HP, Nokia to Build NFV Cloud Platform for Telecoms

The offering will include running Nokia Networks' NFV solutions on top of HP's OpenStack-based Helion cloud platform.

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Hewlett-Packard is partnering with Nokia Networks to offer telecommunications vendors a cloud-based platform on which to build their next-generation network infrastructures and leverage network-functions virtualization capabilities.

The two companies announced Nov. 12 that the integrated solution will offer Nokia's network-functions virtualization (NFV) technology running on HP's Helion OpenStack-based cloud platform, which includes HP data center hardware, hypervisor and virtual management software. Nokia's Cloud Application Manager software will enable carriers to quickly deploy cloud environments for their telecommunications environments.

Nokia already has a lineup of commercial NFV offerings—such as services like voice-over LTE—and company officials said they expect their solutions to be available on the Helion cloud platform by mid-2015.

"Operators want the same advantages enterprises have experienced with open-source-based cloud solutions," Saar Gillai, senior vice president and chief operating officer of HP Cloud and general manager of NFV, said in a statement. "HP Helion OpenStack with carrier-grade technologies provides them with a clear path to get there."

Telecoms and service providers are seeing growing demand to more quickly spin out new services for employees and customers while their networks are under increasing pressure from rapid data center changes being fueled by such trends as mobile computing, big data, the cloud and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Like enterprises, they are increasingly turning to cloud computing , software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV to improve their capabilities while keeping infrastructure costs down.

Both SDN and NFV promise more agile, flexible and cost-effective networks by removing the network intelligence from expensive networking gear and putting it into software that can run on cheaper commodity systems, such as Intel-based servers.

HP has aggressively moved to take advantage of the changing data center dynamics. In February, the company unveiled its OpenNFV program designed to help telecommunications vendors adopt NFV. The program leverages a broad array of HP products—from servers and storage solutions to SDN, OpenFlow solutions and support for a range of hypervisors—and includes an NFV reference architecture. The company also created OpenNFV Labs and OpenNFV Partner Program to let organizations test and manage their network applications.

In May, the company rebranded its cloud efforts as Helion and promised to invest $1 billion over two years in the OpenStack cloud initiative.

In addition, HP was a founding member of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), an industry-led consortium that wants to develop an open-source reference platform to help fuel the adoption of NFV.

According to HP and Nokia officials, the new solution will go beyond hardware and software to include a range of services to help service providers deploy and maintain a telco cloud.

"Services are fundamental to enable the transformation that the cloud promises to operators for telco and IT applications," Igor Leprince, executive vice president of global services at Nokia, said in a statement, adding that the two vendors give mobile operators the tools to "gain the full benefits of a complete telco and IT cloud solution."