Dell offers the most flexible and innovative NFV platform

Dell today introduces its NFV solution offerings and companion starter kits, comprising Dell systems and software combined with software from open ecosystem partners and open source distributions, at the SDN World Congress in Germany. Open source technologies, combined with open standards, are central to this new NFV platform architecture. The goal is to make our NFV platform the most flexible, most accessible innovation engine, optimized for the broadest industry engagement and development.

We are investing heavily to foster an open partner ecosystem in all functional areas. This includes partnerships with Intel with their Open Network Platform reference architecture and Data Plane Technologies Kit (DPDK), and Red Hat with their open source Linux and OpenStack distributions. Beyond this, the Dell NFV platform aims to enlist broad industry support from Linux and OpenStack distributions, to DPDK and service chaining technologies, to virtual network function (VNF) and orchestration software. Through industry collaboration, and open source and open standard initiatives, developers and end-customers can gain unprecedented access to technology underpinnings allowing for rapid innovation and customization.

Our new NFV platform comprises the latest technologies from Dell combined with software from open ecosystem partners to form fully converged, virtualized infrastructure to execute a wide-range VNFs. It also includes foundational software and open interfaces for Management and Orchestration (MANO) to enable simple operation and ease of integration. From a deployment perspective, our NFV platform can be dimensioned and equipped for application virtually anywhere at any scale in a carrier environment.

Our NFV platform (see diagram below) delivers distinct advantages to end-customers, OEM partners and systems integrators.

  • 100 Percent Open and Standards-based: It is built on Dell PowerEdge servers with the latest Intel® Xeon™ E5-2600v3 processors combined with Dell’s industry leading open networking platforms, Active Fabric Manager, Active Fabric Controller, Dell Foglight and a rich set of open interfaces ensuring maximum interoperability, manageability, and investment protection
  • Scalable in any direction: It can scale easily—up, down, or out—to accommodate a wide-range of design goals, service capabilities and environmental conditions from servicing small, unstaffed points-of-presences (POPs), to central office environments, to hyperscale data centers
  • Maximum choice and flexibility: It aims to provide a choice of software stacks to complement our infrastructure and management software with support for different Linux and OpenStack distributions plus a wide-range of VNF and MANO options to tailor our NFV platform for virtually NFV deployment

As part of this announcement, we are making available NFV starter kit solutions for early adopter proof-of-concepts (PoCs) and trials. Two different starter kit configurations are available; one based around the new PowerEdge R630 1RU compute node and the Dell Networking S6000 10/40GbE switch, the other based around the Dell M1000e blade chassis and the new M630 compute blade plus Dell Networking MXL blade switches. Orderable in Q4, the starter kits include equipment bill-of-materials, tested reference designs and configurations, and product support, providing end-customers, developers and partners an affordable, yet highly-extensible environment to evaluate NFV-based service delivery functions.

Both kits also include:

  • Dell OpenDaylight-compliant Active Fabric Manager and Dell Active Fabric Controller
  • Dell Foglight and OpenManage Network Manager
  • Choice of Linux and OpenStack distributions
  • Options for data plane acceleration and/or service chaining

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About the Author: Jeff Baher

Jeff is responsible for solutions marketing for Dell’s Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) portfolios reporting into the Enterprise Solutions Group. Jeff has over 20 years of marketing experience in Enterprise IT and Service Provider industries holding positions for Fortune 500, mid-size and startup companies. Prior experience includes Ericsson, Juniper and 10 years at Cisco Systems. Jeff received his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Harvard University and is a frequent spokesperson with press and analyst communities. Areas of expertise: • Data center technologies • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) • Software-Defined Networking (SDN