Nokia and Red Hat collaborate to create open-source telco cloud

Nokia Networks and OpenStack provider Red Hat join forces so mobile broadband operators can create a telco cloud infrastructure

Nokia Networks and open-source technology provider Red Hat are collaborating to allow mobile broadband operators to create an efficient telco cloud infrastructure.

As part of the collaboration, Nokia will bundle its carrier-grade virtualised core applications and cloud application management products with Red Hat-based OpenStack cloud platform.

Nokia’s virtualised core network and management features will be built on top of Red Hat’s enterprise Linux-based OpenStack technology, with commercial joint solutions available from 2015.

It will enable Nokia to free its Liquid Core application – its Telco Cloud technology that makes the core network adaptable and flexible - from underlying hardware, cloud stack and software-defined networking (SDN) software.

The duo believes the collaboration will give operators a wide choice of solutions to best fit their telco cloud strategy.

Mobile operators face many challenges as traffic grows because provisioning for new network capacity and implementing new features takes time. Another problem is that the traffic patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable.

A telco cloud infrastructure has the potential to help operators address all these opportunities and one based on open-source platform will offer even more benefits, such as increased flexibility, according to Nokia.

By investing in telco clouds, operators can revolutionise the way they run their networks and launch new services as well as gain the flexibility, agility, scalability and operational efficiency they need. 

Their infrastructure will also be able to bring new services to market rapidly, using the network datacentre locations of their choice, according to the duo.

The extended partnership with Red Hat supports Nokia’s strategy to smoothly transition proven carrier-grade core software applications to NFV (Network Function Virtualization) OpenStack cloud environments, said Michael Clever, senior vice-president of Core at Nokia Networks. Nokia and Red Hat have collaborated since 2004.

The extended partnership comes at a time when analysts believe that the evolution of how mobile operators deploy, operate and manage their networks through NFV and SDN in response to cloud growth is driving such collaborations.

NFV is an initiative to virtualise network functions previously carried out by dedicated hardware.

“The next wave of growth for OpenStack will come from the telco space,” said Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack Foundation’s executive director. “NFV is becoming real inside OpenStack with big telcos such as AT&T, Nokia, Telefonica and Swisscom all changing how they provision network.”

"OpenStack and NFV hold such significant promise for carriers that are looking to modernise their infrastructure and embrace the innovation that open source is enabling in the cloud," said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat. 

"By bringing our carrier-grade OpenStack platform to Nokia Networks' virtualised core applications and cloud management tools, we're aiming to help carriers deliver the cloud-based services that will drive the future of this industry."

Earlier this year, Nokia collaborated with Juniper Networks, which brought together NFV capabilities for a telco cloud. Nokia said at that time that it will be compliant with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute Network Functions Virtualisation (ETSI NFV) end-to-end reference architecture.

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