Red Hat made several announcements at this week’s Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona that underscore its strong commitment—and the global telco industry’s growing support—to open source, cloud and network functions virtualization (NFV). The announcements include MyRepublic’s use of Red Hat open source solutions to turn its legacy, proprietary IT environment into an open hybrid cloud and Altice’s use of NFV to build out a virtualized platform. Red Hat also announced new and extended partnerships with World Wide Technology (WWT) and Ericsson.
MyRepublic, an internet service provider (ISP) in Singapore, has revamped its fragmented legacy IT infrastructure into a modern, more scalable cloud using Red Hat OpenStack Platform as its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, Red Hat Ceph Storage, a block and object storage platform capable of scaling to meet MyRepublic’s requirements, and Red Hat CloudForms, a hybrid cloud management platform. Red Hat Consulting supported the initial planning and implementation stages, making it possible to complete the deployment in only two weeks. You can read more about MyRepublic’s use of Red Hat solutions in its new cloud-based platform in this case study.
MyRepublic’s open hybrid cloud initiative is designed to increase availability and flexibility and substantially reduce hardware costs, according to the ISP. MyRepublic is growing rapidly, and the ISP says its legacy infrastructure was hindering that growth. The revamped IT platform, built on Red Hat’s hardware-agnostic software that can run on any certified x86 equipment, also has eliminated costly renewals of proprietary software and aging hardware. To date, MyRepublic reports that it has achieved a double-digit percentage decrease on TCO year-on-year and that it has improved ROI with the ability to more easily reallocate unused resources.
With the new infrastructure, MyRepublic can scale up and add resources to handle spikes in demand, boost system availability and lower latency. Its infrastructure is now more resilient with improved stability. The ISP is also more agile – it can introduce new services more quickly, capitalizing on the shorter time-to-market and the ability to host different workloads on the same cluster.
In a prepared statement, MyRepublic group CIO Eugene Yeo said, “We chose Red Hat primarily because they are very close to the upstream, so we have access to new features really quickly, and also to avoid any vendor lock-in. Red Hat team’s technical knowledge and documentation saved us valuable time. Even a slight delay in meeting the deadline would have affected our marketing plans in a big way and wasted a lot of our investment. But Red Hat did an amazing job.”
Another Red Hat customer, the Netherlands-based telco Altice, is building an NFV platform based on the Red Hat OpenStack platform. The initiative also includes Cisco, and is an extension of the work Cisco and Red Hat have already done with SFR, the French subsidiary of Altice, to engineer an NFV platform. SFR says it already has half of mobile traffic running on its virtualized platform, with this number expected to rise to 80 percent by the end of this year.
“Red Hat OpenStack Platform enables Altice to create an agile, flexible and scalable NFV cloud that can meet its modernisation goals and deliver new, differentiating services to its customers,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat OpenStack general manager, in a news article about the initiative on TelecomsTech. “We are delighted to collaborate with Altice and Cisco on this transformation initiative.”
Red Hat also announced it is working with WWT, a technology and supply chain integrator, to launch a new facility for validating full stack network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions. Cisco and Intel are also included in the collaboration. Each are contributing advanced cloud, networking and DevOps technologies to WWT’s existing Advanced Technology Center (ATC), creating a facility where service providers can reduce the time, cost and risk associated with validating NFV solutions.
WWT’s Advanced Technology Center represents “a true shift in the industry that can affect enterprise networks and end users; more revenue-generating NFV solutions can hit the market which in turn can advance the on-demand services being delivered to consumers,” Bob Olwig, WWT’s VP of business development and innovation, said in a prepared statement.
With the NFV-enabled ATC, WWT has streamlined the validation process. Based on past use cases, the ATC is expected to validate NFV solutions four times faster – from 6-12 months down to 90 days – reducing overall costs by 30 percent (based on previous use cases from WWT ATC validation programs).
“Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are adopting open source-based NFV solutions for its promises of improved scalability, lower costs and greater flexibility. Red Hat has been at the forefront of this transformation, and we are pleased to bring our experience in DevOps, virtualization, and more to WWT’s Advanced Technology Center to help CSPs achieve a more modern, agile approach through NFV,” Red Hat’s VP of global telecommunications and ICT, Darrell Jordan-Smith, said in the statement.
Red Hat is also advancing its partnership with Ericsson. In a blog post, Red Hat’s S.M. Shaaf, principal solution architect EMEA, says the two are collaborating upstream to develop capabilities that address current and future needs of both enterprise and telco IT.
“Upstream is the innovation engine of open source, with communities of developers from different organizations working towards a common goal, finding fresh ways of solving challenges,” writes Shaaf. “Red Hat is collaborating with Ericsson upstream to develop capabilities that address current and future needs of both enterprise and telco IT.”
According to Shaaf, the two companies are participating in communities including OpenStack, OPNFV, and OpenDaylight to harden and support the open source code developed in these projects to ensure security and performance in production, and to certify that Ericsson’s and Red Hat’s technologies work seamlessly with other hardware and software.
“With this collaboration, we aim to support our customers through their transformative journey to digitalize their own infrastructure and offer new digital services to their users. This is an exciting time for us as we work to help enable the backbone that many industries require today,” writes Shaaf.