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HP, Wind River, and the journey to carrier grade NFV


Communication service providers (CSPs) have built the critical communication infrastructure that the world relies on. We expect the network to be “always on,” with immediate access to voice, data, and services. As CSPs make the transition to network functions virtualization (NFV), they need carrier grade capabilities. For NFV to be successful, it must meet carrier grade requirements in the following areas:

  • Performance: The carrier network must handle a very large number of transactions. In the enterprise space, an e-commerce transaction might take a few seconds, while in the CSP network, transactions -- such as a phone system contacting an HLR to verify its location –may be sub seconds in duration. The carrier network must achieve both high throughput and very low latency for critical real-time applications.
  • Availability: The network must allow continued operation in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake. When faults occur, the virtual machine (VM) infrastructure must recover instantly. The network should not drop calls or lose data during failovers. This is a much more stringent requirement than in the enterprise/data center space.
  • Resiliency: The network must be able to respond in the event of a failure. To do so, the management software must be able to detect failed controllers, hosts or VMs very quickly and implement hot data synchronization. So that no calls are dropped or data lost when failover occurs.
  • Security: The network must give the CSPs' customers the peace of mind that the data they are transmitting is secure. All observable traffic in the carrier network must be encrypted, and visible user data cannot be stored in the system. Among other things, the network must fully implement AAA (authentication, authorization, and accounting) security protocols to prevent unauthorized access, hacking, or attacks.
  • Manageability – There must be tools available to configure, provision and operate network devices. The network infrastructure must support hitless software upgrades, hitless patches and integrated backup/recovery solutions.

For carriers moving to NFV, open source solutions such as OpenStack and kernel-based virtual machine(KVM) are becoming increasingly important. They are seen as cost-effective and scalable solutions for resource management and virtualization respectively. CSPs expect that these solutions will help them avoid vendor lock-in while allowing them to benefit from rapid innovation coming out of the rich ecosystems that exist around each of them.


HP and Wind River are addressing the carrier grade challenge through a partnership to integrate proven carrier grade technologies from Wind River into HP Helion OpenStack. This will provide CSPs with an open source based cloud platform that meets their demanding reliability requirements and accelerates their transition to NFV deployments.


For CSPs seeking cloud-enabled carrier grade NFV deployments, HP Helion OpenStack will be offered with integrated Wind River products and technologies. Key benefits of the HP Helion OpenStack-Wind River integrated solutions will include:

  • Reliability - Carrier grade Linux® and kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor, advanced self-healing, and high availability add-ons for OpenStack Control Plane to enable service availability levels that carriers and CSPs demand
  • Performance - Carrier grade accelerated vSwitch for high performance networking, advanced NFV workload placement to maximize the number of subscribers supported per server, utilization of system topology to optimize Virtual Network Function (VNF) performance, and an availability and affinity model designed to ensure VNF service availability while providing max performance with the lowest latency
  • Manageability - Scheduling and orchestration of workloads, security features to meet carrier needs, and open, standards based applications programming interfaces (APIs)

As the top contributor to OpenStack, HP brings expertise in OpenStack and its community. Wind River brings extensive experience in providing carrier grade Linux® and KVM. And putting the two together we will provide a carrier grade solution to the CSPs that will let them leverage OpenStack for their NFV platform.


The partnership between HP and Wind River was announced last November, and things continue to move forward. This week, HP is participating in Wind River's sales kickoff meetings, demonstrating commitment to the joint product and joint selling opportunities.


Watch this space. HP Helion OpenStack solutions with carrier grade capabilities will be available later this year.

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