Amdocs, a customer care, billing and order management software provider, has chosen Red Hat’s OpenStack to integrate with its Network Cloud Service Orchestrator (NSCO) product.
NSCO helps communications service providers (CSPs) transition from physical networks to cloud service environments. It’s an open, vendor neutral solution that removes possible vendor lock while give users more control, flexibility and agility over their environment.
Amdocs states that “NSCO creates and manages network services based on real-time network circumstances and customer information. The solution continuously designs, fulfills and assures network services, from any Virtual Network Function (VNF) vendor, over all mainstream cloud management systems and SDN controllers.”
According to Amdocs, NCSO allows service providers to: 1) build and operate best-of-breed network services and avoid vendor lock-in; 2) achieve agile and lean network operations in virtual and physical environments; and 3) rapidly introduce a multitude of new user-defined services, allowing service providers and their customers to create and install tailored services.
The integration is aimed at software operators who are responsible for on-boarding any virtualized network functions onto their infrastructure platform of choice. “With the integration between Red Hat and Amdocs, Red Hat productized the integration and maintains that product into the future through Red Hat support,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat said in an email interview.
But using software to manage the networking stack is nothing new; SDN or software defined networking is commonplace. But there is a stark difference between SDN and network functions virtualization (NVF).
Balakrishnan explained, “NFV and SDN are two separate software offerings. While NFV centers around virtualizing software that a user is running on dedicated hardware, it can also leverage SDN technology. The SDN technology actually performs the network virtualization.”
Red Hat said that several NFV lab trials were conducted by tier one telco providers globally, implementing a range of use cases with multiple vendors, including virtual CPE (customer premises equipment), virtual EPC (evolved packet core) and virtual IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem).