HP set to acquire ConteXtream to strengthen its NFV offering


In its bid to strengthen its Network Function Virtualization (NFV) offering for its customers in enterprise and telecoms domain, global IT major HP has announced it is set to acquire ConteXtream. NFV is fast becoming a de-facto as more and more enterprise and telecom networks become software dependent while embracing business agility.

According to Saar Gillai, SVP & GM, NFV Hewlett-Packard, “Today, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) face exploding network traffic on their infrastructure and declining margins. At the same time, they must compete with over-the-top (OTT) players who can be more agile, flexible and able to roll out revenue-generating services much faster. One of the ways CSPs can gain the agility required to compete is to move networking functions from monolithic, proprietary appliances to open, cloud-based architectures.”


In a blog post he mentioned that Network functions virtualization (NFV), represents one of the most significant developments in the communications industry, enables this transformation. “We’re moving away from being tied to dedicated machines to having a resource pool with automated, self-service mechanisms. In the networking world, there are countless functions – firewall, caching, optimization, filtering etc. – and a bunch of inflexible hardware to do those things. NFV is about saying, “Why can’t we put these various functions in the cloud? Why does each function need to be on specialized and dedicated hardware?”

HP’s objective is to help CSPs thrive in this disruptive environment by accelerating their journey to NFV. The HP OpenNFV Program is an open approach that allows HP and external partners, such as network equipment providers (NEPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs), to take advantage of the open and standards-based NFV reference architecture, HP OpenNFV Labs, and the HP OpenNFV partner ecosystem of applications and services.

One of the key tenets of the OpenNFV architecture is that it’s based on open standards and leverages open source technology projects such as OpenDaylight (ODL). This approach gives other ecosystem players the ability to bring in new innovations. We do not believe that NFV is an environment where one vendor will do it all.

Accelerating CSP innovation

One of the critical elements for delivering network agility for NFV is a carrier-grade software-defined networking (SDN) architecture. HP’s OpenNFV program supports multiple SDN controller technologies, and for those CSPs looking for an open source approach, HP has embraced the OpenDaylight project. To fast-track its development, HP is significantly increasing its commitment to OpenDaylight SDN.

“Today, I’m excited to announce that HP has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ConteXtream, a provider of OpenDaylight-based, carrier-grade SDN fabric for NFV, and a current HP OpenNFV partner. Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, ConteXtream offers solutions that allow service providers to create a more flexible and programmable network through an SDN/NFV model. ConteXtream’s open SDN controller platform complements HP’s NFV expertise and telecommunications and IT experience.” he adds.

ConteXtream’s scalable and open and standards-based technology delivers innovative capabilities like advanced service function chaining, and is deployed at a number of major carrier networks across the globe. ConteXtream’s technology connects subscribers to services, enabling carriers to leverage their existing standard server hardware to virtualize functions and services.

“I’m pleased to welcome the ConteXtream team and its deep expertise in carrier-grade network virtualization solutions to HP. This acquisition will further strengthen HP’s leadership in the fast-growing NFV market, which some analysts expect to grow to $11B by 2018. ConteXtream’s SDN controller platform complements HP OpenNFV solutions and aligns with NFV’s evolution as an open source-driven architecture. With this acquisition, HP will increase its involvement in and contribute key ConteXtream capabilities to the OpenDaylight community and accelerate delivery of an open source-based, carrier-grade SDN controller.”

After the transaction closes, ConteXtream will become part of HP’s Communications Solutions Business. ConteXtream’s current CEO, Chairman, and co-founder Nachman Shelef will continue to lead the ConteXtream business within HP and will report to Gillai.