Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation, as network administrators and vendors move beyond just Software Defined Networking (SDN) to discussing embedding services in the network.
One of the active vendors in the NFV space is embedded computing vendor Kontron. Kontron now has a joint solution along with Vantrix that it demonstrated at the World Mobile Congress event last week, showing the intersection of NFV and speech processing in the network.
Modern networks perform all manner of voice processing functions, including Voice of LTE (VoLTE) and WebRTC for collaboration and video applications. The demonstrated solution leverages the Kontron SYMKLOUD converged modular 2U COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) server and the Vantrix speech transcoding software solution.
Peter Matz, Marketing Manager at Kontron, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the problem for service providers is reducing their OPEX and CAPEX. He noted that if a service provider wants to virtualize, for example, Session Border Controllers (SBC), they can't easily use OpenStack in an NFV infrastructure environment to manage Digital Signal Processing (DSP) resources.
"So the goal is to have a hardware/software solution that beats the costs and the performance levels of DSPs, using x86 which you can manage in Openstack for NFV deployments," Matz explained.
Matz added that the Kontron SYMKLOUD platform has been a prime candidate for multiple NFV reference solutions using Openstack from different distributors, including Wind River’s Titanium Server, Mirantis, Ubuntu, and Red Hat.
Leveraging NFV for voice enablement on a network is a game-changer, in Matz's view.
"Preliminary results show the Symkloud 2U platform, which features up to 18 Core i7s, can achieve up to 54,000 G.711 to G.729 transcoded streams in a single 2U enclosure," Matz said.
Additionally, the solution can be expanded, as the SYMKLOUD is scalable across multiple racks.
"So this presents a great breakthrough for ISVs who build various NFV-enabled SBC solutions that support tremendous spikes in video and audio call sessions in VoLTE or WebRTC services provided by carriers and mobile operators," Matz said.
Looking forward, Kontron is set to make more moves in the NFV space over the course of 2015.
"We are continually expanding our partnerships across the NFV and SDN ecosystem, building various proof of concepts, including vCPE (Virtual Customer Premises Equipment) for business services, video transcoding, and wireless network elements, to make it easier for providers to deploy," Matz said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.