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OpenStack, SDN, NFV – deployments, opportunities and challenges involved

On this week’s NFV/SDN Reality Check, we look at some top news items from across the space as well as speak with PlumGrid on opportunities and challenges connected with OpenStack, NFV and SDN deployments

On today’s show we have an interview with Larry Lang, CEO of PlumGrid, to look at opportunities and challenges connected with OpenStack, network functions virtualization and software-defined networking deployments. But first, let’s take a look at some of the top headlines from across the telecom-related NFV, SDN, cloud and software space from the past week.

ZTE recently announced a deal with China Unicom to cooperate on the development of SDN and NFV technologies, with a goal of building on current SDN and NFV trends to bolster China Unicom’s network.

China Unicom last year released its “New-Generation Network CUBE-Net 2.0” white paper, which included insight into “a decoupled and intensive network architecture” based on user and data centers. Based on those efforts, China Unicom and ZTE said they will cooperate using open source technology, application scenarios, product requirements, service applications and market development of SDN and NFV technologies. The work is expected to result in test verifications, proof-of-concepts and “commercial pilot office deployments, with eventual joint work on proposed draft standards and patent applications.”

“The partnership with ZTE should focus on China Unicom’s marketing and business development needs, and start from service innovation and technological innovation to establish a market-oriented innovation mechanism, and adopt open-source, iterative and other new [research and development] models,” said Chi Yongsheng, deputy director of the China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute.

China Unicom said its voice-over-LTE service project based on virtual evolved packet core and virtual IP multimedia subsystem architecture tied to NFV PoCs was successfully completed last October. That project was said to have verified the SDN- and NFV-based end-to-end VoLTE service and used the network-as-a-service concept model touted by the telecom operator.

The company last year signed a $576 million deal with Alcatel-Lucent, which is now owned by Nokia Networks, to support the rollout of NFV, SDN and cloud technology. China Unicom rival, China Telecom, signed a similarly framed $727 million deal, while China Mobile was part of Huawei’s NFV lab launch early last year.

Also this week, Swedish telecom operator Tele2 announced the launch of its NFV strategy, with the operator looking to have the first live application in the form of a virtual EPC in the cloud by the third quarter of this year.

Tele2 said NFV technology will enable it to offer a broader range of services in the enterprise, consumer and “Internet of Things” markets, and also said big data, coupled with advanced analytics, will be vital to the implementation.

“The ‘5G’ standard will be ready by 2020, and in the field one or two years later,” said Niklas Sonkin, EVP and COO at Tele2. “Cloud and virtualization are important building blocks in the foundation of 5G technology.”

Tele2 selected Canonical’s BootStack cloud management platform, which is based on OpenStack’s open source cloud computing software. Canonical will also supply its Juju service modeling tool, which is designed to allow service providers to configure, manage and deploy new cloud-based services. Huawei will supply the rack mount servers, while Cisco will provide its ACI solution. The Swedish operator said the entire data center network will be built on a future proof spine/leaf network with modern 25Gb/100Gb connectivity.

For this week’s featured interview, we spoke with PlumGrid CEO Larry Lang to gain some insight into the challenges and opportunities the company sees in terms of OpenStack, NFV and SDN deployments.

Lang also touched on PlumGrid’s recently unveiled Open Networking Suite 5.0 platform with support for OpenStack Kilo and Liberty releases targeting enterprises and service providers.

The vendor said the platform is designed to allow data centers with virtual machines, containers and bare metal architectures to leverage SDN overlays in providing microsegmentation for multitenancy, traffic isolation and policy enforcement. The platform is said to include SDN support for Docker containers, expanded gateway integration with Cisco Nexus 9000, IPv6, and PlugGrid’s SmartLogs and CloudApex real-time SDN visualization and monitoring platform. PlumGrid last month joined the Docker Partner Program, making available working code for networking Docker containers.

PlumGrid claims with fully distributed data planes running IO Visor in-kernel, its ONS platform allows for dynamic virtual networking functions, service function chaining, scale-out forwarding and real-time analytics.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s NFV/SDN Reality Check. Make sure to check us out again next week when we will have more news from across the NFV, SDN and cloud space, and are scheduled to speak with Nitin Serro, founder and CEO of Serro, to discuss using SD-WAN to combat DDoS and other attacks.

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