With a plethora of virtual network functions (VNFs) now being marketed by hundreds of suppliers to communications service providers of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, the big question is: Which VNFs actually work?
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is the latest vendor to step up to the plate and put some of its key next-generation technology up for an independent evaluation by the specialists from Light Reading partner European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) .
The EANTC team made two visits to Nokia's facilities (formerly Alcatel-Lucent buildings) in Mountain View, Calif., one in December 2015 and another earlier this month. (See Finn de Siècle for Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia & AlcaLu Officially Combine Operations.)
EANTC completed performance and scalability tests on two VNFs -- the Virtualized Service Router (VSR) and Virtualized Mobile Gateway (VMG) -- from the vendor's IP division, which entered the virtual router market in late 2014. (See Alcatel-Lucent Joins Virtual Router Race.)
The results are still being compiled and checked by the EANTC team and will be published here on Light Reading in the coming weeks.
What's really important is that such independent tests are happening. This isn't a vendor testing its own gear or getting one of its partners to do the job. This is an experienced test lab with an industry reputation creating ground-breaking, industry-first test programs for the kind of next-generation technologies that are due to change the very nature of communications networking.
That's exactly what network operators need right now to help them make informed decisions about which companies to work with as they embrace the New IP world.
Whatever the outcome and conclusions put forward by EANTC, kudos to the team at Nokia (which also participated in the recent NFV interoperability tests) for opening their doors and making their VNFs available for evaluation. It sets a good example to the virtualization community and reflects well on the company. (See EXCLUSIVE! NFV Interop Evaluation Results.)
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading