Communication service providers (CommSPs) are investing in SDN and NFV trials and deployments. Many more companies are tracking early adopters for signs of success that they can use to justify their own investments. Even with significant progress, there are still challenges.
Network operators struggle to make sense of the different types of technology ingredients and solutions proposed by equipment manufacturers. They also question the best way to integrate NFV into existing systems and who has the expertise to do it. CommSPs want to use the latest commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) server technology to predictably meet customer performance and operational expectations while at the same time taking advantage of the capabilities that enabled cloud services to reach high levels of flexibility, automation and utilization.
Intel has deep knowledge of how to leverage our industry-leading virtualization, automation-enabling telemetry and development tools, and we have experience optimizing open source software and networking standards on our platforms. This institutional experience is the foundation for the delivery of optimal server hardware configurations and tuned software stacks for a broad set of NFV workloads.
When I returned to the Communications service provider industry over two years ago, one of the top requests I heard from the service providers was to help them pinpoint variances between performance projections and performance actuals when preparing to deploy NVF solutions. As Intel worked closely with our partners in the Intel® Network Builders ecosystem, we together learned that a number of subtleties in NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), such as versions of DPDK or different OS versions, made a difference in stability and demonstrated performance. Over the last year we have been working closely with key partners to package up some of those key learnings.
Laying a Foundation for OEMs, ISVs to Deliver Tested NFV Solutions
The Intel® Select Solutions Fast Track Kit for NFVI is a self-contained, optimized and validated NFV infrastructure development kit. Intel Network Builder partners receive early access to advanced, Intel platform configurations, along with updated BIOS, drivers and more.
Once the hardware, software and firmware solutions are tested and validated, ecosystem partners can release their products with the Intel Select Solution for NFVI brand. Communication service providers can deploy NFV software and hardware that meet or exceed benchmark tests for performance and quality.
Intel® Select Solution for NFVI: Head Start for Network Functions Virtualization
Intel Select Solution for NFVI provides detailed specifications for hardware and software components to help communication service providers eliminate guesswork and speed decision-making in evaluation, purchasing and implementation.
While all Intel Select Solution for NFVI are built on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable platforms, solution developers can differentiate their offering with unique features and variations to fit their customers’ needs. Intel verifies that the solution meets or exceeds the specified configuration requirements and performance benchmark thresholds and publishes detailed implementation guides and other documentation on a quarterly basis.
With a solid hardware and software foundation in place, network operators can deploy pre-packaged virtual network functions, perform NFV benchmarking and service function chaining and manage and orchestrate the platform using partner software.
Software and Hardware Partners Deliver Intel Select Solution for NFVI
We are excited to announce that Red Hat, HPE, Quanta Computer and Lenovo have tested software and hardware configurations for NFVI and will deliver Intel Select Solution for NFVI products in early 2018.
The Intel® Select Solutions for NFVI Red Hat® Configurations will offer acceleration options to a broad segment of equipment manufacturers and network operators. One Intel Select Fast Track Kit for NFVI uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux®, which includes SELinux for its host operating system. Hardware providers can test these Red Hat configurations to deliver a validated, open source NFVI solutions.
In addition, communication service providers can deploy fully-supported, certified Red Hat® OpenStack® Platform as an open NFVI platform to support next generation networking services and applications. The software stack comes with various optimization tools and sample demo applications showcasing the optimal values for the key performance indicators of the various underlying Intel server platform ingredients.
HPE is similarly committed to help the industry clear early hurdles to NFVI adoption.
“HPE and Intel share the same vision for the communication industry – open, software-defined infrastructure that drives innovative services for consumers and businesses,” said Claus Pedersen, HPE. “HPE is bringing this vision to life through our extensive program of pre-validated NFV-I configurations. Through the framework of the Intel Select Solution for NFVI, Intel and HPE are jointly securing availability of open configurations that reduce risk and accelerate deployment.”
Engage Intel and its Ecosystem at SDN NVF World Congress
If you are in attendance at the SDN NFV World Congress, I encourage you to attend my plenary keynote presentation, “Ecosystem Advantage in Transforming Your Network.” Visit the KWA Theater at The Hague on Tuesday, October 10 at 9:45 a.m. local time. View a Livecast of the presentation online https://www.layer123.com/sdn-webcast. Stop by the Intel booth B17 to engage with our experts on-site.
For More Information abut Intel Select Solutions for NFVI
For more information, please visit www.intel.com/network
Learn more about Red Hat at www.redhat.com/telco
Learn more about HPE at www.hpe.com