The data center and network software company has been spending years building an arsenal of software as it aims to become a global power in the telco market. And now it's emerged on the world stage, with a series of customer wins and product announcements during the past three weeks that send very clear signals to the comms networking ecosystem.
In particular, VMware is focused on the telco cloud, helping carriers transform production networks by freeing network functions from specialized purpose-built devices, and instead letting those functions run anywhere on a shared pool of hardware, software and networking infrastructure. It's the same technology model that enabled VMware to win the enterprise data center market with server virtualization.
VMware's telco strategy fits with its overall cloud strategy, according to Shekar Ayyar, VMware executive vice president and general manager of the telco NFV group. "The vision around VMware is connecting any application to any cloud, accessible on any device," Ayyar said during an interview conducted during the recent Mobile World Congress 2019 show in Barcelona.
telecom, which has traditionally not used the cloud for its production networks, instead relying on purpose-built hardware from traditional technology suppliers such as Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and more, notes Ayyar. But that's changing. "Now, with NFV, telcos are starting on a journey where more and more operators are asking why they shouldn't do things the way large cloud operators and private clouds have done," says Ayyar, "which is running a common foundation for infrastructure, rather than siloed, purpose-built hardware for every network function." Additionally, in this model, functions are defined in software in virtual machines and operate on a common infrastructure foundation.
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