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November 4, 2014

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

The companies virtualise IMS CSCF on OpenStack.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

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.

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."

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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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