PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today announced SmartSky Networks is building a cutting-edge air-to-ground broadband network using the companies’ interoperable and pre-certified network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions. SmartSky is deploying the Brocade Virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) running on VMware vCloud NFV to implement a new network, connecting more than 250 cell sites strategically placed across the continental U.S. SmartSky’s Air-to-Ground network will provide airborne users with online experiences comparable with those in an office or at home.
SmartSky requires a flexible pan-US network to deliver unique and differentiated services that meet the requirements of its customers. Traditional hardware-defined networks do not scale dynamically in a modular way to provide sufficient connectivity and mobility for SmartSky’s high-speed broadband service running over a large geographic area. The combined NFV solution from Brocade and VMware enables SmartSky to take a software-defined approach to network infrastructure that is more agile, flexible and cost-effective than a hardware-based approach.
“We are building SmartSky’s network from the ground up, enabling us to rethink how a cross-continental air-to-ground network such as this should be built,” said David Claassen, Vice President of Network and Service Architecture at SmartSky. “As we worked through the design, it became clear that using an NFV approach and leveraging commodity hardware for the underlying physical fabric would deliver the best ROI while increasing our service-ability and reducing many of the operational headaches common with traditional hardware-based networks. Brocade and VMware are delivering a combined NFV solution that will help us accelerate our delivery of this unique service offering.”
Brocade’s full-function vEPC offering features independent slices of control, data and session management capabilities. With support for distribution and independent scaling of the control and user planes, the Brocade vEPC provides seamless data service across the continent while eliminating redundant functionalities and internode dependencies. This results in a lower total cost of ownership and increased performance compared to physical node-based packet cores. The Brocade vEPC has achieved VMware Ready for NFV status, which provides SmartSky with pre-certified compatibility with the VMware NFV infrastructure.