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Telco Bits & Bytes – 9 July 2020

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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!

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Telco Bits & Bytes – 25 June 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

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Getting ready for the 5G transformation with VMware Ready for Telco Cloud

Today, we are announcing another milestone in our support for communications service providers (CSPs) as they transition to a software-defined telco cloud. We are enhancing our award-winning VMware Ready for NFV program by including interoperability and readiness for VMware Telco Cloud Automation.

The addition of VMware Telco Cloud Automation into the program further accelerates the ability of CSPs to deploy software-based workloads on the VMware Telco Cloud platform. In order to reflect this expanded scope, we are renaming the program to VMware Ready for Telco Cloud. The original Ready for NFV certification will become Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure while the new certification level for VMware Telco Cloud Automation is called Ready for Telco Cloud.

As the telecommunication industry continues its migration to 5G, there are two critical shifts occurring that will shape the industry for years to come: a need for improved automation and the migration of network functions to a cloud native architecture. The expanded scope of the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program reflects VMware’s commitment to supporting our carrier service provider customers as they engage with these shifts. The new certification level, VMware Ready for Telco Cloud, introduces our telco partner ecosystem to VMware’s multi-cloud and standards-based automation and orchestration product, aptly called VMware Telco Cloud Automation. A partner Network Function successfully completing this level of certification has demonstrated its support for a more automated deployment and operations.

The updated program offers two paths for partners by introducing two levels of certifications:

The Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification identifies virtual network functions that have been proven to interoperate with the core infrastructure layers of the VMware Telco Cloud, as referenced by the ETSI-compliant VMware vCloud NFV Reference Architecture. The focus of this certification level is on compatibility with the virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) as well as compatibility with the other core components: VMware vSphere for virtualized compute, NSX for virtualized networking, and vSAN for virtualized storage. The fully automated program is available at no-cost to VMware partners, both in the VMware on-premise certification lab as well as in the VMware cloud as self-certification.

The second and new level of certification is called Ready for Telco Cloud. The certification additionally ensures that network functions are ready for deployment and lifecycle operations through VMware Telco Cloud Automation. In this level, the VMware team collaborates with partners to create an ETSI-compliant descriptor as well as a workflow, resource and commissioning artifact for a validated and tested Cloud Service Archive (CSAR). The built-in generic VNF Manager (gVNFM) function within VMware Telco Cloud Automation and the network function designer are central elements in this tier. This higher-level certification is available at the Ready for Telco Cloud lab on the VMware premises and includes the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification as a prerequisite.

The following diagram illustrates the path from the Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification to the Ready for Telco Cloud certification level:

 

The telecommunication industry has been on a journey toward software-based network functions that will leverage cloud-native architecture and design. Eventually, software development and delivery models will evolve to become more collaborative, significantly faster, and more automated.

We are committed to supporting our customers in their journey and are more than happy to share the extensive experience we have in the area with our partners. We see a logical progression in the way we engage with our telco partners:

  1. Ensure that the network function is interoperable with the fundamental cloud platform
  2. Automate the deployment and lifecycle operations

As containerized network functions become available, we will continue supporting our ecosystem. We see full alignment between suppliers and customers: we all want to accelerate the adaptation of software-based network functions, increase components integration, and elevate innovation. This is why the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud has embraced automation, cloud labs, and a continued evolution.

Connect with us: To certify a network function through the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program, reach out to us at TelcoCloudCertification@vmware.com.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 11 June 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

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Telco Bits & Bytes – 28 May 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

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VMware Ready for NFV Adds Self-Certification Option to Accelerate VNF Deployment

In August 2011, Marc Andreessen famously quipped in a Wall Street Journal article that “software is eating the world.” About a year later, network functions virtualization (NFV) took root, and our entire telecommunications industry began its journey from purpose-built boxes to software.

And as we march toward 5G, we’ve just made that journey easier and faster by giving our partners a new choice in our VMware Ready for NFV program: self-certification.

Vast Ecosystem of VNFs

But first, here’s a little background about how we’ve built a vast ecosystem of virtual network functions (VNFs) with choice at its heart.

