VMware Continues to Drive Momentum for NFV in 2017

Headshot of Shekar Ayyar, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Telco Group, VMware

Shekar Ayyar, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Telco Group, VMware

It seems hard to believe that it’s already been a year since our last VMworld in Europe. Since that time, the VMware Telco Group has had a remarkably exciting and productive time. We have been hard at work helping our Communications Service Provider (CSP) customers with the right infrastructure for deploying a wide range of applications and network functions spanning IT, cloud, mobility, and core and edge network services.

It is with great excitement that we are witnessing CSPs embark on a journey of digital transformation with the goal of participating in an evolving cloud economy. Historically, CSPs have been critically important network and infrastructure providers for enterprise and consumer applications. This old era of providing just the “plumbing” underneath is rapidly coming to an end; a new era of agile service delivery is fast approaching with technologies like Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN). 5G wireless will be a critical driver leading CSPs to virtualization at an ever increasing pace.

At VMware, we have made great strides with our NFV momentum. We are now approaching almost a hundred production deployments, spanning more than 50 CSP operators globally, and servicing over 300M mobile subscribers. And, frankly, the best is yet to come.

The opportunity 5G wireless presents for enterprises and consumers is enormous. By design, 5G goes hand in hand with virtualized infrastructure; nobody knows virtualization better than VMware. With the new innovations, customer announcements, and partnerships introduced today at VMworld Europe 2017, we are delighted to continue VMware’s leadership and success now with operators in driving NFV momentum worldwide. Here are some significant recent points of interest.

Continued Support for Open Architectures With vCloud NFV-OpenStack Edition

Customers have spoken, and the message is clear. They want open architectures that give them the flexibility to leverage industry standard components and Open APIs to improve agility, accelerate service innovation, and reduce costs. With VMware’s production-proven virtualized infrastructure combined with the Open APIs and a vast community of OpenStack developers, VMware is bringing to customers the best way to consume OpenStack for NFV.

Today, at VMworld Europe 2017, we announced VMware vCloud NFV®-OpenStack Edition. By delivering standard OpenStack in a VMware environment, we are able to offer the fastest path to production OpenStack by providing what nobody else has in the market: the most reliable and rich NFV infrastructure based on VMware’s industry-leading virtualization software combined with the openness of standard OpenStack, optimized with carrier extensions.

The new platform reinforces VMware’s commitment and support of open architectures and the open source community, including investments in open architecture and participation in a number of open source projects, including the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and Open Source MANO (OSM). In all this, we are pleased to participate as shepherds and stewards of OpenStack and open source initiatives.

Driving Customer Momentum

As mentioned above, over 50 carriers have now brought VMware into their network architecture for NFV. We are partnering closely with Vodafone Group in supporting their global rollout for NFV. This demonstrates the ability for Tier 1 operators to accelerate their NFV journey with VMware’s NFV-I platform.

VMware and Dell EMC: Better Together for NFV

We are committed to working with our partners to enable CSPs to take advantage of new market opportunities more quickly, flexibly, and efficiently. The announcement of the new Dell EMC and VMware bundle for NFV is designed to accelerate production deployment of NFV by providing an integrated and validated operationally-ready service provider offering that combines Dell and EMC hardware with VMware’s OpenStack-ready vCloud NFV platform.

An NFV Ecosystem Like No Other

The VMware Ready for NFV program showcases how VMware is building the strongest and broadest NFV ecosystem. By working with major NFV functions providers to ensure their applications operate on our infrastructure, we’re removing one of the largest barriers to NFV success today: interoperability. We have over 40 virtualized network functions (VNFs) that are now certified as VMware Ready from nearly 30 vendors, from all the major Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) to innovative startups.

The Best Is Yet to Come

I am truly excited about the announcements we have made at VMworld Europe 2017. Digital transformation is evolving at a faster and faster rate. These announcements will help CSPs take advantage of this transition and benefit from the new services that will be deployed on 5G environments.

Today is only the tip of the iceberg. There is unlimited potential to leverage this virtualized infrastructure today. Tomorrow, there will be new apps we can’t even imagine.