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Telco Bits & Bytes – 11 June 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 – 28 May 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 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

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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.

 

Putting Customers First: Our Commitment to Helping Telco Customers Innovate

It has been eight months since the announcement of the alliance agreement between Ericsson and VMware, in February of this year.

Many colleagues in this industry thought a relationship between a network provider like Ericsson and an enterprise software company like VMware would be next to impossible – this isn’t the first time VMware has proven someone wrong. So how did we create a win – win scenario between companies who historically have had competing goals?  By putting our customers first.

Our goal when we set out on this trajectory was to enable CSPs to efficiently deploy and operate virtualized networks. In order to do this, we invested in a certification lab where Ericsson’s VNFs running on VMware vCloud NFV were put through a rigorous testing methodology by having applications tested, certified, system verified, optimized and documented. Essentially lowering the risks of the investment for our customers when selecting our combined solutions for their network transformation efforts.

I’m happy to report that production deployments of Ericsson VNFs on VMware have almost DOUBLED in 2019.  Over 50+ CSPs worldwide are running 567 VNF deployments on our platform.

Furthermore, over 70+ Communication Service Providers using Ericsson’s Business Support Systems (BSS) are also running on VMware to improve their end to end stability and improve their time to market for new digital revenue streams.

When I think of our mutual success this year, I think of a quote from James Clear, “Businesses succeed when the self-interest of the business is aligned with the self-interest of the customer.” – James Clear. This mindset is a key motivator in championing the seed of collaboration.

VMware’s goal is fairly simple: to offer our customers software that provides the ability to move from a strictly vertical stack, to a horizontal platform that offers operators maximum flexibility to match their network demands. We are committed to offering simplicity in design, effectiveness, and better enhanced security in the solutions we offer. Ericsson offers the network “know how” to get the best performance out of our products. Together, we can offer great solutions for our mutual customers.

5G is coming, bringing with it a new world of revenue opportunities for CSPs. Offering more connections and greater bandwidth than traditional wireless technologies, and a host of new services that operators could offer. That’s great for innovation and revenue, but it also means that partners will need to find a new “working norm.” All of this is unfolding in a landscape that is moving faster than ever.

Come by the VMware booth (Hall South, Stand 1714) at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles and say hello, or visit telco.vmware.com to learn more.

VMware Launches its Digital Telco Badge for vCloud NFV at Mobile World Congress 2019

Gain NFV Knowledge

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is a critical building block for 5G networks. VMware’s vCloud NFV solution is already a cornerstone of telco virtualization and has been deployed by more than 70 CSPs globally supporting a wide variety of use cases, supporting hundreds of VNFs in production and more than 600+ million mobile subscribers. To support our global customers and accelerate their success as they transform to digital providers of 5G, Edge and IOT services, we are proud to announce the immediate availability of the VMware PRACTIONER in NFV WITH VCLOUD DIRECTOR badge.

The VMware PRACTIONER in NFV WITH VCLOUD DIRECTOR badge proves that customers understand the concept of virtualization, what VMware solutions can do, and what that means to the telco industry. It further demonstrates that customers understand how VMware vCloud NFV with vCloud Director specifically can accelerate time to revenue, automate service lifecycle and simplify operations management – all while reducing network infrastructure costs.

The VMware PRACTIONER in NFV WITH VCLOUD DIRECTOR is delivered in part, through modern learning programs that foster professional development and acknowledge accomplishments. VMware’s digital badges recognize knowledge, skills, and competency through secure, verifiable digital credentials. Holders of the VMware badge can use it on their business card, LinkedIn profile, or any other digital media.

Skills demonstrated by the PRACTIONER in NFV WITH VCLOUD DIRECTOR badge holder include:

Earning Criteria

Communication service providers can receive 15% off the VMware vCloud NFV with vCloud Director course by sending an email to nfv@vmware.com by April 15, 2019.

Visit the VMware booth at Mobile World Congress in Hall 3 Stand 3M11.

Delivering applications and services for a multi-cloud and 5G network with VMware vCloud NFV 3.0

Changing CSP Network Requirements

NFV objectives have evolved quite significantly from the initial need for CSPs to virtualize the infrastructure to being able to scale with technology, products, and services into new and adjacent markets.  There is acute focus on operational transformation with CSPs driving continuous innovation and rapid service deployment for 5G and IoT use cases.  Applications, services, and greater network intelligence is being deployed at the network edge to deliver higher QoE and security.

A key enabler of this transformation is the Telco Cloud – an operating model that leverages programmable networks, with NFV and SDN being key enablers.  With the ability to run a multitude of network functions on off-the-shelf servers, CSPs can provision and scale services faster and substantially reduce costs.

With its vision of delivering any application on any device on any cloud, VMware has extended its technology to cross every infrastructure boundary there is, from the data center into public and telco clouds, and the network edge supporting edge clouds and IoT devices.

VMware vCloud NFV – A platform for Multi-Cloud

At Mobile World Congress 2019, VMware has taken another step in the expansion of its vCloud NFV offerings, with the announcement 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.

VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition

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.

Key capabilities provided with the VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 vCloud Director Edition include:

  • 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-site 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.

Evolution of Networking in vCloud NFV

Also announced this year at MWC 2019 is the release of VMware NSX Data Center 2.4.  CSPs need for highly scalable networks that are truly reliable is at an all-time high.

NSX-T Data Center is a core component of vCloud NFV providing the networking overlay support across the complete NFVI and supporting multiple telco-oriented use cases. New networking features now available in NSX Data Center are:

  • IPv6 Support: As business around the world ramp up IPv6 deployments, support for IPv6 in NSX-T meets a critical requirement of telco networks.
  • Scalability: NSX-T 2.4 can scale to hundreds of thousands of routes, over a thousand hosts per NSX domain, and enables high-scale multi-tenancy. 
  • High Availability: NSX-T 2.4 supports clustering with NSX managers, enabling a highly available management plane for GUI and API, reducing the likelihood of NSX operational failures.
  • Service Function Chaining: NSX-T 2.4 introduces the ability to perform Service Insertion and Service Function Chaining, through the IETF SFC framework and NSH, enabling CSPs to rapidly onboard, automate, and launch new services to meet dynamic subscriber demands
  • Container Networking and Cloud Native architectures: VMware is enhancing support for containers with enhanced visibility into all container and PaaS clusters that are supported by a NSX deployment, as well as visibility into all containerized applications supported by a NSX deployment.

VMware Ready for NFV

The VMware Ready for NFV program is a certification program that recognizes VNF partners that have made commitments to the vCloud NFV platform.  VMware Ready for NFV certified partners have completed a range of operability and interworking assessments in a dedicated accreditation facility and have access to VMware product roadmaps and solution development strategies in order to ensure their solutions continue to maximize the potential of the underlying vCloud NFV platform.  CSPs can look to the VMware Ready for NFV certification program as proof of close VNF integration with the vCloud NFV platform.

VMware continues to increase the number of partners that have been certified within the VMware Ready for NFV program. At MWC 2019, we have announced certification of more than 105 Virtual Network Functions from 85 vendors worldwide.  VMware’s broad ecosystem of certified partners creates a true marketplace that helps CSPs remove barriers to successful NFV implementations.

Additional Resources

To learn more about VMware’s vCloud NFV Platform