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Telefónica Building NFV Reference Platform With Red Hat & Intel

Mitch Wagner

Telefónica is developing an NFV reference platform and lab in conjunction with Red Hat and Intel as part of a two-year roadmap for deploying NFV internationally.

Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is looking to deploy NFV "as soon as possible," says Enrique Algaba, network innovation and virtualization director for its R&D arm, Telefónica I+D. "We need it instantly."

The company needs NFV to shorten time to market for new services, reduce costs, reuse infrastructure, and avoid vendor lock-in, Algaba says. This year, it plans deploy an NFV infrastructure, and it is testing customer premises equipment virtualization and moving customer premises hardware equipment to the network. It also plans to launch commercial virtual CPE service this year.

Telefónica is running proof-of-concept trials for virtual private clouds, IP Multimedia Subsystems, and remote access services, and it hopes to deploy those technologies by next year. "We need to check on whether the industry is mature enough to provide these new network functions."

Part of the testing process is measuring business value. "We will virtualize if these new functions bring us more benefits than the solution we have today," Algaba says.

As part of the road to NFV, Telefónica announced this week that it is working with Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) on developing a virtual infrastructure management platform based on open-source software running on standard Intel servers. The platform is part of Telefónica's recently created NFV Reference Lab, designed to help partners and network equipment providers test and develop virtual network functions and orchestration services.

The NFV reference platform will be based on the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 V2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a Kernel-Based Virtual Machine hypervisor, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack, and OpenFlow enabled switching. Telefónica, Red Hat, and Intel will contribute engineering and testing, collaborating with partners and the open-source community.

The infrastructure will need to link with the current OSS/BSS systems to provision and manage networks.

Also this week, Telefónica, Red Hat, and Cyan Inc. announced that they are jointly developing orchestration software for precision VNF deployments -- deploying virtual network functions precisely in the datacenter, rack, or blade for best performance, rather than simply deploying to the cloud and allowing the cloud orchestrator to deploy the service automatically. (See Telefónica, Red Hat, Cyan Boost NFV Performance.)

Telefónica disclosed its ambitious NFV plans in a closed-door briefing in February with global CTO Enrique Blanco, saying it will roll network virtualization out to its international operations starting this year in an initiative it calls UNICA. (See Telefónica Unveils Aggressive NFV Plans.) Telefónica is a founding member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute NFV Industry Specification Group.

The company launched NFV trials in Brazil in October, following deployment of virtual home gateway functions with partner NEC. (See Telefónica Preps NFV Trial .)

In late March, Telefónica described a series of pilot programs to implement SDN across its network, working with vendors such as Huawei, Infinera, Cisco Systems, and Juniper to achieve a more flexible, automatic networking provisioning system. (See Telefónica Looks to SDN for Network Flexibility.)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to

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Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.

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sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/2/2014 | 2:39:33 PM
Re: Telefonica
I don't get it--why are companies like Telefonica and NTT doing their own thing. Are there not commercial NFV products out there? Or do they not have confidence in them...?
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 11:28:39 PM
Re: Telefonica
@DOShea, do you think they need to figure out if they really have to go in that direction or the best way to do it given their current network design? 
User Rank: Blogger
5/31/2014 | 10:33:11 PM
Telefonica seems to have NFV and SDN all figured out while many other carriers are still trying to figure out whether or not they need to go in that direction. Is it something in the patatas bravas?
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/31/2014 | 9:59:35 PM
Team up
Seems like a lot of companies are working together on this, I always get excited for projects like this, but many times I am left wanting. 
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