Etisalat, the Middle East’s leading telecoms provider announced today (download PDF) that it has built and launched its first live Network Function Virtualization telco cloud in Abu Dhabi.
The NFV-based telco infrastructure has been built with Quanta servers, Arista switches and Canonical’s Ubuntu OpenStack, a multi-vendor combination integrated for production for the first time ever globally.
Based on open-source OpenStack cloud platforms used by the likes of NASA, CERN and leading web companies, further clouds are in progress in more sites across the UAE.
Realizing the potential and benefits of cloud-based and software-defined technologies, Etisalat launched a corporate-wide program in 2016 to “cloudify the network”, dubbed Sahaab—an Arabic word that translates to ‘cloud’. The program aims to harmonize between the hardware-centric telecom services and the software-centric cloud services across the corporation.
“It’s a different world that we’ve embarked into“, says Esmaeel Alhammadi, Senior Vice President of Network Development in Etisalat and Sahaab program lead. “We thought it was a technological step, requiring a mere upgrade of the network and services. But it turns out to be more than that. It’s a shift in mindsets and how things get done. It’s not every year that we have technologies like these that have the potential of adapting to customer wishes faster and opening new avenues for future innovations and collaborations.”
“Etisalat are demonstrating real vision and innovation by the speed at which they are embracing network function virtualisation, “ said Anand Krishnan, EVP, Cloud, Canonical. “We are delighted that Etisalat have selected Canonical OpenStack as their NFV infrastructure and Juju as their generic VNF manager. As the global leader in OpenStack deployments, we will work closely with Etisalat to ensure their customers can benefit from the virtualisation and cloudification of network functions that this will deliver.”