By Charlie Ashton
As Communications Service Providers (CSPs) plan the deployment of virtualized network applications and services, they have to make a fundamental decision about the infrastructure software that will host these functions: can they get by with using the same platform that’s already deployed in their IT cloud or should they select a platform that’s purpose-built and optimized to meet the unique challenges of telecom infrastructure?
The technical arguments in favor of adopting a purpose-built platform are compelling: rolling out successful network virtualization at scale requires carrier-grade service uptime, ultra-low latency for edge applications, full support for low-cost hardware configurations, and comprehensive telco-grade security, as well as streamlined processes for “Day 0”, “Day 1” and “Day 2” operations. All these factors contribute to maximizing a CSP’s top-line revenue while at the same time minimizing their lifetime operational costs as they introduce virtualized applications and services throughout their networks.
Ultimately, though, platform selections are based on financial criteria, which is why a recently-published white paper represents essential reading for CSP executives as they plan their transition to network virtualization. “NFV Day 2 – The Critical Tipping Point” from IDX presents a detailed comparison of the operational costs incurred by CSPs using an optimized OpenStack-based platform designed for telecom applications (Wind River Titanium Cloud) instead of a vanilla OpenStack platform typically found in an IT environment.
IDX is a technology and systems integrator that specializes in the CSP market and has been implementing and operating OpenStack and NFV for over seven years. The white paper draws on that extensive experience to evaluate the economic benefit of utilizing the optimized OpenStack platform, concluding that it results in OPEX savings of greater than 65% over a five year timeframe.
In addition to OPEX savings, IDX also analyzed the time required for technical resources to reach the necessary level of proficiency in each OpenStack platform. The difference was striking: an average of three weeks to achieve the appropriate competency level for Titanium Cloud as compared to three months for vanilla OpenStack, meaning a 75% reduction. This translates directly into accelerated time-to-money for CSPs, illustrating that ease-of-use features and streamlined operational processes are just as important as telco-grade functionality when it comes to maximizing a CSP’s return on investment (ROI) as they introduce virtualization into their networks.
Titanium Cloud is based on the StarlingX OpenStack edge compute infrastructure project, which leverages contributions from companies worldwide to deliver the uptime, performance, security and operational simplicity that are critical for edge cloud solutions. Wind River upstreamed technology from Titanium Cloud to the StarlingX project, thereby eliminating any risk of vendor lock-in for CSPs who select Titanium Cloud in order to achieve the financial benefits outlined above.
You can download the IDX white paper here. And if you’ll be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, please contact Wind River to arrange a face-to-face discussion of how Titanium Cloud can help you reduce your operational costs and maximize your ROI.