VNFs (Virtual Network Functions)

NFV Startup Tackles 'Onboarding' Challenge

A team of former Ericsson executives have formed an NFV startup that is aiming to tackle one of the main challenges facing network operators with virtualization ambitions -- VNF (virtual network function) "onboarding."

VoerEir AB, formed in mid-2015, is based in Sollentuna, Sweden (a few kilometers north of Stockholm) and is headed up by CEO Patric Lind, an Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) veteran who held a number of senior positions related to cloud software development and sales (including "head of product line cloud software -- IaaS & PaaS") during his 15-plus years at the Swedish giant.

He's not the only Ericsson veteran at VoerEir: The startup's CTO is Thomas Lindquist, formerly the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) program technical lead at Ericsson, while the company's head of system development, Arif Khan, most recently held the position of chief enterprise architect at the Swedish vendor.

The company -- which offers "We make open source cloud infrastructure work" as its motto -- also has a number of R&D staff in India (New Delhi, Bangalore), many of whom have also worked at Ericsson, as well as other vendors such as Nokia, NetApp and SAP. The previous focus of many of the R&D team has been DevOps, OpenStack and open source software development in general.

The team is still quite small and working as much as possible under the radar: In a brief conversation Wednesday morning, Lind explained that his company is still very much in its initial development phase and isn't yet sharing a great deal of detail about its operations.

It is, though, currently engaged with "a few select carriers," says the CEO, and is believed to have completed its initial software release.

The main challenge VoerEir is addressing, according to Lind, is VNF onboarding. "We're doing it in a different way," says the CEO.

For more NFV-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

That'll be music to the ears of NFV big hitters such as Vodafone's David Amzallag, who cited onboarding as one of the main problems that the NFV vendor community has so far failed to address. (See Vodafone Demands More From NFV Vendors.)

Amzallag is not alone: Operators are, in general, somewhat peeved that the traditional vendor community has taken a box-based approach to a challenge that demands cloud-native (often open-source inspired) software.

What's the solution? VoerEir clearly believes it has an answer: Don't be surprised if containers are involved.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

patricknmoore 9/7/2016 | 3:08:46 PM
Re: Is Different Always Better? Bingo. We are in a time when many vendors claim to have an answer, but few have a PROVEN method. It becomes real when operational experience is produced and the solution evolves based on the challenges confronted and resolved.
[email protected] 9/7/2016 | 11:55:35 AM
Re: Is Different Always Better? Different is not always better but it would seem that different is what the operators need when it comes to VNF onboarding.

But I expect to hear from every vendor that they have figured out how to make it seamless and easy, while others haven't... when I hear i t from someone who is using it at a service provider, then I'll start to believe it.
cnwedit 9/7/2016 | 10:15:16 AM
Is Different Always Better? Of course, it would be a startup company, created by industry veterans, that tries to develop a software solution to VNF onboarding. 

I'm intruigued that they are already working with carriers, and interested to see where this fits into the broader scheme of solutions and if they play nicely with any of the vendor ecosystems or open source groups. 
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