Bringing greater efficiency and innovation opportunities to CSPs

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Nigel Stephenson, Dir. Market Development, EMEA, Telco and Edge Cloud BU, VMware

VMware’s combined presence in IT, cloud services and NFV is bringing greater efficiency and innovation opportunities to CSPs as it continues to grow its CSP customer base.

For several years now, VMware has been working with CSPs to help them transform not only their IT but also their network infrastructure itself. That includes partnering on NFV and service assurance deployments and VMware now has in excess of 100 CSPs operating those services today. What's more, the company also has more than 100 service provider customers offering SD-WAN as a service their enterprise customers - and that's in addition but separate from enterprises that that are running "do-it-yourself" services.

The public cloud is also central to VMware's strategy. Via the company's VCPP programme, VMware partners with CSPs that are offering pubic or hybrid cloud services out to their customers. So, in addition to their long-time areas of expertise such as end-user computing the company is working not only with multiple service providers but also partnering on differing business functions within the service providers themselves.

Another vital strategy for VMware is in the multi-cloud environment. Multi-cloud is a major opportunity for CSPs and VMware is working with them to bring their telco cloud and their network environment together with their public cloud offering plus their IT services and edge cloud platforms that are now being rolled out. Nigel Stephenson says in this way a very consistent platform can be constructed that will be key to the development of much higher levels of CSP network efficiency whilst simultaneously enabling more and quicker innovation and time to market.

Turning to open source and community-led projects that complement, or in some cases might even supercede traditional reliance on formal standards, Nigel Stephenson says VMware takes the view that the industry needs both and will continue to do so. He says that while open source and community projects can provide remarkable innovation, standards remain necessary to provide formal agreed superstructure - is this the right word? - and emphasises that VMware seeks to use and absorb both approaches.

When NFV was introduced, many CSPs adopted an Open Stack strategy for the virtual infrastructure management (VIM). With hindsight it can now be seen that some users struggled with the implementation and reliable deployment of NFV based on Open Stack and so VMware doubled-down on Open Stack development, in particular through the company's VMware Integrated OpenStack product, specifically for the CSP use-case.

That product's current iteration is Version 6 and is a container-based app that allows CSPs to leverage open source originated solutions in line with their strategy but bring services into production quickly and effectively. The secret sauce according to Stephenson is the management environment and life-cycle management capability that VMware wraps around and the underlying availability and reliability of the infrastructure.

Finally, VMware has followed an ambitious programme of strategic acquisition particularly in the area of containerisation. Indeed, VMware is now the second-largest contributor to kubernetes after Google. Nigel Stephenson says "That is very significant to us as the industry moves from an NFV environment to a container and micro-service-based environment. We are bringing in open source initiatives as we evolve the platform and we are making them available in a such a way that they can quickly be moved into effective and reliable production."

Featuring: Nigel Stephenson, Dir. Market Development, EMEA, Telco and Edge Cloud BU, VMware

Filmed at TelecomTV Studios, London, UK

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