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Technology / Networks

AT&T and Ericsson on the way to software defined networking

Ericsson and AT&T have detailed more specifics of their software defined networking partnership, after demonstrating mobile multimedia control functions operating in a virtualised environment.

According to BusinessCloudNews, the companies jointly displayed a virtualised IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) node call session control function (CSCF) on OpenStack using Ericsson’s cloud execution and management platform.

CSCF is a key control function for mobile multimedia operations and is responsible for managing the signalling from end-users to services and other networks.

The companies showed how a CSCF virtual machine can be migrated from defective hardware to a working backup without losing any critical data.

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The CSCF virtual machine was provisioned using Ericsson’s Cloud Execution Environment Platform, with AT&T’s Cloud Manager orchestrating and managing the virtual network function.

"AT&T and Ericsson have been working together on a prototype to run a virtual network function on OpenStack," Toby Ford, AVP cloud technology, strategy and planning at AT&T said.

"In addition to actually setting up a multimedia session and the demo system shows some of the high availability features needed for the telco applications."

Steven Peacock, head of cloud services, business unit global services at Ericsson, added: "To some extent it’s easier to virtualise many applications in an enterprise environment because you don’t have such complex integration required.

"In the telecoms space service chains are highly integrated; each service in the chain comes with a specific set of policies that then has to be able to talk to the next service. In a distributed environment where hardware integration is still key, that can become very challenging."

The update comes after the companies announced they were working together on SDN technologies in February 2014.
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