Tune In: Red Hat’s Balakrishnan talks OpenStack, telcos and cloud with RCR Wireless News

Telecommunications companies are eyeing OpenStack as a way towards virtualized platforms using network functions virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking and cloud. Red Hat continues to advance its open source solutions to meet telcos’ requirements. Just recently Radhesh Balakrishnan, GM of OpenStack at Red Hat, talked about Red Hat’s efforts with RCR Wireless News editor-in-chief Dan Meyer on its NFV/SDN Reality Check show. Listen in.

Red Hat has been closely engaged with OpenStack’s development since the OpenStack Foundation was formed in 2012. Red Hat engineers regularly contribute code, and in recent releases of OpenStack, Red Hat has been a major code contributor. “Beyond that, we have been focused on making sure we take all that innovation, package it up and make it available to enterprises and now telcos as well, in a way that they can consume it with peace of mind and the value proposition Red Hat is known for,” Balakrishnan said during the interview.

OpenStack technology has been evolving for the carrier space, and in the last 18 months both NFV and SDN has been getting a lot of attention and focus from the telco and service provider segments, Balakrishnan. Also, more and more telcos and service providers have been getting involved in open source projects in the last year. There is now a telco working group in the OpenStack Foundation, there’s also the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) and the OpenDaylight Platform, Balakrishnan said. Red Hat’s involved too. “As a software provider, we are driving innovation at every level of the stack and across these projects,” he added.

Rather than create a separate OpenStack offering for telcos, Red Hat is working with carriers to advance its Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform so that it meets—and with the goal of making it exceed—their industry requirements. At a high level that means architecting the solution with the necessary determinism, performance and scale that carriers require, Balakrishnan explained.

To migrate to OpenStack, carriers will have to change perceptions about open source and “break away from their proprietary past,” Balakrishnan said. “This is probably the biggest area of opportunity and challenge, and getting [open source] into the DNA of carriers is a long march,” he said. “It means clearly understanding the feeds and speeds so we can be on the same page as the carriers, so we can innovate, and secondly is the culture change that’s required so we can together address the challenges at hand in a true, open source way.”

We encourage you to listen to the entire interview Balakrishnan has with RCR Wireless News’ Meyer. It’s a great conversation with lots of insights. And share your thoughts on the discussion in the comments section below!

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