VMware has been involved in NFV from the get-go, helping the telecommunication industry’s transformation and paving the way for the migration to software. We have provided our telco customers with a carrier-grade NFV platform and supported them with openness and choices where they matter most: Our customers can pick their virtualized infrastructure manager of choice, decide on their servers of choice, and most importantly, pick from a massive ecosystem of network functions that have we have certified in our lab to work with VMware vCloud NFV.

The ecosystem certification program we run is called VMware Ready for NFV. It is part of the VMware Ready partner program. Ready for NFV won industry awards and grew into a massive ecosystem encompassing many of the telecommunication industry’s traditional and emerging suppliers.

Self-Certification

We recently announced our self-certification extension to the Ready for NFV program. Self-certification gives partners yet another choice: The option to use the VMware testing cloud to verify that their network functions work with VMware vCloud NFV. Self-certification also helps prepare relevant workloads for easy deployment with VMware Telco Cloud Automation.

The original on-premises path that tests partner network functions in the VMware lab remains available. It is well suited to certifying large network functions and hardware-dependent functions.

The cloud-based self-certification path gives partners more flexibility to define their own time lines, helps them certify more workloads, and reduces dependencies on building an on-premises lab for preparations.

Regardless of the path that a partner takes to certification, the program’s scope and test methodology is identical. The program maintains its high quality standards by using the same automation for both the on-premises and the cloud-based certifications.

Benefits of Self-Certification

Our passion in operating the program has always been helping our partners and our customers with their journey to the world of software. The self-certification option advances our customers’ transformation to software in four ways:

  • Choice. Our customers are in different phases of their journey. They operate different versions of our platform and different versions of their virtual network functions. By offering a self-certification extension, we help vendors verify that any version of their software is ready to quickly be deployed in any version of our customers’ telco cloud.
  • Agility. The first few migration projects take a while and are a learning phase for an organization: processes get tuned, operational aspects are ironed out, and sometimes even the procurement process changes. We then see a clear hockey-stick effect in VNF deployment. Because self-certification is easier and quicker than using our on-premises lab, we expect to see the hockey-stick effect appear earlier in the deployment process.
  • Efficiency. The VMware Ready for NFV program has evolved over the past four years. These days the program focuses on educating vendors on our platform capabilities. We see that our partners want hands-on experience with our platform to follow our test plan and evaluate their readiness. By giving our partners a virtual lab that mirrors our reference architecture, we help them prepare without needing a large hardware installation.
  • Focus. Our Ready for NFV team has probably more experience onboarding and deploying virtual network functions than any other organization in the world. The team has performed more than 120 certifications. And we wanted to allow our team to really focus on what our partners need the most–guidance when unique problems arise. The self-certification program frees our resources to help partners with their unique and hard questions.

Self-Certification Process

The process to use the self-certification program is easy. Our partners can point their browser to a url, download a few artifacts, launch a remote desktop, and onboard their network function into our testing cloud. The partner then selects the tests to be executed.

Once the tests are complete, the partner sees a graphical representation of their network function’s success against the certification guide. The partner can then decide on the next steps. If all is well, the partner provides our team with the report bundle. To maintain the program’s high quality standards, an engineer in the Ready for NFV program reviews the results.

Figure 1: The VMware Ready for NFV self-certification process.

 

Speeding Up the Software-Defined Transition to 5G

The telecommunications industry is doubling down on software. In the last seven years, we adopted virtual machines as a way to deploy network functions. And we are now embracing containers to further increase the efficiency of software-based telco workloads. 3GPP standards are written with software in mind such that transitioning from 4G to 5G networks is impossible without software.

We are committed to supporting our customers on the path to 5G by accelerating their transformation, reducing their operational costs, and improving their time to market.

Thanks for reading Jambi Ganbar, Director, Telco Partners Solution Validation, VMware

Connect with us: To certify a network function through the VMware Ready for NFV program, reach out to us at TelcoCloudCertification@vmware.com.

 

 

 

Telco Bits & Bytes – 14 May 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

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Telco Bits & Bytes – 30 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!

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Telco Bits & Bytes – 16 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!

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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

Category: THE NFV INNOVATION AWARD

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.