CSPs, Enterprise, Networking, Software defined, Virtualization

OpenStack Partners Dial Telecom

Where is OpenStack -- the open source cloud platform -- heading next? The quick answer involves several major partners uniting to service telecom and communications companies.

Indeed, Mirantis, Citrix Systems, Metaswitch Networks and Overture Networks are promoting a so-called network function virtualization (NFV) initiative. In a prepared statement officially issued moments ago, the companies said:

"NFV allows carriers to virtualize network functions by running them as software instances on any hardware platform anywhere within their networks. Mirantis has been implementing NFV projects with telecommunications customers since the technology’s inception and will offer an NFV reference architecture and OpenStack certification program for partner virtual network functions (VNFs)."

OpenStack's push into the telecom industry didn't happen overnight. Mirantis, one of the best-known OpenStack providers and integrators in the market, has a range of established telecom efforts. For instance, Ericsson is one of the largest Mirantis customers. Moreover, Mirantis position its OpenStack distribution as a carrier-grade offering that features high availability (HA) and a small footprint. Mirantis also participates in OPNFV, a carrier-centric open source push.

But let's not forget the other players in this push as well.  Citrix has strong relationships telecom providers. Metaswitch's specialty is software solutions for network operators. And Overture Networks focuses on carrier-grade Ethernet and network virtualization.

Noticeably missing from the effort? Rackspace, one of the early pioneers of OpenStack. In recent months, Rackspace has introduced new managed services for third-party clouds. In theory, it's easy to see how Rackspace could extend those managed services into third-party telecom networks...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.