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Red Hat promotes Network Functions Virtualization in OpenStack

Network functions virtualization (NFV) continues to be a driving force in the OpenStack community as more telecommunications companies adopt OpenStack as a vehicle to build their own virtualized platform solutions. As OpenStack has increasingly developed in the carrier space, NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) have garnered increased attention from customers in the telecommunications and service provider fields.

In addition to our upstream and technology-driven contributions, Red Hat has shown commitment to the telecommunications NFV space through work with a wide variety of partners -- helping telco-based customers modernize their cloud computing infrastructure for newer, denser deployments. Beginning in 2014, Red Hat announced collaborations with both Alcatel Lucent and Nokia Networks to power OpenStack-based telecommunications clouds. More recently, Red Hat OpenStack partner CenturyLink announced its new work centered on implementing virtualization functions into their network to deliver NFV-based versions of their current product offerings.

While we are a leading code contributor to the upstream OpenStack project, we’ve also taken on project-specific leadership in working groups for the telecommunications industry, including OPNFV (Open Platform for NFV) and OpenDaylight. Red Hat’s Chris Wright recently keynoted the inaugural OPNFV Summit in San Francisco. His keynote highlighted the importance of open source and upstream code contributions for the long-term future of the NFV codebase, bringing together services and networking providers in the telecommunications industry with the open source communities that drive innovation. As network functions evolve from their base in hardware to a new base in the cloud, the corresponding software needs to grow to allow for the network transformation that service providers are seeking.

Our technology offerings mirror this commitment to virtualized network solutions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 features greater security control for telco customers, offering greater granularity and insight over network traffic ports and the virtual machine level. Due to the sensitivity of their deployments and massive customer bases, telecommunications customers often require a tightened security level over their OpenStack cloud deployments. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform uses the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) to offer more flexible networking features that improve redundancy, expanding high availability for Neutron routers and enabling virtualized network function (VNF) traffic to flow through each virtual machine.

As more customer-facing enterprises move their network virtualization resources into the cloud, Red Hat is ready to offer hardened OpenStack infrastructure and product expertise for telecommunications providers bridging their services and networking from physical hardware into the cloud.