Open Network Platform and Network Builders Ecosystem Combine for Innovative NFV Demos at Mobile World Congress

I’m excited to be a part of several very pioneering NFV technology demonstrations on the Intel stand (#3D30) at Mobile World Congress 2015, which started this week in Barcelona.

The six demos highlight the incredible innovation and value that comes from combining the Intel Open Network Platform server reference design with the technology and talent of Intel Network Builders companies. There are three first time demos of NFV technology.

In some cases, the innovation stems from a different approach to the same challenge. Three of the demos, for example, will focus on NFV orchestration, but they each present a different type of solution.

Telefonica designed a purpose-built orchestration solution (working with Brocade and Cyan) to solve its specific needs, while Oracle and HP are showing commercial solutions developed for any service providers.

Two demos, one from China Telecom and one from HP, are focused on new ways to deliver high performance service chaining.

In addition, Dell will show off the flexibility, value and performance it can deliver for mobile broadband.

Here’s a brief description of what each collaborator will be demonstrating:

Telefonica/Cyan/Brocade: Last year at MWC 2014, Telefonica showed its NFV leadership with the very first NFV-based virtual CPE implementation. This year it is reinforcing its NFV industry leadership with an orchestration demonstration. The service provider selected Cyan to provide key orchestration technologies and selected Brocade to provide the industry leading virtual router. The demo shows an NFV orchestrator that is one of the first to make intelligent workload assignments using VNF descriptors. When NFV orchestrators make intelligent workload assignments, CSPs can conform to service level agreements of NFV-based services.

Oracle: This demo provides a sneak peak of Oracle’s new NFV platform that features Enhanced Platform Awareness (EPA) technology.  EPA is a new feature in the next release of OpenStack that gives the orchestration software the ability to determine the capabilities and capacity available in each node in a server pool. Then the orchestrator uses that information to manage the workloads on those servers. For example, EPA can identify under-loaded servers and move a workload to that machine. This is an important tool for managing virtualized cloud servers in a service provider environment.  The demo can be seen at the Oracle Booth.

Hewlett Packard: HP will be demonstrating its OpenNFV ecosystem, which it has combined with its Helion enterprise cloud server platform to develop NFV solutions. For carrier-grade deployments, Wind River offers a high-reliability, high-availability option. The demonstration, based on the Intel ONP architecture, will show service providers how they can use this platform to evaluate new and emerging virtual network functions for their own trials and then for deployment.

China Telecom: From this service provider we get another technology sneak peak in a service-chaining demo. Using the latest Data Plane Development Kit enhancements contributed to Open vSwitch, China Telecom has improved the performance of VM-to-VM communication. The DPDK packet processing performance enhancements are available on Intel’s open source portal, and a future release of Open vSwitch.

Cisco: Here’s a tremendous sneak peak: Intel and Cisco are demonstrating Network Service Header support for service acceleration in NFV, using Intel’s new 100Gb and 40Gb Ethernet offerings in standard servers.  This is the first Intel 100GbE demonstration and will first to use NSH technology for service chaining on Cisco UCS.

Dell:  Operators are looking to deliver differentiated services. One such option is Dell’s NFV Platform leveraging the Intel ONP architecture for an optimized mobile broadband solution. This integrated offering helps operators deliver seamless mobile broadband coverage even in sparse cellular coverage areas by using a multitude of cellular and WiFi providers in that specific area.

The NFV transformation is moving at a breakneck pace. It’s easy to see why when one looks at the amazing solutions that will be on display during Mobile World Congress. If you are going to the show, I hope you will stop by and take a look.