Alcatel-Lucent has formed the CloudBand Ecosystem Program, an open community of service providers, developers and vendors, designed to drive the adoption of network function virtualisation (NFV) technology.
The vendor said NFV, which supports the flexible network infrastructure needed to move complex applications and services to the cloud, will bring agility and efficiency along with “the economics of the cloud” to operators networks and business operations.
Roy Amir, VP of strategy and ecosytem for CloudBand at A-L, said that the new programme is aimed at helping operators to understand and implement the NFV technology efficiently.
In January, a group of operators formed an industry specification group to formalise the standards that will allow anyone to virtualize network functions.
In addition, A-L said it is opening up its CloudBand solution an open, multivendor NFV management platform to aid the move towards NFV.
This enables developers and vendors to access tools and test applications to ensure they scale and interact within a simulated cloud environment before they reach an operator’s network.
Operators can also use the platform to provide cloud-based services to enterprise and retail customers.
A-L said the solution, which was introduced to a limited number of vendors initially, has now opened up to a wider range of businesses and 15 companies, including Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica , have already signed up
The vendor’s two-year old, US-based CloudBand Innovation Center is the industry’s first NFV lab and is being used to conduct trials of virtualized applications for the carrier cloud.
“Alcatel-Lucent is dedicated to helping service providers advance quickly in the area of NFV,” said Amir.
“The CloudBand Ecosystem Program aims to do just that, providing a workspace where companies can access CloudBand and collaborate and learn from each other. This will help service providers adopt a completely new NFV operational model using services and solutions that have been developed with them and their customers¹ needs in mind.”
Axel Clauberg, VP IP and Fixed Access Architecture, Group CTO team at Deutsche Telekom, said that the industry needs to keep pace with the NFV technology.
“There are two main parts in making this happen that need to work well with each other through experimentation and iterations. One, a wide array of best of breed virtual network functions that currently run on purpose built HW. Two, an NFV cloud Platform that¹s optimized to run these
functions at scale.”
Dr Diego R Lopez, Head of Technology Exploration at Telefónica I+D, added: “Realising the NFV promise is not a task for a single vendor. It is not only that NFV addresses so many domains that no vendor can realistically aim to deliver in all of them, but the fact that the NFV promise itself involves an open innovation ecosystem, implying true industry and market collaboration.”