GENBAND announced that it has joined the Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand Ecosystem Program in a partnership designed to accelerate market development for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). As a program member, GENBAND will access Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV lab in an effort to integrate key components of its NFV applications and solutions portfolio with Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand NFV Platform.
The collaborative efforts will target service providers who are increasingly using NFV. GENBAND’s NFV portfolio spans its Session Border Controllers, Intelligent Messaging, WebRTC Gateway, Wireless Access Gateway, Session Control and Applications Server solutions, and a cloud manager.
Commenting in a statement on the partnership, Keith Landau, EVP for Research and Development at GENBAND, said, “With more than 30 customer projects underway Alcatel-Lucent is already a recognized industry leader in NFV, so we are delighted to join their CloudBand Ecosystem Program. We will use the CloudBand NFV Platform to test our NFV applications portfolio consisting of high-performance distributed or co-located signaling, control and media communications solutions.”
Our observations: This NFV collaboration effort is not unique for either party, as both companies participate in a variety of ecosystems between multiple vendors. For example, GENBAND has similar relationships with Intel, Wind River, and HP. HP and Wind River have also joined forces to work on carrier-grade NFV. We also note that virtualization support has been a requirement for enterprise unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) suppliers for over two years, and similar collaborative efforts have already been undertaken to target enterprise needs.
This announcement, as well as other recent partnership news, suggests that carriers are also getting serious about evolving their network platforms to NFV, including those that support UC&C. If you’d like to read more on the current state of the market for NFV and SDNs, our colleague Dr. Jim Metzler has just finished his annual report: “The 2015 Guide to SDN & NFV” which can be found here.