Orange and Red Hat push open source NFVi development

At the OpenStack Summit 2017, operator Orange has joined forces with equally colourful open-source software vendor Red Hat to promote NFVi innovation.

Sadly the two companies have missed a trick by declining to name their mutual endeavour Orange Hat, but we mustn’t let that detract from the underlying cleverness. Orange seems to reckon network functions virtualization infrastructure is best done in the open-source environment and Red Hat unsurprisingly agrees.

The result is that they have started a joint engineering programme to support NFV in OpenStack and other open source communities. While the two of them have also, for some reason, chosen not to refer to themselves as Naranja and Sombrero Rojo respectively in Spanish-speaking countries, they have directed to the Openstack BGP VPN project, which has embellished the acronym magnificently in naming its reference implementation BaGPipe.

“We are keen to spearhead development for technology platforms that can power our future networks, like OpenStack, and are teaming closely with Red Hat to drive innovation in open communities to help shape them in line with real-world requirements,” said Christian Gacon, VP of Wireline Networks and Infrastructure at Orange. “Red Hat, as an open source solutions leader, is then able to seek to bring that innovation to production-ready fruition in its Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

“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 networks. 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.”

“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, VP of Global Information and Communications Technology at 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.”

To be honest we’re struggling to add much more colour to the announcement than those quotes so we’ll leave it there, other than to note that this seems to be another example of operators choosing to take virtualization matters into their own hands in the absence of sufficient progress from the traditional networking vendors.

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