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Tier 1 U.S. Wireless Provider Deploys ConteXtream to Achieve NFV Goals

By Erin Harrison June 14, 2013

In an effort to create a virtualized service abstraction layer to construct the largest Software-Defined Networking (SDN) implemented on production traffic to date, network virtualization solution provider ConteXtream announced that its ConteXtream Service Provider SDN solution was deployed by a Tier 1 U.S. wireless operator to virtualize a network of approximately 40 million wireless users.

The deployment represents a major step to achieving Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) as outlined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG), according to Nachman Shelef, CEO of ConteXtream.

“Our customer recognized the potential benefits of network virtualization for mobile service delivery and had the vision to pioneer an approach that is now recognized as the foundation of Service Provider-SDN for carrier network virtualization. We are proud to have been selected to be at the core of this groundbreaking large-scale deployment of Service Provider-SDN,” Shelef said in a statement.

ConteXtream’s solution is being leveraged by the Tier 1 wireless service provider to create a virtualized service abstraction layer, allowing the company to more quickly add new applications and network services.

A recent NFV whitepaper, which was authored by several leading network operators, outlines some of the benefits and challenges of NFV, and the rationale for encouraging an international collaboration to accelerate development and deployment of interoperable solutions based on high volume industry standard servers.

“ConteXtream’s Service Provider-SDN enables operators to leverage standard, low-cost server hardware and virtualize network functions, resulting in a more efficient and higher utilized network at a far lower cost,” Shelef explained. “Given the NFV whitepaper and this large-scale production deployment by a leading carrier, we expect that this will be a model that many service providers follow in the coming years.”

According to the Network Functions Virtualization Working Group of ETSI, NFV “aims to address…problems by leveraging standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry standard high-volume servers, switches and storage, which could be located in data centers, network nodes and in the end user’s premise.”

Today’s networks are built using many proprietary hardware appliances that are physically wired together, configured redundantly and provisioned to handle the highest peak of projected traffic load within the region they are installed, which results in a severely underutilized network and limited ability for operators to innovate with new revenue generating services, Shelef added.

ConteXtream’s Service Provider SDN solution is implemented as a SDN overlay flow-mapping fabric that embraces the existing IP network and extends it with a virtualization layer that allows for resource elasticity and mobility of both subscribers and services.




Edited by Melissa Warten

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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