IBM Backs Network Functions Virtualization to Speed New Services to Customers
To help communications service providers meet increasing network traffic demand, lower costs, and reduce the time needed to deploy new services, IBM is supporting the virtualization of network infrastructure that will extend the benefits of a cloud delivery model to communications networks.
Separating network functions from purpose-built hardware can speed the deployment of new services while reducing the economic burden on clients, a key goal of IBM’s Smarter Communications initiative. To achieve this goal, IBM is working with business partners as they create new solutions tailored for telecom. For example, Australian mobile carrier Optus recently tested a new mobile network capacity solution from Connectem Inc. running on IBM PureFlex.
“The IBM PureFlex platform is uniquely suited to enable virtualization of network functions that are implemented as software applications running on elastic, on-demand infrastructure in 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi wireless networks,” said Jacqueline Woods, global vice president of Systems Software & Growth Initiatives, IBM Systems & Technology Group. “We continue to support our partners as they develop and bring to market innovative solutions on the PureFlex platform.”
The IBM PureSystems family offers carriers an alternative to current enterprise computing models, where multiple and disparate systems require significant resources to set up and maintain.
The Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) is a software solution from Connectem, an IBM Business Partner, which has the potential to deliver higher network performance during peak usage periods, where millions of customers could be accessing a mobile network via smartphones or tablets. A virtualized solution can rapidly switch computing resources to deliver incremental capacity on-demand. As a result, customers experience lower network latency even during periods of peak network activity.
The Connectem VCM software running on the IBM PureFlex platform is a part of a key initiative that can dramatically reduce the time to deploy new services as software applications on general-purpose computing platforms. Australia’s Optus is looking at the new technology to explore opportunities that cloud services can enable in delivering outstanding customer experience.
“As we continue to expand Optus 4G across Australia, we are also exploring ideas such as flexible network infrastructure and how that can potentially fit into our long-term network strategy to deliver even more benefits to our customers,” said Günther Ottendorfer, managing director of networks at Optus.
Connectem VCM architecture and software have been developed to comply with the best practices to meet the strict service requirements expected of the mobile broadband carriers. This new software architecture, combined with the powerful, high-performance virtualization built into the PureFlex platform, will help enable the quick adoption of new services and business models which are critical for mobile carriers.
“Connectem looks forward to working with IBM,” said Barry Hill, VP sales and marketing, Connectem. “We are excited about the potential to re-define the economics and innovation in the mobile broadband market with this solution running on the IBM PureFlex platform.”