EMC launches Provider Cloud System for the telco cloud

EMC has created a software defined reference model for comms providers to use as they come to terms with the challenges of maintaining carrier grade levels of services once they start using the cloud.

The storage giant unveiled its Provider Cloud System (PCS) at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona. The PCS is software-defined by EMC’s Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) which, says EMC, can support the full range of distributed, multi-service offerings that telcos are striving to offer with the added economies of cloud computing’s speed and cost efficiency.

In a statement EMC addresses the point that though legacy telco systems are inflexible and slow to adapt, they do at least guarantee carrier grade levels of service. The new EMC PCS will create carrier-grade availability and reliability by blending automation, programmability and predictive analytics to support the new cloud workloads, it claimed. EMC claimed that its own research showed that the infrastructure it had defined through network function virtualisation has both the legacy system’s industrial strength and can run comms and telecoms services at a 60% lower total cost of ownership.

The modular NFVI stack that underpins EMC PCS can scale from a single node to large distributed environments by clustering servers, storage and networks into a platform that hosts virtual network functions (VNFs). EMC says its VNFs can blend traditional telecoms and cellular networks along with the nontraditional services of cloud hosting and media and content delivery. The crucial part, the carrier-grade availability, is to be provided by management and orchestration software.

Partners will be critical in EMC’s mission to keep up with the pace of cloud developments, so EMC announced it will providing a platform on which partners can build services from common blueprints, and collaborate using DevOps best practices. Among the partners confirmed so far are Affirmed Networks, Cellwize and Versa Networks. Each has validated its offerings with EMC’s PCS reference architecture.

“The telecom industry has struggled to shape the cloud to look and act like a telecom network,” said  analyst Michael Sullivan-Trainor at Technology Business Research. The new EMC PCS ‘demonstrates the fulfilment of critical requirements’ for cloud enabled telcos, claimed the analyst.

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