Building in the network functions virtualization (NFV) field is tougher than some might expect, mainly because it's still a comparatively young field. New changes come to this field almost daily, and recently we saw one of the latest. Bureau Veritas announced a new partnership with Advantech, which in turn yielded the first Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) certificate for the United States market from a lab in Taiwan.
Bureau Veritas may be an unfamiliar name, but it's got a heavyweight connection associated with it: it's a Verizon Authorized Test Lab, which helps make it a major name in testing and certification. Meanwhile, Advantech has made great strides in network computing, making the two companies together a potent force in NFV operations.
The equipment used in telecom networks, reports note, is commonly put to work as part of needed infrastructure for NFV systems. This makes standards important so that all these often disparate tools can more comfortably work together, and that in turn makes a NEBS certification especially valuable.
NEBS-compliant servers are especially prized in building out NFV systems, as well as driving improvement in user-facing and edge-of-network devices. That's especially good news for Advantech, whose SKY-8000 server line is going after the upper end of carrier grade—from mid- to high-end—and puts its focus on reliability, overall function, and safety of operation.
Advantech's general manager of its network and communications group Ween Niu commented, “The transformation of specialized equipment into a fabric of servers, switches, storage, and I/O running open source software opens up new opportunities for equipment manufacturers developing NEBS-certified products for the telecommunications market. Close cooperation between Advantech's Taipei design teams and the Bureau Veritas lab not only streamlines the whole certification process, but it helps pass on important cost and time-to-market advantages to our telecom customers.”
Certifications do a great job of lending credibility to a business and its products. It's like codified word of mouth advertising; it's one thing for the guy across the street to say “hey, this is a great product,” but when a certifying board says it, it's like saying “hey, this is a great product to within 0.15 percent of the value of great.” It's word of mouth with metrics, measured against a solid scale that's universal for every product that comes up for certification.
With this new certification, Advantech and Bureau Veritas should find a new market eager to bring in the product line to augment further pushes in the NFV field. Since NFV needs reliable infrastructure—perhaps more than anything else—having that extra layer of certification should help convince some hesitant buyers to make purchases. In the long term, that's a distinction that should prove only too welcome.
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