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HPE OpenNFV Partner Program – Accelerating Innovation and Time to Market with Pre-validated VNFs



Author: Werner Schaefer VP, Sales & GTM, Communications Solutions Business

When NFV technology emerged a few years ago, few doubted its potential but there was a wide gulf between the NFV vision and the market reality. For Communication Service Providers (CSPs) trying to take advantage of it, they’ve typically had to go through a long, rigorous testing and evaluation process for each new service or application. Which meant that CSPs and their customers could miss big opportunities while they waited.

That’s the challenge we took on when we launched the HPE OpenNFV Program in 2014. Two years later, it’s been an amazing success. Today, more than 75 partners are using our OpenNFV Labs to test and validate their virtualized network functions (VNFs), and prove to CSPs that they can meet demanding carrier requirements. CSPs can choose from among the most innovative third-party virtualized applications and can roll out pre-integrated, end-to-end NFV solutions much faster, with less risk.

“It gives CSPs peace of mind,” says Kelly LeBlanc, vice president of marketing, 6WIND. “When they’re ready to deploy a system, they know that it’s already working, it’s been tested, and there’s nothing they need to worry about. It’s ready to go.”

Accelerating NFV Deployments

Two years into the OpenNFV Program, HPE and our partners are lowering the biggest barriers to widespread NFV adoption for CSPs. We’ve built an open ecosystem to foster the creation and validation of end-to-end, standards-based NFV solutions for the telecommunications industry.

Through our five global labs, partners can jointly test and validate their virtualized solutions in a multivendor environment that mimics the real-world conditions of CSP networks. NFV partners can demonstrate to CSPs that they’re delivering true “carrier-class” virtualized solutions. And CSPs can verify that they’ll have a consistent and reusable way to onboard and configure new third-party VNFs.

“It’s about speed,” says Lakshmi Sharma, senior director, product management, Brocade. “How fast can I actually deliver those applications to the operators when, right now, they don’t have time to even test them? It used to be like a nine months to two years validation cycle. Now, it’s like two days sometimes. The more testing you do, the more pre-packaging and pre-building and validation, it helps them get to revenue faster.”

Ensuring Freedom of Choice

The OpenNFV ecosystem is also dedicated to open standards and open source. CSPs can use NFV technology from HPE and third-party vendors across the industry in an interoperable manner. They can bring in the best new capabilities for themselves and their customers as part of a robust and open NFV solution, without locking themselves into one vendor’s technology or roadmap.

“The nice thing about having these pre-tested solutions is that CSPs can have best-of-breed components in an ecosystem that they know just works,” says Hassan Ahmed, chairman and chief executive officer, Affirmed Networks. “It makes the life of an operator much simpler, because right now they buy piece parts, and they have to play integrator. Being able to buy a complete solution that is certified makes their lives quite a bit simpler.”

Unlocking NFV Innovation

Our goal is to make it easier for CSPs to take advantage of NFV innovations anywhere and everywhere they choose. Our partners have completed testing for 12 different types of verified VNFs (CSP, vCPE, RA, vIMS, VFNM, BSS, VSSD, Security, OSS, SDN, APP, vAPP). They’re all pre-tested and validated, so CSPs can onboard them easily and bring new offers to their customers much faster, at a much lower cost.

“Pre-tested VNFs are really the key,” says Michael O’Malley, vice president of carrier strategy and business development, Radware. “Because we've done this upfront work to certify and show the performance of our VNFs running on HPE hardware, we've made it very easy and digestible for the carrier to deploy this as a set and speed their time to market.”

We’ve also made choosing NFV solutions a lot simpler. In December 2015, we launched the HPE OpenNFV Solutions Portal. Now, CSPs can search our portal to get technical and marketing details on pre-validated solutions from our partners. 

Making the NFV Vision a Reality

These are just a few examples of the benefits that our ecosystem partners and CSP customers are realizing today through the OpenNFV program. And this is only the beginning.  As we continue to evolve our partner ecosystem, CSPs will have more choice and avenues to bring differentiated virtual capabilities to their customers. By embracing openness, we’re helping organizations across the NFV value chain— partners, CSPs and their customers—move faster to capitalize on new opportunities.


Visit us at our HPE OpenNFV website, and follow us on Twitter at @HPE_NFV and @HPE_CSP.

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