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Metaswitch, HPE Seek Integration Inspiration

Carol Wilson
10/10/2016
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HPE and Metaswitch are announcing today that the Metaswitch virtualized IMS is now integrated into HPE's Helion OpenStack-based NFV orchestration platform, as both vendors work to help network operators get to virtualization faster. (See Metaswitch Virtual IMS Integrated into HPE's Helion.)

The primary use case for the virtualized IP Multimedia Subsystem developed by Metaswitch Networks more than two years ago is voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), according to Ken Cavanaugh, Metaswitch's director of business development, and its integration into Hewlett Packard Enterprise 's Helion will help network operators get to the deployment phase much faster, he says. (See Metaswitch Unveils Clearwater Core.)

"We have been working with HPE to pre-validate and package a solution to help carriers accelerate their virtual deployment," Cavanaugh says. "NFV obviously has a lot of value but we find in talking to carriers that they are looking for vendors to help drive this -- they need to get to deployment faster and this is the means to do that."


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The two companies are combining efforts that have been around for a couple of years and have found some success -- though nothing overwhelming in terms of deployment. They have been working together for three years, Cavanaugh says, focusing on NFV.

The virtualized IMS, which Metaswitch is now describing as cloud-native, can be deployed in a matter of hours and can support multiple telephony application servers (TAS) to support things such as VoLTE but also unified-communications-as-a-service and more. The IMS includes the Clearwater virtualized IMS Core and Perimeta virtualized session border controller.

Metaswitch has some customers already including Tiscali and Vip Mobile, and Optivon on the fixed-line side, but integration into an orchestration system will speed things along, Cavanaugh says. (See Eurobites: NFV Italian Job for Metaswitch, Metaswitch NFV Customer -- Vip Mobile and Optivon Embraces All-Software VoIP & UC.)

"The real value of NFV is ability to orchestrate and turn services up quickly not just from the VNF perspective but from an overall perspective, and integration with HP's NFV director, their MANO solution, for things like instantiation but also monitoring and scaling, is the next step," he says.

From HPE's standpoint, its NFV Director has also been around for a couple of years, and has had some deployment success, such as with Swisscom. Anshu Agarwal, head of solutions and partner development for HPE's communications solutions business, says customers are looking for ways to turn up services quickly, and, with open source MANO projects still in their initial phases, are turning to vendors for answers.

Helion is based on OpenStack and uses RESTful applications programming interfaces, but it also has vendor support, which is something network operators are still seeking, Agarwal says.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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Kevin Mitchell
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Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/13/2016 | 8:46:03 PM
Best of Breed – Dream or Reality?
The NFV ideal is mix and match, best of breed, freedom to pick and replace any vendor.

The reality is that IMS promised the same thing and service providers largely went to single vendor or highly integrated blueprint solutions (e.g., Ericsson with lots of stuff and 3-4 pre-integrated third-party vendors like Acme Packet and Camiant). NFV VoIP/IMS  promises to be morecomplex than IMS of the last 10 years given the NFVI, VNF and MANO components. See The New IP Agency Virtual Machines, Real Complexity

 It's an old idea, does NFV and "new IP make it more or less feasible? Are service providers really going to be the integrator and do this? Is mix and match realistic from both initially building a network and then operating/troubleshooting it? Where is the integration expertise going to come from? 

This work between Metaswitch and HPE is a proof point that the future is like the past.
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