Nokia and VMware have expanded their partnership to include a lab to certify Nokia's virtual network functions (VNFs) on VMware's vCloud NFV platform.
The lab, which is on-site at Nokia and called VMware Ready for NFV Certification Lab, includes performance characterization to help service providers configure their networks for more seamless deployments of VNFs. In addition to providing common VNFs, and, eventually, container network functions (CNFs), the Certification Lab will speed up the onboarding of VNFs by services providers.
Telcos have long complained that vendors' VNFs were specific to each vendor, which required a longer period of time for on-boarding, while the vendors have complained that they can't design VNFs for each telco. While Nokia's partnership with VMware is good for Nokia's VNFs, there are still other commercial and open source VNFs that need to work seamlessly on service providers' networks.
Last year F5 Networks crafted a means to simplify NFV for mobile operators and service providers with its VNF Manager and preconfigured VNFs.
Last week at VMworld 2019 Europe, VMware took the wraps off of its Project Maestro telco cloud orchestrator and also announced a VNF Self Certification program. Project Maestro is a "cloud down" approach by VMware to model, on-board, orchestrate and manage virtual network functions (VNFs) and CNFs. Project Maestro is currently in preview mode for telcos with general availability slated for early next year.
Nokia and VMware have a broad mutual customer base across both of their portfolios, and they are working to advance the interoperability between Nokia's software applications and VMware's Telco Cloud, which includes VMware vCloud NFV.
Nokia Service Management is running on VMware's Telco Cloud Platform and VMware HXC. The two companies are working together to help customers create a multi-cloud strategy for their network and IT environment by connecting them to private enterprise clouds, edge clouds and public clouds.
Several Nokia software applications, such as Nokia CloudBand Application Manager and Nokia Smart Plan Suite, along with virtual IMS, virtual packet core and session border controller are already certified for operations in VMware cloud environments.
“We are pleased to see Nokia and VMware come closer together to enable a more seamless deployment of Nokia VNFs and CNFs on VMware’s Telco Cloud platform," said Dr. Alex Jinsung Choi, senior vice president, strategy and technology innovation, Deutsche Telekom, in a prepared statement. "We see great value in these two companies’ portfolios featuring greater interoperability and believe the contribution this expanded partnership will make to a viable ecosystem will help us accelerate our digital transformation.”