ZTE Joins Open-Source NFV Effort

The Chinese tech company is the latest member of the OPNFV project, which wants to build an open-source reference architecture for NFV deployments.

NFV membership

Chinese tech giant ZTE is joining the Open Platform for NFV project, the two-month-old industry consortium developing an open-source carrier-grade reference platform for the growing network-functions virtualization space.

ZTE is joining such Platinum members like AT&T, Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and AT&T in the effort to drive adoption of NFV among service providers and enterprises. The OPNFV project, launched in September, is the latest industry effort around NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) that ZTE has joined. The company also is a member of the OpenDaylight Project and the Open Networking Foundation.

Both SDN and NFV are rapidly changing the way networks are built and run. They are designed to enable organizations to build more agile, flexible and automated networks by taking network intelligence from complex and expensive networking gear and putting them into software, which can run on commodity hardware and can be programmed much more quickly than traditional infrastructures. That programmability is important in data centers that are under increasing pressure from trends like mobile computing, big data and the cloud to respond quickly to changing demands.

Industry-standard platforms will make the adoption and evolution of SDN and NFV easier, according to ZTE CTO Zhao Xianming.

"The market is embracing SDN and NFV, which opens doors for many opportunities for the industry to innovate and provide new services much faster," he said in a statement. "Industry-wide collaboration on an open NFV platform will allow us to address critical concerns upfront and build a common reference platform. This will establish an open ecosystem for NFV solutions based on open standards and open source software."

OPNFV members say an open NFV reference architecture will not only improve the performance of networks, but also their reliability, availability and serviceability.

ZTE last year launched ElasticNet, which company officials said is a complete solution for SDN and NFV deployments for networks for carriers, enterprise data centers and cloud environments. Through ElasticNet and the integrated SDN and NFV technologies, customers can built what ZTE officials call a "flat network" that can easily adapt to changing demands.