Telefónica to Work with Red Hat and Intel to set the Ground for next-generation Telecommunications Virtualized Network Services

Companies announce plans to co-create open source solutions for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in Telefónica’s NFV Reference Lab


MADRID- May 28th 2014 - Telefónica (BMAD:TEF; NYSE:TEF) today announced plans to work with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) to create a virtual infrastructure management (VIM) platform based on open source software running on standard Intel-based servers. This work will become part of Telefónica’s recently created Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Reference Lab aimed at helping their ecosystem of partners and network equipment providers (NEPs) test and develop virtual network functions along with upper service orchestration layers.

Current telecommunications networks, composed of a myriad of closed hardware appliances and ad hoc equipment, are becoming a constraint for innovation in an increasingly digital and network-centric world. To overcome this situation, telecommunications industry leaders, as part of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specification Group are working to define a common framework architecture for network services based on standard virtualized commercial off-the-shelf hardware running the network functions in software. This novel approach can help reduce operational costs, promote interoperability, and provide a more open ecosystem to make it easier for telecommunications providers to adapt and expand services.
Through development of this lab, Telefónica will work with Red Hat and Intel to create a solution based on open source standards to help prevent fragmentation and lock-in while maintaining the level of performance and resilience communications service providers (CSPs) have come to expect from their existing hardware-centric solutions.

The NFV Reference Lab will be based on the following technologies:

  • Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 V2;
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux;
  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, well-regarded for industry-leading performance and configuration options;
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, providing the tools needed to manage a large, dispersed pool of hypervisors and virtual machines, with a focus on automation and integration options; and
  • OpenFlow-enabled switching equipment.

In support of the lab, Telefónica, Red Hat, and Intel will each commit engineering and testing resources, in open collaboration with partners and the open source community, to enable these technologies to achieve the levels of performance and functionality NFV workloads require to make the vision of the “Open Digital Telco” a reality.

Telefónica has defined with its UNICA Infrastructure initiative the reference architecture to boost the adoption of virtualized network equipment in Telefónica networks aiming a multivendor and standardized virtualized network. The NFV Reference Lab is a necessary step to grant the multivendor approach of UNICA and its mid-term evolution.

Supporting Quotes

Enrique Algaba, Network Innovation and Virtualisation Director- Telefónica I+D-Global CTO
”For NFV we need to avoid closed and non-interoperable environments, which would hamper its widespread adoption. For that purpose, we have launched the Network Functions Virtualisation Reference Lab, where Telefónica, along with key players from the industry, is working to enhance baseline virtualisation technologies from the open source community and contributing them back to the upstream community, to avoid technological fragmentation.”

Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat
“Red Hat is currently the leading contributor to the upstream Linux kernel, KVM, and OpenStack projects which create a foundation for NFV workloads. This deep experience in the open source community, along with Red Hat’s focus on performance, reliability and security, offers CSPs a unique value proposition. We’re thrilled to bring our technical expertise, community experience and product offerings including Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to the collaboration with Telefónica and Intel to help CSPs reap the benefits of NFV first hand.”

Rose Schooler, vice president and general manager, Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, Intel
“By applying our experience of cloud technologies and business models along with our server and virtualization technology leadership to NFV applications, Intel aims to improve total cost of ownership and reduce time-to-market for applications for service providers, Through our work with Telefonica and Red Hat on this new lab, we will enable a broader ecosystem of developers that will accelerate the commercial availability of NFV solutions.”

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about the NFV Resource Lab here.
  • About Red Hat
  • Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, and open source communities, Red Hat helps create relevant, innovative technologies that liberate resources for growth and prepare customers for the future of IT. Learn more at

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