Telefonica tests capabilities of virtualization with Brocade partnership

The quest for virtualization in the network operator community is turning into something of an arms race as much for the vendor ecosystem as for the carriers. On Tuesday Telefónica partnered with networking specialist Brocade to explore the capabilities of virtualized network appliances running on off the shelf, Intel-based hardware.

Consistent results from testing have provided clear evidence that will fundamentally alter the performance range service providers can expect from virtualized networking, the companies said. Initial results show that deployment time can be brought down to hours and that the performance achieved meets requirements.

Within the Telefónica NFV Reference Lab framework, the Brocade Vyatta 5600 vRouter achieved 80Gbps on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Intel x86 server, running a Red Hat KVM environment and a single virtual machine.

“In less than two hours, we deployed the Brocade Vyatta 5600 vRouter from a memory stick and completed our performance tests in our NFV Reference Lab. These results are allowing us, as network operators, to aggressively change our perspective regarding what is possible with software-driven networking in order to accelerate the adoption and deployment of these revolutionary technologies,” said Francisco-Javier Ramón, Head of Telefónica NFV Reference Lab.

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To further enhance the offering Brocade is planning updates to the router in 2015 that will introduce Layer 3 MPLS, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol Version 3 (L2TPv3), support for Ipv6 and OpenDaylight integration.

Indeed, one of the most vigorous operators exploring virtualization is Telefónica and the firm marked the opening of MWC 2014 by setting out aggressive plans for the virtualization of its network functions, including detailed timelines relating to different network elements. The project has been dubbed ‘Unica’ and has as its headline aim the virtualization of 30 per cent of all new infrastructure by 2016.

Ahead of the announcement, at the firm’s sprawling headquarters complex in Madrid, Telefónica’s global CTO Enrique Blanco briefed a small number of industry press about the firm’s plans.

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