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Brocade's pen poised over cheque to buy Connectem

If you can't build virtualised networks like everyone else at MWC, buy 'em

Brocade is putting its foot into the mobile infrastructure hokey-pokey dance, announcing that it wants to buy Connectem, a specialist in virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) software.

The target had recently announced that it was one of the winners of a Telekom Austria project to run up a virtualised LTE core network for its subsidiary in Serbia.

Connectem worked with VMWare to run up vSphere to host vEPC functions in a fully virtualised LTE voice/data/IMS stack.

Brocade says Connectem's software complements its Ethernet fabric, analytics, software defined network (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) offerings.

Behind the latest-phone-smart-watch glitter that's headlining Mobile World Congress, SDN/NFV is the big noise in the infrastructure space in Barcelona.

Telefonica, Alcatel-Lucent and HP ran a fully-virtualised LTE network at the show (including radio access network, content distribution, EPC and IMS all virtualised).

Ericsson's rival angle was to set up with Docomo, Fujitsu and NEC to show off "envisioned NFV deployments" - Ericsson hardware, NEC and Fujitsu software.

VMWare has cozied up to OpenStack and told MWC it's vCloud for NFV is in production at Vodafone; and Citrix launched its NetScaler NFV platform.

The activity around SDN and NFV at Mobile World Congress could be taken as meaning that the technology is deployment ready – or it might merely mean the technologies are climbing up the wrong side of the Gartner hype cycle.

El Reg is happy to acknowledge, for example, that a working network is a working network.

That's not yet a mature market, however: nearly every vendor is also applying the partner-or-acquire plaster to the gaps in its capabilities. ®

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