OpenStack to Drive NFV Management
Network function virtualization (NFV) software will eliminate the need for many of the physical appliances that clutter data centers today, but all those new software components will still need to be managed.
To provide that capability Hewlett-Packard is working with Wind River, a unit of Intel that provides an implementation of Linux that is widely used by telecommunications carriers today, to create a framework for managing NFVs based on the OpenStack cloud management framework.
While both NFVs and OpenStack are in still in infancy, MSPs would be well advised to invest a little more time and effort in OpenStack because it may be optimized to manage NFVs. In fact, the latest Juno release of OpenStack rudimentary support for NFVs has already been included.
OpenStack and NFV: Joined at the hip
Saar Gillai, senior vice president and chief operating officer for HP Cloud and general manager for NFV at HP, said the industry will learn that OpenStack and NFVs are joined at the proverbial hip. Most of the telecommunications carriers that are piloting NFV deployments are already using OpenStack to manage them.
Scheduled to be available in 2015, Gillai said the goal is to build an open NFV ecosystem that makes it possible for these components to be both easily managed and portable.
OpenStack’s promise as a management framework
OpenStack continues to gain features and evolve into a unified end-to-end management framework that MSPs could use to manage everything from local storage to wide area network (WAN) services. It is gaining traction inside and out of the data center. In fact, the entire networking and data center environment is about to become one massive programmable resource, which means that MSPs that don’t enable customers to self-provision network resources in a matter minutes by the end of 2015 are probably going to have very few prospects in 2016.
Obviously, we’re still quite a ways off from all that actually occurring, but you can bet that at the HP Discover 2014 conference in Barcelona next week HP will be talking up that idea to not only MSPs, but also their customers. So in the meantime, while mastering OpenStack is clearly no small task, given the timetables, MSPs may just want to start doing their OpenStack homework now if they hope to pass that NFV test that will surely come before the end of 2015.