HP links arms with Wind River in NFV tie-up

Virtualisation for the telcos

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HP has anointed Wind River as its partner of choice to help it break into the next virtualisation battleground, telecommunication carriers.

The two companies announced a partnership to put Wind River's Titanium server into HP's Helion OpenStack implementation.

NFV – network function virtualisation – aims to put operations that used to be embedded in hardware and turn them into software components that can run on x86 servers in virtualised environments.

A handy example of this is the home location register (HLR) in a mobile network – the function that logs users into a cell tower. In the NFV world, instead of being a feature of the base station hardware, the HLR could sit on VMs in the carrier cloud. As the network needs to handle more base stations and more users, the mobile carrier can simply spin up more VMs. That makes the base stations cheaper, and makes it cheaper to run up new HLRs.

Carriers, however, are wary in their NFV adoption, because they like the high availability associated with traditional telco kit.

That's where Wind River comes in: the company claims “six nines” uptime with Titanium, an open source NFV server with “carrier grade extensions”.

The HP Helion OpenStack-Wind River solutions will be based Linux with a KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) hypervisor, with high-availability add-ons to the OpenStack control plane; an accelerated vSwitch for high performance networking; scheduling and orchestration of workloads; security add-ons; and open APIs.

“Advanced NVF workload placement” will, they say, maximise the number of subscribers per server, and there's to be an “availability and affinity model” designed to couple high Virtual Network Function performance with low latency.

HP says the solutions will be shipping in 2015. ®


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