Red Hat, World Wide Technology Collaborate on Virtual Central Office
In a new partnership, Red Hat Virtual Central Office software is being validated and certified on hardware being packaged by technology solution provider World Wide Technology (WWT) to create scalable, tested and deployment-ready virtual office configurations for a wide range of business customers.
The coming validated and certified systems, which WWT recently announced, are being tested, designed and created in the company’s Advanced Technology Center research lab to ready the configurations for use later this year, Ian Hood, chief technologist for Red Hat’s telco global service providers department, told Channel Futures.
“WWT works with a lot of our network partners, like Cisco and Juniper Networks, and integrates their technologies,” said Hood. “They’re helping us in deploying the technologies together — our software platforms on the necessary compute platforms. These are the kinds of things that are helping to accelerate the integration of our technologies with our partners.”
Red Hat’s Virtual Central Office platform is an architectural framework built to allow customers to virtualize their central offices with network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). By moving to virtual central office services, businesses can improve their agility, innovation and customer experience while also reducing costs, according to Red Hat. Red Hat VCO software combines cloud and container platforms with advanced automation and management tools.
Under the partnership, WWT will package Red Hat and other software with hardware that meets the needs of customers in their specific use cases in consistent ways for easy deployment, said Hood. The integrated platforms will then be sold by WWT to customers through channel partners.
Work to combine the products has been going for some time, he said, and testing continues.
“WWT is validating that it meets performance criteria with vendors so when they package it up, it’s ready to go and doesn’t need more integration when it is delivered to customers,” Hood said.
Joe Wojtal, vice president of open systems and solutions for WWT, told Channel Futures that the partnership with Red Hat is a perfect fit due to the company’s expertise in NFV, as well as its broad experience and flexibility with open source.
“Red Hat is the leader in delivering SP-class NFV infrastructure,” he said. “Their open-source development model allows them to take advantage of a huge open-source development community that drives innovation much more quickly than traditional commercial software companies. We also have a strong cultural fit with their organization.”
Additional development also continues on other related VCO offerings.
“We’re excited about the current version of the VCO solution but are quickly working with the Red Hat ecosystem to deliver a container-based version of the solution to enable cloud native VNFs to interoperate via a microservices architecture,” noted Wojtal.
Wojtal said he expects WWT’s VCO products to be available in the second quarter of 2019, with additional broadband and enterprise services expected to come later in the year.
Other WWT partners also are working on the project, including Affirmed Networks, Altiostar, Amdocs, Cumulus Networks, Edgecore Networks, F5 Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, MYCOM OSI and Trilio.
“As more mobile network operators look to embrace the role of a modern open telecommunications service provider, moving services from the core network closer to customers by virtualizing edge networks becomes an important consideration,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, Red Hat’s vice president of global information and communications technology. “Red Hat Virtual Central Office is designed to provide both a path for service providers to follow and an open, pluggable framework upon which to build their next-generation services.”