your own CSAR file to speed up the process and become certified faster.
Check out the VMware Marketplace to view all the certified network functions.