As more and more telecom networks are increasingly being driven on virtualized infrastructure, operators are looking for increasing the number of functions that can be virtualized in a seamless manner.
Reinventing the benefits of NFV, Alepo can provide core solutions such as PCRF, AAA, OCS and HSS etc as virtualized network functions and help operators make this leap towards virtualization.
Rajesh Mhapankar, Director-Innovations at Alepo speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s core competencies today and how it is targeting the NFV segment.
What is your NFV strategy today?
Alepo (www.alepo.com) has been deploying its core network elements as virtualized network functions (VNFs) in tier 1 operator production networks for many years. Alepo’s network products perform highly on standard x86 COTS hardware, giving operators the freedom to choose the most cost-effective hardware.
Alepo supports most leading hypervisor products, including vSphere (VMWare), Hyper-V (Microsoft), and Xenserver (Amazon). In addition, Alepo products employ modern, RESTful APIs, making them open and highly interoperable components.
Please share your solutions that can help operators or carriers towards realizing the full potential of their network?
For network operators that have already begun to or plan to deploy core network infrastructure in a virtualized, partially virtualized, or private cloud environment, Alepo can readily provide its industry-leading core solutions as virtualized network functions, including –
- Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF)
- Online Charging System (OCS)
- Home Subscriber Server (HSS)
- Carrier AAA Infrastructure (AAA)
- Wi-Fi Offload & Monetization Platform
Please provide an example where your solution has been implemented in a virtualized network environment?
Alepo helps network operators transform their business in a virtualized network environment. In 2012, STC selected Alepo to enhance its legacy DSL core infrastructure. In order to transform and modernize STC’s legacy core, Alepo delivered a scalable, single platform solution built on Alepo’s high performance AAA infrastructure. Taking a closer look at the solution components –
- Alepo’s AAA is performance optimized to reduce signaling “noise” and alleviate network load, which heightened network capacity and functionality.
- Alepo’s PCRF Lite performed real-time policy control such as dynamic, mid-session redirect and hot-lining.
- Alepo delivered its signature BSS / OSS framework, Service Enabler, which includes advanced tools for customer care (CRM), product catalog, billing and more.
Alepo delivered a comprehensive solution built on its performance-driven AAA and policy framework as well as expert professional services in order to integrate seamlessly with the existing network. In doing so, Alepo was able to successfully realize all of STC’s requirements and business needs in a virtualized network with no impact on existing services or the customer experience.
As a result, STC has significantly increased the speed and performance of its DSL network. With Alepo’s robust, scalable solution, backed by 24×7 ongoing support, STC will be assured continually of investment protection and a low total cost of ownership (TCO), even as subscriber numbers increase and new market trends emerge.
At a time when telecom operators are looking for better utilizing their network investments, how can NFV fire growth engines for operators?
When the cost to operate a carrier data center threatens to overtake network profitability, NFV provides a glimmer of hope, showing great potential for outcomes that will afford network operators the leverage they need to drive innovation and profits in today’s data-driven world.
It is not difficult to understand why network operators are so invested in the exploration and evaluation of NFV. It is a paradigm shift in how network operators design, build, manage, and monetize their networks and data centers.
NFV promises benefits in the following areas.
By abstracting network functions (software applications) from the physical hardware (e.g., servers, switches), operators are able to run those services on standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware instead of proprietary hardware. This affords operators greater flexibility and selection of low-cost commodity hardware, which can significantly reduce CAPEX for new services as well as simplify the planning and rollout of those new services.
When network functions are virtualized, they can be readily provisioned and co-located on standard, high-volume servers. This enables operators to better distribute their available network resources (e.g., CPU, storage) and optimize the use of their data centers. In doing so, operators can reduce the OPEX required to power, cool, and manage data centers and NOCs.
Rapid Service Innovation & Time to Market
When the introduction of new network services requires proprietary or dedicated hardware, the scope, cost justification, and time to deployment can balloon quickly. Virtualization, on the other hand, lends itself to rapid and nimble service innovation by making the introduction of new services as simple as installing and configuring software and connecting it to its network touchpoints. Virtualization makes it possible for operators to trial new services in staging and small market environments, fine tuning services before they are launched across the operator’s markets.
A Truly Flexible, Agile Architecture
Virtualization allows network operators to quickly provision and allocate network resources and services according to the operator’s real-time needs. Services can readily be scaled up and down across the data center, creating a truly flexible network architecture.