EMC Announces Provider Cloud System, A Reference Architecture to Simplify Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI)

Last year at Mobile World Congress, EMC announced its intent to supply NFV solutions to the communications service provider market. In 2016, EMC returns to Barcelona to share progress toward meeting that goal.

Over the course of 2015, EMC learned that communications service providers are choosing between one of two approaches to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) adoption. The first is to dedicate in-house development teams to multiyear transformation projects, working with open source and homegrown components to develop bespoke NFV infrastructure (NFVI) architectures. The second approach is more incremental, deploying a select set of virtualized network functions (VNFs) on a pre-integrated, turnkey NFVI platform that delivers quick time-to-value and ease of operation.

Irrespective of approach, communications service providers are seeking to replace dedicated network appliances with a software-defined, multitenant NFV infrastructure that can host any VNF from any vendor, and support a mix of proprietary and open source virtualization platforms and management & orchestration technologies. The primary drivers for this move to NFV are the desire to avoid supplier lock-in, reduce OPEX, and deploy new services in areas such as digital & media, mobile applications, and IoT.

In recognition of these drivers, EMC has announced  a reference architecture for NFVI called the EMC® Provider Cloud System (PCS) that is built on three pillars: an abstracted server, storage and networking layer, a virtual infrastructure management layer built on production-proven technology from VMware and advanced management & orchestration with built-in real-time predictive analytics capabilities. Stay tuned for our plans for Open Source support.

The components of PCS can be deployed as building blocks by operators taking the do-it-yourself, bespoke approach, or in a turnkey, “VNF-in-a-box” form factor by operators taking the incremental approach. The turnkey form factor can be thought of as a converged infrastructure system customized to a customer’s unique workload requirements prior to being shipped from the factory.

The EMC Telecom Transformation Group is also working to help communications service providers unlock the value of their most important asset – their data – with EMC Real-Time Intelligence (RTI), a Big & Fast Data platform with a growing number of production deployments in areas such as network optimization, customer experience management, and revenue generating use cases such as location-based marketing.

EMC is committed to innovating at the infrastructure layer and partnering to bring validated VNF and analytics solutions to market. To that end, EMC is developing an ecosystem of best-in-class VNF and mobile network solutions providers, like Affirmed NetworksCellwize and Versa Networks, to create joint solutions that incorporate PCS and RTI. During Mobile World Congress, the week of February 22, EMC will be demonstrating the capabilities of PCS and RTI and sharing its vision for Telecom Transformation via keynote presentations and meetings at EMC’s pavilion in Fira Gran Via, Hall 3, Stand 3K-10.

If attending Mobile World Congress, we hope to see you there. To learn more about EMC technologies for communication service providers visit EMC’s website: https://www.emc.com/emctelco/ and view EMC’s Global CTO, John Roese:

About the Author: Anton Prenneis

Anton works with partners and across the Dell Technologies portfolio to bring analytics and hosted solution offerings to the service provider market. A heritage EMC’er since 2003, Anton has served in numerous roles, including competitive intelligence, corporate strategy, pricing and software licensing, global alliances, field CTO, and marketing. Prior to EMC, Anton worked at IBM as a software engineer and product manager, working in manufacturing robotics and high performance computing. Anton holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.