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Oracle Demos Virtualized Carrier-Grade Performance

Oracle Communications claims it has demonstrated for the first time that a virtualized environment based on network functions virtualization (NFV) can achieve carrier-grade performance.

NFV is a key aspect of the networking industry shift toward increased network virtualization, along with software-defined networking (SDN) and other new-age technologies and approaches.

"In a move to transform their networks, many communications service providers (CSPs) are starting to transition from their traditional appliance-based network functions to a virtualized, software-based model -- also known as NFV," the Oracle Corp. unit said in a statement. "The promise of this approach is more service agility and lower operational costs. But virtualization had yet to prove that it can deliver the same network speed and reliability performance provided by traditional network appliances -- until now."

For the proof-of-concept demo, Oracle partnered with Intel Corp., using that company's Enhanced Platform Awareness in OpenStack resource optimization technology, which enables "fine-grained matching of workload requirements to platform capabilities, prior to launching a virtual machine." The project also leverages Intel's Open Network Platform (ONP) based on SDN and NFV.

Oracle said the demo proves carriers can get better realize NFV's promises by using Intel chips to handle network activity, putting previously hardware-only capabilities into the software realm.

The demo entailed optimizing parts of Oracle's orchestration framework -- including the Oracle Communications Network Service Orchestration Solution -- for the Intel ONP, including the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processor purpose-built for networking.

But Oracle exec Liam Maxwell said the initiative goes beyond that optimization. "It takes the theory of delivering carrier-grade capabilities in a commercial datacenter and turns it into reality," Maxwell said. "We've proven that we can orchestrate services and network functions from the top of the management and orchestration (MANO) stack all the way to individual network processors, and we can do it at scale."

The demo is on display at the Oracle Industry Connect 2015 conference in Washington, concluding today.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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