Vodafone today announced a key partnership with Nuage Networks and Nokia to bring SDN and SD-WAN technology to multiple networking initiatives to improve network automation, virtualization and cloud infrastructure. The initial Nuage Networks deployment will be in live SDN deployments supporting applications in the Vodafone datacenters.
The SDN deployments are part of the larger Vodafone Ocean framework for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) transformation. Vodafone Ocean is a group-wide transformation of network and compute infrastructure towards virtualization, NFV and cloud technology. Ocean is an operations-driven transformation, including process automation designed to improve business application consumption for end customers for greater agility and reduction in operational overhead. Ocean’s domain-oriented architecture relies on network virtualization technologies such as Nuage Networks, as well as orchestration platforms, to deliver an end-to-end architecture that is flexible enough to meet the individual needs of business units and regional data centers.
Nuage Networks is also supporting the Vodafone VPN+ live pilot project. The Vodafone VPN+ architecture is a next-generation virtual private network (VPN) that is enhanced using SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) to increase performance and keep hardware requirements to a bare minimum. VPN+ automates and simplifies deployment and incident management processes, while providing information about multiple parameters (analytics, performance and security monitoring). VPN+ is another key SD-WAN technology win for Nuage Networks among service providers who are looking to bring the benefits of a software-defined infrastructure to enterprise WAN customers and to enhance MPLS VPN and hybrid WAN-based services. The Vodafone announcement follows on the heels of an announcement yesterday by Finland’s Telia Sonera for SD-WAN services.
The Nuage Networks Virtualized Service Platform (VSP), which is at the heart of the Vodafone deployments, is the only network virtualization, SDN and automation solution offering a single framework to provide policy-based automation across both the datacenter and WAN. It empowers customers to transform their IT and build truly automated and agile application delivery and cloud networks. The end-to-end policy-based automation provided by VSP, across datacenter, WAN sites and public cloud providers, delivers synergy across network offerings, such as MPLS VPN and hybrid WAN services, as well as hosted cloud services, by leading service providers such as Vodafone.
The essence of what Nuage is providing, with its Nuage Networks Virtualized Service Platform (VSP) is a software-defined network that is linking Vodafone’s diverse data centers, brought on board as it acquired operators, in a single cloud-based network architecture that delivers policy-based automation across its network, private and public clouds.
The two companies have been working together for more than three years on this process, including multiple proofs of concept (PoCs), notes Sunil Khandekar, founder and chief executive officer of Nuage Networks. Key to his company’s success was the Nuage ability to help Vodafone automate processes, as part of its data center transformation, so that virtualized networks functions and hosting services could be delivered to customers in a consistent automated way, and network resources could be used most efficiently.
“The whole idea was around making [a cloud-based infrastructure] that was fully automated and programmable — that is what the Ocean architecture had in mind — and that is what the selection is about,” Khandekar tells Light Reading in an interview. Right now, Vodafone has a mix of technology in its data centers, including VMware hypervisors and bare-metal servers, that makes it hard to create a single automated approach to offering services.
The Nuage Networks VSP solution key facts:
- Enables high-performance, reliable SDN and policy-based automation for cloud deployments at scale
- Provides seamless virtual overlay networking across on-premises and public cloud environments as well as remote WAN sites for end-to-end automation and application delivery
- Supports a range of cloud orchestration platforms for infrastructure-wide automation, including OpenStack and CloudStack open source platforms
- Works across heterogeneous application platforms and workload types, including VM’s, containers and bare metal applications to minimize disruption and accelerate cloud-readiness
- The data center and cloud networking framework of the VSP – Virtualized Cloud Services (VCS) – automates the configuration, management and optimization of virtual networks, including security services that provide tenant isolation and access controls to individual applications and workloads
- A centralized policy manager and SDN controller automate configuration and tuning of network and security devices, accelerating IT tasks, increasing scale and reducing errors
- VCS integrates with a broad range of open source reference architectures and management solutions to deliver virtual networking and automation in a highly scalable cloud environment