Gintel and HPE collaborate on Tier 1 deployment for legacy IN service replacement with full NFV architecture – virtualisation is starting to become the norm
Virtualisation has been a hot topic for some time now and the industry recognises that network transformation is going to be a significant force in the evolution of communications and service delivery. We’ve been asked by customers about virtual deliveries for some time, but the fact is that, until recently, few have opted to go for this route. None-the-less, the proportion of virtual deployments that we make has steadily been rising and we have been tracking this shift to ensure that we are fully compatible with NFV architecture.
Typically, NFV adoption has been driven by customers that have also invested in VoLTE and a full IMS core, but some of our smaller MVNO customers have also been keen to move to a virtual environment. It’s partly a strategic choice and partly one driven by available resources.
This year, one of our Tier 1 customers has taken the plunge and has opted to deploy a complete legacy IN replacement solution for its B2B service portfolio in a fully virtualised, NFV environment. In this case, we have provided the service layer and application logic, while the underlying NFV infrastructure has been delivered by HPE.
The solution has been deployed on HPE’s Helion OpenStack implementation, which provides the security and flexibility the operator needs to protect and assure services for its enterprise customers, while delivering the agility promised by NFV and cloud architectures. It allows for elastic scale, while providing a secure environment for our Easy Business Communications Suite.
The software environment runs on HPE C7000 blades and enclosures, which consolidate server, storage, networking and power management into a single solution. It dramatically simplifies the underlying IT infrastructure, which means that the operator can leverage a single environment for future service extension and capacity growth.
In particular, as regulatory compliance is essential to both the operator and its customers, the programme of continuous compliance management provides reassurance that the complete solution conforms to necessary regulations. With more than a million end-users dependent on the service, from a variety of business verticals, compliance is a big issue, as is the scalability to support their growth.
We anticipate that the majority of future deployments will be delivered in virtualised environments as network transformation programmes accelerate. As we have seen, the service layer is typically the logical first step, followed by EPC and other network functions. It’s an exciting development and one that promises to increase service agility for operators. We’re particularly pleased to have delivered complete, NGN NFV solution for such a significant deployment and to have collaborated with HPE at every stage of the process.