Category Archives: Telco Cloud

Telefónica and Huawei team up over cloud migration

Reflections are seen on a logo of Spain's telecommunications giant Telefonica in MadridEquipment maker Huawei and B2B service provider Telefónica Business Solutions are to jointly offer a global service migrating clients’ internal IT systems to the cloud, reports

Under the terms of their agreement they will help enterprises to outsource the running of their own computing, storage and backup services to Telefónica’s data centres without making any infrastructure investment. The cloud services offered will be charged on a pay per use basis. According to a Huawei statement, the virtual servers will be run as ‘bare metal’ (i.e. without hypervisors.) Telefónica and Huawei will jointly run a Cloud innovation centre with the aim to contribute to the OpenStack community and help to create new cloud services.

The logistics of the arrangement involve Huawei using Telefónica’s Open Cloud service based on OpenStack in eight Telefónica data centres. Telefónica will use Huawei’s knowledge and experience on its public cloud service in the Chinese market. The first countries targeted for the service are Brazil, Mexico and Chile, where it will be launched in the first quarter of 2016. Five additional locations are planned for the same year.

Telefónica will be in a better position to serve its enterprise customers with an easily scalable system at a competitive cost, according to Juan Carlos Lopez-Vives, CEO Telefónica Business Solutions. “The combination of Telefónica’s and Huawei’s capabilities represents the best guarantee for our customers,” said Lopez-Vives.

Cisco promises breakthrough software for cloud-scale networking

Network ExpansionCisco claims it has invented a way to integrate and simplify web scale networks to make them twice as cost effective and much more scalable.

The networking vendor has worked with the world’s top hyperscale web companies to help service providers create faster simpler clouds from its IOS XR network operating system using popular IT configuration and management tools.

By making networks more programmable they can create a form of liquidity in cloud services that will allow providers to pool and converge their data centres and wide area network (WAN) architectures, it claims.

As a result of its collaboration, new features will appear in Cisco’s IOS XR software which, it claims, would halve the cost of running today’s network over the course of five years (under the present circumstances) by doubling network efficiency and performance.

However network running costs for cloud operators are expected to soar in future due to predicted surges in data demand. Total global data centre traffic is projected to triple by the end of 2019 (from 3.4 to 10.4 Zettabytes), according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index figures for 2014-2019. With 83% of total data centre traffic expected to come from the cloud by 2019 the improvement in manageability will help to rein in soaring costs, according to Cisco.

The investment in IOS XR will also help cloud and data centre operators to make a smoother, less expensive, transition to cloud-scale networking in future, Cisco claims.

Cisco IOS XR software, which is currently run over 50,000 live network routers, will benefit from a number of technical improvements, including new modularity, more service agility and higher levels of automation convergence with third-party application hosting.

Cisco said its software development kits and the DevNet Developer Program Cisco will encourage service providers to create large-scale automation and predictable network programmability, with higher levels of visibility and control. The aim, says Cisco, is to cater for any data model, any encoding method and any transport method.

“The network is cloud computing’s final frontier, at technology, people and process levels,” said Laurent Lachal, senior analyst of infrastructure solutions at analyst Ovum.  “It needs to be built for scale and ruthlessly automated.”

Huawei shows how FusionSphere runs SAP HANA

SAP HANA VoraSAP partner and telecoms equipment maker Huawei used the SAP TechEd conference in Barcelona to demonstrate how its FusionSphere operating system handles SAP’s HANA big data processing platform on Huawei hardware.

Huawei’s FusionSphere is an open, enterprise-level cloud operating system based on OpenStack architecture. The telecoms equipment maker says it integrates software-defined computing, storage, networking and cloud management components into one system that can support private, public, and hybrid clouds. Delegates at the SAP conference were invited to see demonstrations of how the ‘open and agile’ operating system could handle running enterprise software.

Huawei argued that since FusionSphere can run business applications that have traditionally been run ‘on premise’, it will create new opportunities for mass processing of big data on the cloud. With the economies of scale and greater choice over resources that cloud gives the managers of IT operations, purchasers of IT services will have much greater buying power, according to Huawei.

Consequently, it argued, cloud based HANA projects could be run at much lower capital and operating costs, with more efficiency and service quality.

