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Earlier this year, Red Hat announced the creation of a cloud-based onboarding service and testbed for network functions with Intel, supporting both virtualized network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs). Since making this announcement, the world has changed. Organizations are now weighing each move in a completely different landscape, and searching for additional flexibility and transparency from their partners and supporting ecosystems. 

With this in mind, Red Hat collaborated with key service provider customers and partners to jointly define a set of choices for validating and certifying the interoperability of partner CNFs with Red Hat OpenShift. By doing so, partners can decide on their level of investment with Red Hat aligned with the customer value they want to achieve, and telecommunications service providers are assured that they can run CNFs from partners on Red Hat OpenShift with confidence. 

Identifying which option is right for you

Red Hat offers CNF partners three options to integrate with Red Hat OpenShift, building upon the trusted foundation of containers and Kubernetes Operators to deliver telco customers value. 

These three options include a good, better or best path that enables partners to choose their level of investment based on their business requirements. These three paths have increasing levels of customer value and benefits including interoperability, collaborative support, lifecycle management and ongoing security services, which are key for running products with multiple vendors in the same mission-critical environment.


Levels of Integration with Red Hat OpenShift

But what are these three options and which one is right for your organization and your customer?

Vendor validated

The vendor validated level offers interoperability verification of a CNF with Red Hat OpenShift by the application vendor, in collaboration with Red Hat. Further, the vendor commits to offer commercial support for the CNF on Red Hat OpenShift, backed by a collaborative support framework with Red Hat. The partner is required to implement and operate a CI/CD environment and test its CNF with Red Hat OpenShift, as changes in either product are developed and released.

Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification

Red Hat Openshift Operator Certification delivers deeper integration with Red Hat OpenShift and is engineered with Red Hat, leveraging Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as a trusted container foundation. Customers can take advantage of all the benefits of RHEL and the Operator Framework to provide ongoing interoperability, security maintenance and life cycle alignment, as well as automated management of the CNF life cycle. 

Certified partner operators can be featured in the Red Hat OpenShift OperatorHub and Red Hat Ecosystem catalog where customers can discover certified operators for Red Hat OpenShift. Certified partner operators are also eligible to be listed in the Red Hat Marketplace. Partners have access to technical and marketing benefits through the Red Hat Connect Partner program. 

Red Hat OpenShift CNF certification

Red Hat OpenShift CNF certification sets the highest standard for mission-critical network functions on Red Hat OpenShift. Building on Red Hat Operator Certification, CNF certification extends the collaboration between Red Hat and its partners to apply best practices specific to telco deployments. The partner is required to perform and pass a set of CNF-specific tests in its CI/CD environment or the integration lab offered by Red Hat and Intel, as changes in either product are developed and released. 

By engaging with Red Hat, CNF vendors with critical workloads that are virtualized today can prepare their applications for a cloud-native future. This can help customers more quickly achieve the full capabilities of 5G and edge computing.

Certified CNFs will get all the promotional benefits of certified operators, including the eligibility to be listed in the Red Hat Marketplace. In addition, they get assigned a certified CNF badge in the catalog and a corresponding CNF certification logo to use for their own product content. 

Get started today and be part of a community of engaged ecosystem partners developing cutting edge technology. If you’re interested in signing up or learning more, visit here. If you are a telco customer and would like to nominate a CNF to be Red Hat certified on a Red Hat platform, visit here

Supporting quotes

Renu Navale, vice president and general manager, edge computing and ecosystem enablement, Intel
“A robust application ecosystem is critical for rapid introduction of new services, operational agility, resources efficiency and improved end-user experience in communications networks. The close collaboration between Intel and Red Hat helps accelerate the maturity of this ecosystem and the deployment of cloud-native network functions on Red Hat OpenShift based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors and acceleration technologies.”

Ashwin Moranganti, VP, chief product officer, Affirmed Networks

“Affirmed Network’s strategy is to support UnityCloud on prem, hybrid and public cloud environments and we are committed in supporting multiple platforms that the operators choose. Testing and certifying on Red Hat OpenShift will enable our customers to deploy UnityCloud and our 5G Core CNFs with Red Hat OpenShift on multiple platforms such as bare metal, Red Hat OpenStack Platform and on a public cloud like Microsoft Azure.”

Anil Bhandari, senior director of product management, Altiostar 

“Open vRAN is the most efficient platform to make Mobile Edge Computing a reality and provides a foundation for 5G. Altiostar, in collaboration with Red Hat, is working to certify/validate its containerized vRAN offerings to dramatically improve the economics, deployability, and scalability of 5G RANs for mobile network operators (MNOs).”

Avishai Sharlin, division president, Amdocs Technology 

“Amdocs has a collaboration with Red Hat and is using Red Hat OpenShift to underpin its Microservices360 platform to enable flexible deployment of Amdocs applications. Meeting customer needs with certification or validation is key to a successful and supported microservices based digital modernization.” 

Martin Taylor, chief technical officer, Metaswitch

“Metaswitch’s 5G Fusion Core and Clearwater Core IMS have been successfully tested with Red Hat OpenShift. These CNF vendor validation and certification programs are a great way for partners to further engage with Red Hat OpenShift, enabling operators to confidently deploy Metaswitch CNFs on platforms that include Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform and public clouds like Microsoft Azure.”


Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.



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