Cisco introduced its new NFV Infrastructure Solution (NFVI) at Mobile World Congress last week (22-25 February 2016). It combines virtual and physical environments, and providing all the necessary compute, storage, and networking infrastructure to run NFV network services, according to the company.
The new NFV Infrastructure complements existing virtualization solutions like the Cisco Virtualized Packet Core (VPC), which provides network functions as virtualised services. It combines all mobile packet core services for 4G, 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, and small cell networks into a single solution.
Digitisation is driving service providers to find new ways to do things better, faster and with lower costs. To get there, many are moving toward virtualisation and simplified programmability solutions for their networks.
Network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) are the popular software-based approaches that service providers are using to design, deploy and manage their networks and services.
Customers including South Africa’s Vodacom are in the integration phase to use the Cisco VPC, with NFV Infrastructure and Cisco Advanced Services delivery to scale their network capacity and introduce new services faster and more cost-effectively.
Benefits of NFVI:
• It helps to further simplify and automate service providers’ NFV operations to deliver applications and services faster.
• It provides a robust solution with carrier-grade performance, availability, security, and scalability.
• This is a ready-to-go, fully integrated and tested infrastructure.
• Independent EANTC testing validated the industry-leading, high-performance Cisco NFV Infrastructure and its openness and interoperability.
• The automated life cycle management of Cisco NFV Infrastructure can significantly lower network total cost of ownership by as much as 40%.
“This solution is another step in delivering on our strategy for an open, modular and expandable network architecture,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, Cisco Service Provider business, products and solutions. “We are committed to helping our service provider customers embrace the network transformation toward virtualisation with the right foundation to successfully deploy virtualised network functions.”
According to Cisco, its NFV Infrastructure can provide savings of up to 40% through:
• Improved operations: Reduces the risk of service outages due to smaller and more controlled maintenance windows.
• Security upgrades: Improves security for OpenStack and Linux vulnerabilities.
• Validated and tested design: Increases service velocity by shortening the time for system deployments: down to three weeks; Cisco’s Advanced Services leads the design and deployment.
• Simplified tech support: Cisco will be the single point of contact for customer support, including third-party software like Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.