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NFV (Network functions virtualization)

Alcatel-Lucent Creates NFV Community

KFAR SABA, Israel -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to advance industry adoption of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) - the consolidation of carrier network functions across distributed industry standard servers - by creating the CloudBand Ecosystem Program, the first open community of service providers, developers and vendors adopting NFV.

NFV technology supports the flexible network infrastructure needed to move complex applications and services to the cloud. It enables service providers to bring the agility, efficiency and economics of the cloud to their own networks and business operations, allowing them to offer cloud services with the performance and reliability that consumers and enterprises expect.

Virtualizing network functions allows faster and more efficient deployment where they are needed. In addition, service life-cycles can be more easily managed to meet dynamic customer demands without the huge investments in time, costs and power that are currently required.

By accelerating service provider transition to NFV, Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand Ecosystem Program will also enable new carrier cloud business models. This will be achieved by opening up access to Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBandsolution – the first NFV management platform providing multi-vendor product and services support and designed from the start for carrier applications. Developers and vendors can access tools and test applications to ensure they scale and interact within a simulated cloud environment before they reach a service provider’s network. Alcatel-Lucent already uses the platform at its CloudBand Innovation Center (CIC) to successfully ‘onboard’ its own virtualized applications for the carrier cloud.

CloudBand Ecosystem Program members can also access a knowledge center, a forum for discussions and a showcase area with demos and use cases. This will allow members to learn from each other while keeping up to date with the latest industry developments.

Following a limited rollout with a small group of vendors, Alcatel-Lucent has now opened up the CloudBand EcoSystem Program to a wider circle of businesses, with 15 companies – including Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Citrix, Intel, Vyatta, Radware, Red Hat, HP, Nuage Networks, Gigaspaces, StackIQ, Inktank and Nominum signed up. Axel Clauberg, VP IP and Fixed Access Architecture, Group CTO team, Deutsche Telekom AG,said: “As an industry we need to accelerate the journey towards NFV. There are 2 main parts in making this happen that need to work well with each other through experimentation and iterations: 1. Wide array of best of breed ‘virtual network functions’ that currently run on purpose built HW and 2. An NFV cloud Platform that’s optimized to run these functions at scale. We’re happy to see Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand open up their NFV platform for any company developing virtual network functions to help accelerate this journey.”

Roy Amir, Vice President, Strategy & Ecosystem, CloudBand, Alcatel-Lucent said: "Alcatel-Lucent is dedicated to helping service providers advance quickly in the area of NFV. The CloudBand Ecosystem Program aims to do just that, providing a workspace where companies can access CloudBand and collaborate and learn from each other. This will help service providers adopt a completely new NFV operational model using services and solutions that have been developed with them and their customers’ needs in mind.”

Key Facts

  • The CloudBand Ecosystem Program enables vendors, developers and service providers to facilitate the creation of new virtual functions and shape the future of NFV.
  • To accelerate deployment over NFV technology, developers and vendors can access Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand platform to test and validate the interoperability of products and services within a simulated service provider cloud environment.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand Innovation Center in Naperville in Illinois, established two years ago, is the industry’s first NFV lab and is the primary environment used by Alcatel-Lucent to conduct trials of its virtualized applications for the carrier cloud.
  • In a recent Light Reading poll around the relevance of NFV, 53% of respondents said that NFV is a “game changer” – that it will have a massive impact on costs and efficiencies.

    Dr Diego R. Lopez, Head of Technology Exploration Telefónica I+D, said: “Realising the NFV promise is not a task for a single vendor. It is not only that NFV addresses so many domains that no vendor can realistically aim to deliver in all of them, but the fact that the NFV promise itself involves an open innovation ecosystem, implying true industry and market collaboration. By creating the first open ecosystem program around the CloudBand NFV platform, Alcatel-Lucent is making a crucial contribution to accelerate the realisation of NFV.”

    Sameer Dholakia, Group VP and GM, Cloud Platforms Group, Citrix, said: “As an advocate of open collaboration focused on virtualization and cloud, Citrix recognizes the value of an open Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) community. The combination of Citrix Cloud Platform powered by Apache CloudStack and Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand brings enormous benefit to telecom service providers by helping them transform to a new NFV reality. The new CloudBand Ecosystem Partnership program provides the necessary proof points for NFV cloud platform migration.”

    Rose Schooler, Vice President, General Manager, Communications & Storage Infrastructure Group, Intel Corporation, said: “NFV is transforming the Communications Services Provider’s networks. Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand brings about implementation of NFV on Standard High-Volume COTS hardware and the orchestration of Cloud and Networking Functions, lowering CapEx and Opex, and adding services innovation, agility and monetization. Intel and Alcatel-Lucent are excited about collaborating in driving this transformation.”

    Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, a division of UBM Tech, said: “Our research with service providers has found strong demand for an open ecosystem of NFV vendors, large and small, which will work together to resolve NFV challenges and facilitate adoption. NFV is not just about virtualizing network functions themselves, but also about managing them and orchestrating the cloud resources that support them to optimize their performance at lowest cost. This requires a high degree of collaboration and ongoing knowledge exchange between NFV stakeholders, especially at this early stage of the market. Alcatel-Lucent’s decision to lead such an ecosystem is a welcome development and will go a long way towards reassuring service providers that the NFV piece parts they select from ecosystem members will work together in future.”

    Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)

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