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HP Unveils Turnkey NFV PlatformHP Unveils Turnkey NFV Platform

Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a turnkey HP NFV (network function virtualization) System based on a carrier-grade implementation of HP Helion OpenStack and a distribution of Linux from Wind River. Here are the details.

Mike Vizard

May 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Sarwar Raza vice president of product management for NFV at HP
Sarwar Raza, vice president of product management for NFV at HP

While interest in network function virtualization (NFV) software is running high, putting in place the IT infrastructure to support NFV applications is a major undertaking for service providers.

Looking simplify that process, Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a turnkey HP NFV System based on a carrier-grade implementation of HP Helion OpenStack and a distribution of Linux from Wind River.

HP also introduced NFV Director 3.0, which Sarwar Raza, vice president of product management for NFV at HP, said combines an IT management platform and an operating support systems (OSS) in one integrated system that can also take advantage of Big Data analytics enabled by the HP Vertica columnar database.

The HP NFV System consists of HP NFV System comes in several flavors, including an HP NFV Starter Kit, an HP NFV Compute Kit, HP NFV Control Kit that extends OpenStack functionality and an HP NFV Storage Kit. In addition, HP unveiled new services to help service providers make the transition to NFV.

A more agile networking environment

Raza said that as part of an overall effort to create a more agile networking environment, service providers of all sizes are starting to replace dedicated hardware appliances with NFV software.

That NFV transition, said Raza, is happening at faster clip not only because NFV software reduces operating costs, it also put service providers in a position to turn networks into programmable environments. In their first iteration service providers are presenting customers with portals through which they can select services. But as NFV software evolves developers will invoke network services in much the same way they invoke compute and storage resources running on a public cloud.

Managing NFV remotely

The rate at which individual MSPs will make the transition to NFVs will vary greatly. But the days of managing individual physical appliances on the network is clearly coming to an end. In its place NFV software will run on standard x86 servers and commodity silicon, which not only reduces capital expenses but is also much simpler to manage remotely.

Ultimately, the end result should be a networking environment that MSPs can not only more easily manage at scale, but also dynamically provision. In fact, networking environments arguably are the last major roadblock in the transition to software-defined IT infrastructure. Most organizations today can provision a virtual machine in a matter of minutes. But provisioning the network resources required to support those virtual machines still takes several weeks. Thanks to the rise of NFV software those networks will soon be just another programmable IT infrastructure resource.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Vizard

Contributing Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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