NFV players push their wares to mobile operators at MWC

ARM servers advanced as just the thing for dense NFV bit barns

MWC16 Among the new phones, chargers, VR headsets and big-booth-photo-shoots* that dominated the Mobile World Congress media agenda this week, there's also been a slew of network function virtualisation (NFV) announcements.

Cisco's hopped on board, announcing an NFV solution built out of Cisco UCS Servers, Nexus switches, and a "hardened and automated" version of RedHat OpenStack.

Product and solution senior marketing manager Volker Tegtmeyer pitches the solution as "open, modular and expandable."

The Borg's other partner in NFV is Intel, whose Open Network Platform and Enhanced Platform Awareness technologies are included in the offering.

It's a specifically mobile-targeted solution, targeting everything from 2G to 4G (along with Wi-Fi and small-cell networks) with what the company says is a compute/storage/networking infrastructure pre-pack that provides carrier-grade "performance, availability, security and scalability."


Semiconductor vendor Cavium joined hands with the ONOS Project to show off its ThunderX servers and OCTEON Fusion-M baseband processors running mobility NFV demonstrations.

Cavium says the proof-of-concept was put together to demonstrate "specific use cases of SDN [software-defined networking – editor] and NFV for mobility wireless applications." These include cloud-based radio access networks (C-RAN), mobile edge computing, and virtualised core functions like evolved packet core (EPC).

The demo also marked Cavium's entry into the ONOS Project and its first contributions to the project.

Applied Micro

German embedded systems outfit Kontron and Applied Micro pitched in with an ARM-based server platform that also targets the SDN/NFV space.

They showed off a Symkloud 10GbE modular server designed with two AppliedMicro X-Gene system-on-chip (SoC) processors based on the 64-bit ARM v8-A architecture.

Bare metal SDN switching supports both legacy and OpenFlow traffic, the two companies say. The architecture is designed to offer "strong single-threaded processor performance" that delivers the combination of latency and performance needed to run virtualised network functions.

ETSI pushes open source NFV

ETSI, which sits at the centre of standards-setting for NFV, used Barcelona to kick off an open source NFV management effort it's dubbed OSM.

It says it has started developing the open source management and orchestration (MANO) stack to complement the work of its NFV industry specification group (ISG).

With access to the MANO stack, contributors will be able to implement NFV services, provide feedback to the ISG, and encourage interoperability between NFV solutions. ®

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