Huawei became a SAP global technology partner in 2012. Since then it has supported the SAP HANA platform and associated applications via a series of other products alongside FusionServer, with one, the Huawei Appliance for SAP HANA, currently being used in China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Huawei used the Linux-oriented OPNFV Summit to unveil its new inventions for OPNFV Mobile Networking.

Huawei Chief Technology Officer Pang Kang told the conference the next generation of mobile architecture will be built on an open source version of NFV (network functions virtualisation).

“The OPNFV platform will be a significant step in the move to a new mobile architecture that scales, is elastic, resilient and agile,” said Pang Kang. “A carrier grade virtual infrastructure will help Huawei deliver the next-generation in mobile networking to our customers.”

Among the projects that Huawei is contributing to, within the OPNFV organisation, is Pinpoint – a big data system for failure prediction and Multi-site Virtualized Infrastructure, a distributed architecture for OPNFV.

During the OPNFV Summit, Huawei will demonstrate three OPNFV-based solutions that are targeted for commercial deployment, VNFs over OPNFV, VTN of ONOS (a carrier grade open source SDN controller) for OPNFV and Compass for OPNFV, a DevOps tool.

NEC and partners in Europe to develop converged cloud-based 5G network

5G - 1A new consortium of technology vendors and academics is collaborating on a project to build future 5G mobile networks on superfluid (AKA cloud) principles.

The Superfluidity Project is part of the European H2020 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) initiative. The stated aim of the project is to define and develop a converged, cloud-based 5G virtual network and service platform. According to a statement, the network will be distributed over the mobile edge and core of 5G networks extending up to data centres.

The collaborators in the project include a number of top IT brands, including NEC, Citrix, Intel, OnApp and Red Hat. Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel Lucent is to act as a technical coordinator. Among the telcos taking part in the project are British Telecom, PT Inovação e Sistemas and Telefónica. A number of research and academic bodies across Europe are also joining the consortium, including CNIT (which will be project coordinator), the University of Ben Gurion, the University of Liège, the University of Technology in Dresden and the University Politehnica of Bucharest.

There will also be input from a trio of small and medium sized enterprises. EBlink, Telcaria Ideas and Unified Streaming will all help shape the development of the superfluid 5G network of the future.

The goal is to create a superfluid set of properties for the network, which would have location, time, scale and hardware independence. These properties would be exemplified through unlimited growth potential, instant service migration and complete transparency of services.

The work, which will have a planned 30 month project lifecycle, began on the 1st of July 2015.

If successful the Superfluidity project will tackle crucial shortcomings in today’s networks and improve on the long and wasteful provisioning processes that are employed today to meet demand for mobile operator networks, according to a statement from NEC.

Huawei launches new cloud hosting services for Europe

wireless area networking cloudNetworking giant Huawei has launched a series of cloud hosting services for the European mobile service provider market. It unveiled details of the Digital inCloud programme at the MVNO Networking Congress in London, where Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding with participating partners.

Digital inCloud is to be a service aggregator and distributor which allows global carriers and partners to connect. By doing so they can build a digital ecosystem comprised of different payment, message notification, voice/cloud call centres and business operations analyses from all the carriers. Digital inCloud will be a bridge between partners and telcos in digital product distribution and trading.

The European Hosting Centre will be based in the UK and run on Huawei’s MVNX platform, which can hosts more than 1 million mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) subscribers across Europe. The European hosting centre will also include a series of off-the-shelf cloud hosting services available to all European operators.

Both content and applications will be delivered ‘as-a-service’ by bridging the gap between partners and telcos in digital product distribution and trading. Currently, Huawei has aggregated 200,000 digital content items from 2100 content partners worldwide, including digital music, 2700 mobile games, 20,000 hours of premium video, live channels, open API and traffic monetization.

The Video ‘as-a-Service’ offering aggregates film from Huawei global partners, mobile network operators and virtual mobile network operators. It will support multiple definitions including SD, HD and 4K(UHD) on devices including home TVs, smartphones and tablets.

Meanwhile telcos will be able to get business support system as a service, an offering aimed particularly at MVNOs who are less likely to have the resources to afford their own systems. Similarly, Huawei’s Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) will be a more affordable and accessible way to help operators to capture customer behaviour data.

The Huawei Digital channel will create a simpler way of delivering content and improving the user experience, it said, while the Mobile Payment service will help telcos to exploit more financial applications.

