What it means to be Carrier Grade

October 22, 2015

Today, Affirmed Networks and HP announced their collaboration to deliver a carrier grade OpenStack NFV solution for mobile networks. This collaboration helps to bring NFV deeper into the carrier networks by allaying any concerns about the stability, performance, and technical understanding of open source technologies that are at the foundation of NFV today.

According to Wikipedia, a “carrier grade” or “carrier class” refers to a system, or a hardware or software component that is extremely reliable, well tested and proven in its capabilities. Affirmed Networks and HP have worked closely together to jointly test the HP Helion environment under the performance demanding workload of a virtual Evolved Packet Core. Any carrier grade system must be highly available and provide best in class performance and manageability. Particularly for the NFV workloads that can be much more demands on the cloud infrastructure than enterprise or even cloud application. In a carrier environment, packet rates, latency, uptime are the key tenants of a high functioning network and carriers can be assured that the Affirmed Networks vEPC and HP Helion environment excel on all fronts. The Helion management system is fully redundant and scalable that provides a system that can grow with carrier demands. Affirmed Networks’ vEPC dovetails nicely with the Helion environment providing the best performance and scale available.

The Helion OpenStack environment provides VNFs and carriers with the support of both SR-IOV and DPDK enabled vSwitch capabilities to suit a variety of carried SDN architectures and aspirations. Combined with the global support and technical guidance of HP configuring the system the way a carrier wants is easy and well supported.

The output of this collaboration is a turn key environment for NFV that brings with it the hardened infrastructure that carriers require to run their businesses. To be a carrier grade system, it must be robust and resilient to failure but also performant. Additionally, in today’s carrier with the advent of NFV, it must be flexible and dynamic.

Affirmed and HP have delivered all of this is a neatly packaged environment that gets carriers up and running in no time.