New IP

Orange Business Services Adds Muscle to the New IP Agency

Orange is the New IP.

Orange Business Services has joined The New IP Agency , the non-profit international organization dedicated to promoting virtualized IP networks through information, testing, education, analysis, community services and independent testing with its partner EANTC.

Orange Business Services' membership is a big deal. Why? Because for NIA to succeed in its mission, it needs the input not just of vendors, but of service providers, to offer real-world perspective on virtualization needs in the field, NIA Director Jeff Hannah tells Light Reading. And Orange Business Services can help provide that real-world perspective, joining other heavy-hitter service provider members, including Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Colt Technology Services Group Ltd , Cox Communications Inc. and XO Communications Inc.

Vendor members of the New IP Agency are a roster of networking champs: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL), Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), ECI Telecom Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763).

The full member list is here.

Orange Business Services joining NIA is particularly important because the service provider focuses on enterprise solutions, which are driving virtual network deployments (though cable companies are also exploring network virtualization to provide virtual CPE to consumers), Hannah says.

Bob O'Brien, Orange Business Services' vice president of connectivity and security solutions in the Americas, told my colleague Alison Diana, "We want to continue to be close to the latest developments with virtual network functions and keep a pulse on where the industry is heading. We see this as a great opportunity to be an integral player in the standards discussion, from a service provider perspective, but also with an eye on the end-user benefits... There are a lot of different consortia and organizations that have formed, but this seemed like a unique space and one that can really add a lot of value to the service provider community -- and ultimately to customers as well." (See Orange Business Services Joins New IP Agency.)

Since its founding this year, the NIA has been climbing the networking stack, starting with evaluations of NFVI, onboarding and instantiating VNFs as part of lifecycle management, to management through VNFM and organizing through service chaining, Hannah says.

"Everything we have in terms of our output we make publicly available to the industry -- vendors, systems integrators and service providers," Hannah says. That's particularly useful to Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers, who don't have the budgets that Tier 1s have to evaluate networking solutions.

NIA provides insight and "inside baseball talk" on the "hurdles and challenges to adopting VNFs," Hannah says.

Find out more about Network Functions Virtualization on Light Reading's NFV Channel.

Multi-vendor interoperability testing is a big part of NIA's mission, as well as making that testing publicly available. Other interoperability testing goes on in service providers' own labs and vendor ecosystem labs, Hannah notes. "Other testing tends to be private, and focused on an individual ecosystem," he says. That kind of testing does not fulfill the vision of NFV: to provide vendor independence and allow service providers to pick best-of-breed technology.

"The NIA is not beholden to one vendor ecosystem, or one idea on how NFV is deployed," Hannah says. "The NIA sits on top of ecosystem consortiums and standards groups."

Light Reading underwrote the expense to launch the NIA in late 2015. The NIA officially formed in January as a Delaware not-for-profit, and Light Reading has since been the NIA's marketing partner, supporting the publication and promotion of the NIA's test reports.

Interested in getting involved in the NIA? Email Jeff Hannah at [email protected].

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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