AT&T, Ericsson and Apcera demonstrate NFV in a PaaS environment

Voice and video can work in the most complicated clouds, according to an integration breakthrough demonstrated at the OpenStack summit in Tokyo.

AT&T and Ericsson claim they’ve created an improvement to container technology that makes cloud telco platforms far more secure and yet easier to set up. They jointly presented their invention in proof of concept exercise, along with cloud service provider Apcera.

Container technology, previously used for creating secure environments for text based office and enterprise productivity applications, has been tweaked in order to overcome some of its security limitations, when telecoms is handled in the cloud.

Telco AT&T, equipment maker Ericsson and cloud service provider Apcera described how they came together in order to bring their own perspectives of the multiple levels of the OpenStack hierarchy. The joint problem they faced is that the virtualization of telecoms still has some teething problems that need to be resolved, such as the interaction of various web browsers and video and audio services.

The companies demonstrated how they have tweaked container technology to create a containerised policy driven PaaS that can use the telecoms related Virtualized Network Function (VNF). The resulting telecoms-charged ‘advanced container’ was able to house a Web Communication Gateway (vWCG) that fully integrated with OpenStack.

The proof of concept exercise showed audio and video communications actually worked between multiple Web browsers on the virtualized telephony system.

Never mind the complexity of what’s happening across the comms stack and the cloud, the main thing to take home is that this system works with a few clicks of a mouse, said Magnus Arildsson, Head of IaaS and PaaS at Ericsson. “This is an important step toward fast, secure and policy-integrated deployment of Telco VNFs on micro-services-based containers,” he said.

Ericsson and Apcera accelerated the development of the micro-services-based PaaS environment, said Derek Collison, CEO of Apcera. “This exercise paves the way for cost-effective, efficient deployments and further collaboration with telco operators to integrate carrier-grade requirements with our cloud platform.”

BT discusses its interests in South East Asia

Cloud SEANothing better reflects the way the Cloud is changing the traditional parameters of telecom operators than BT’s presence at this morning’s Cloud South East Asia keynotes in Kuala Lumpur.

Thanaraj Kanagalingam, BT’s regional solutions director, joined the likes of SingTel, Telekom Malaysia and MDeC in presenting at the well-attended conference, where he set out BT’s strategic presence in the region, itself a microcosm of the UK’s most recognisable telco’s increasingly global strategy and reach.

In South East Asia specifically, BT has been active in the networked IT business for a number of years, via acquisitions of local players such as Frontline (Singapore-based IT consulting and services company), which has driven them towards an ICT and telecommunications convergence play.

Subsequently BT has extended itself into the contact centre line business – with very strong links to the airline industries – and is  now moving into what it is called ‘the Cloud of Clouds’ – positioning itself through partnerships with existing Cloud service providers, and providing a new array of digital services to enterprise customers.

“It’s all about network connectivity,” explained Kanagalingam, answering questions after his keynote. “A lot of enterprises here want to go out to a global market, so when they establish themselves in China, in India, and so forth, they need to have that connectivity. BT provides this from a network perspective, from a telco perspective. We partner with local partners in each of these regions but at the same time leverage our traditional framework.”

A focal point of BT’s global appeal is security (a topic that has predictably dominated numerous discussions at Cloud South East Asia). Specifically, the telco looks to draw on its strengths to provide a more secure connectivity to enterprise customers. “For us,” explains Kanagalingam, “service is encompassing hybrid intelligent network, world class leading security coupled with PAYG cloud computing solution.”

Oracle launches Communications Analytics portfolio

OracleEnterprise software giant Oracle has unveiled a new product portfolio called Oracle Communications Analytics, a business intelligence suite aimed at communications providers.

The portfolio is a combination pre-existing products and four new ones: Oracle Communications Customer Experience Analytics, Oracle Communications Network Assurance Analytics, Oracle Communications Analytics Big Data Platform, and Oracle Communications Analytics Diameter Adapter.

The Customer Experience Analytics application is designed to offer customer care people a bunch of useful analytical information in one place. The Network Assurance Analytics app offers insights into Diameter network performance, while the Analytics Big Data Platform pretty much does what it says on the tin and the Big Data Adapters are tools designed to feed in that big data.

