Orange pushes NFV deployment with Red Hat deal

Red Hat announced Wednesday it is partnering with Orange, a major multinational telecom operator, to help the company virtualize its networks. In particular, Orange said it will use Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform to deploy virtual network functions infrastructure (VNFi).

Orange is leveraging NFV as it transforms its network in order to reap the benefits of decoupling software from hardware. As part of the process, the company is using Red Hat OpenStack Platform to make it easier to integrate virtual network functions from various vendors.

“Orange is embracing a role as a modern open communications provider, not only by deploying a fully open technology platform with Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage but also by adding its expertise to community development efforts,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, vice president, global information and communications technology, Red Hat. “We’re very pleased that our technologies power Orange’s standardized NFVi platform and we’re excited to continue our collaboration in open source initiatives, aimed at delivering new business value to the industry.”

The collaboration is part of a joint engineering program in which the two companies will work together on open source community projects to boost tech innovation within the realm of virtualization. According to the companies, the purpose of the program is to address the needs of service providers and their networks when developing technologies.

The companies said the collaboration recently gave way to the integration of the OpenStack BGP VPN project and its reference implementation (BagPipe), with Orange as a lead contributor. The intent of the BGP VPN project is to enable telecom operators to mutually interconnect Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or NFV data centers and businesses, with industry-standard routing technologies.

“Our joint work on the BGP VPN project is a great example of an important piece of networking technology that we are enhancing for modern communications, as the industry strives towards more dynamic, agile and self-adaptive network,” noted Christian Gacon, vice president, wireline networks and infrastructure, Orange. “As we work on an industrial roll out of NFVi, we are confident that standardizing on open source can bring interoperability to the ecosystem for large, scalable cloud environments. We recognize Red Hat as a valuable partner to enable us to onboard VNFs from a variety of different vendors.”

This isn’t the first time Orange has collaborate on an open source project to make it easier to incorporate NFV into its network. In June 2016, for instance, Orange and AT&T teamed up to make NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) more accessible for both companies and the industry. Orange also tested AT&T’s open platform ECOMP platform with a focus on making it more accessible for operators and cloud developers.

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