NFV Applications NEWS

Verizon Completes NFV OpenStack Rollout

By Casey Houser April 26, 2016

In a move that could have other telecoms scrambling to keep pace, Verizon has begun operation of its new network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure inside five of its U.S. data centers.

Verizon announced this week that it has completed the setup of NFV that is based on the open networking platform, OpenStack. As many big companies know, OpenStack has become popular with businesses large and small for its ability to handle network tasks related to storage and processing while also efficiently managing resources. Telecoms especially have a lot to gain from its use because of the complexity of their own systems that serve enterprises and consumers with a range of voice, video, and data services.

This may, however, be the first of its kind in pairing NFV with OpenStack on such a large scale. Adam Koeppe, the vice president of network technology planning at Verizon, commented commented on what he hopes Verizon will achieve with the installation.

“This NFV project is another step in building Verizon’s next-generation network,” Koeppe began.

“New and emerging applications are highlighting the need for collaborative research and development in technologies like NFV,” he continued. “We consider this achievement to be foundational for building the Verizon cloud that serves our customers’ needs anywhere, anytime, any app.”

The reach into the cloud is essential to this process because, most often, OpenStack is used as cloud-based infrastructure. This means that its clients can access the various elements of their networks from anywhere with an Internet connection. It can make maintenance and troubleshooting much easier to handle. In addition, the use of assisting programs such as Solinea’s OpenStack management software can make the handling of multiple workloads all the better.

Verizon partnered with Big Switch, Dell, and Red Hat to make this project a reality. The three paired a Big Switch network controller – Big Cloud Fabric for software-defined networking – to manage Dell switches. All of that now sits under the control of the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, which manages more than 50 racks in the previously mentioned data centers.

There is no word from Verizon on how much of the total infrastructure this new NFV setup will comprise. A report on the issue at WirelessWeek, however, noted that competitor AT&T had virtualized nearly six percent of its own infrastructure in 2015, a figure scheduled to triple by the end of 2016. It is reasonable to expect that Verizon is carving a similar path.

The future of data services will demand speed and efficiency from telecoms as all their customers consume more data on their desktop and mobile devices. Telecoms will race to the top, and customers will see efficiency gains reflected in the services they consume. Everyone wins.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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