“CSPs have an advantage – they have a lot of data about how their network operates and the kinds of experiences that customers are having,” said Doug Suriano, GM of Oracle Communications. “But without the right big data and analytics tools, the data will remain unused and siloed in various systems. Our expanded Oracle Communications Analytics portfolio is designed with this challenge in mind, offering the broader Oracle expertise in big data as well as the industry-specific understanding of the communications market.”

“As the telecommunications industry accelerates its rate of change, it’s critical that CSPs leverage and monetize their network, service, and customer information,” said Clare McCarthy, practice leader, Telecom Operations and IT, Ovum. “To do so, they must first design analytics solutions that address their business problems in real time—and integrate them with existing data warehouse and analytics solutions. The latest releases of Oracle Communications Analytics products respond to this need and can provide value to CSPs looking to advance their big data and analytics efforts.”

Interop opens European telco cloud hub in Dublin

wireless area networking cloudVirtual infrastructure specialist Interop Technologies has opened a European HQ and network operations centre in Dublin to support the launch of Europe’s first end-to-end cloud-based IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) core and IP services suite, reports

The CorePlusXSM suite aims to give operators a platform to run Internet protocol (IP) services and exploit the opportunities of LTE networks, according to Interop. It’s needed because launching these IP services in traditional turnkey configuration is too problematic and expensive for operators. Interop said it will make offering new services, such as Wi-Fi calling, VoLTE and rich communication services (RCS), a lot easier. Interop partnered with voice-over-Wi-Fi specialist Taqua to develop the suite.

“We developed CorePlusXSM to solve real market problems for operators burdened by the extraordinary cost, complexity and expertise requirements associated with IMS and advanced IP services,” said Interop Technologies CEO John Dwyer.

“VoWiFi is an important service offering that operators can utilize to solve real-world coverage issues immediately,” said Eric Pratt, Taqua’s CEO. “We’re working with Interop to reduce the barrier of entry to advanced IP voice and messaging services for European service providers with a robust WiFi calling solution they can deploy now.”

GSMA figures show that European mobile operators invested €155 billion between 2007 and 2014, according to Dwyer, and it estimates that another €170 billion of investment is needed for the following six years. This level of network investment is the catalyst for the IP Revolution and the European telecom market is preparing the path for the all-IP network explosion, said Dwyer.

Interop Technologies’ plan is to virtualise the IP Revolution so operators of all types and sizes can participate, he said. Interop is in the deployment phase with ‘several’ customers and plans to announce the roll-out of a major project later this year, it said.

As CorePlusXSM is a complete end-to-end virtualised solution, operators can quickly and cheaply launch IP services on 2G and 3G networks, while laying the path for future advanced service evolution, according to Interop. The reduction in cost, complexity and labour intensity gives companies a quick start, without limiting their options for adding new services as the network, business and subscriber demand evolves, according to Interop.

China Unicom and Telefónica in global data centre sharing agreement

Reflections are seen on a logo of Spain's telecommunications giant Telefonica in MadridTelefónica and China Unicom have agreed to share their international data centre capacity for multinational clients across Europe, The Americas and Asia.

The initial agreement covers three major data centres from each operator but, the companies say, this could be the first step towards larger scale cloud cooperation.

The pooling of resources means China Unicom can support customers seeking to expand into Europe and The Americas while Telefónica can strengthen its proposition across Asia.The cloud computing aspect of the agreement includes IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) with virtual servers and multi-cloud solutions.

China Unicom’s customers can now benefit from Telefónica’s data centre presence in Sao Paolo in Brazil, Miami in the US and Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain. The extent of the partnership will expand as Telefónica commits additional investment towards new infrastructure, facilities and multi-cloud solutions, it says. Conversely, Telefónica can use the cloud capacity of China Unicom’s data centres located across China in Langfang, Shanghai and Chongqing. This, it says, means it can offer end-to-end service delivery for its multinational customers.

China Unicom’s data centre provides international connectivity services including virtual private networks, multi protocol label switching (MPLS) and Global LAN. Internet access for customers’ servers can be offered as an option to the standard service. Every China Unicom Point of Presence comes with ‘meet me’ room services. The mutual colocation service also offers local support for customer equipment.

Telefónica has a presence in 21 countries and a customer base of 329 million accesses around the world, with its major markets being in Spain, Europe and Latin America. Telecom operator China Unicom offers mobile broadband (WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, GSM, fixed-line local access, ICT, data communications and related services. It has a total of 439 million subscribers.