VMware's stand at MWC in Barcelona.
As always, a lot of companies showcased a dizzying array of different technologies and announced an equally dizzying number of business deals and partnerships at the most recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. One of the busiest companies at this year's edition was Palo Alto, California-based VMware.
At their stand in Hall 3 they shared with parent company Dell, VMware highlighted innovations that can help communications services providers (CSPs) capture the 5G opportunity and break into the cloud economy. Additionally, the company announced expanded relationships with AT&T and Vodafone, along with an expanded alliance with Ericsson and a new partnership with T-Systems.
Communication service providers must transition to a virtualised telco cloudm spanning network and IT to maximise 5G upside while containing risks. At their stand, VMware claimed to offer the industry’s only comprehensive 5G telco cloud platform, optimised for 4G and 5G
“5G is at a massive inflection point, and planning decisions made today will have far reaching financial and operational ramifications for CSPs going forward,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president, strategy and corporate development and general manager, Telco NFV Group, at VMware.
“By moving away from the inflexible, hardware-defined architectures of the past, and rolling out 5G as a fully-virtualised architecture right out of the gate, telcos will be able to beat competitors to market with new value-added services and improve the performance and operational efficiencies of their networks. VMware today provides the best foundation for the 5G-ready telco cloud.”
Among VMware's new customers and partners includes AT&T, which selecteds VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud for WAN 5G service; in other words, AT&T is working with VMware to implement 5G capabilities to give businesses new levels of network control. This transformative combination could be an ideal solution for businesses looking to use SD-WAN with a high-speed, low-latency 5G network as their primary or secondary WAN connection type in combination with other transport connections.
Ericsson have signed a global alliance agreement with VMware hat will simplify deploying and running a combination of Ericsson applications and VMware’s vCloud NFV platform for CSPs. The alliance agreement solidifies the close cooperation between the two companies, ongoing since 2012, and enables CSPs to accelerate time to revenue for new telco-grade services.
T-Systems is also providing customers with a managed services offering for VMware Cloud on AWS. Together with its long-standing partner, VMware, the Deutsche Telekom IT service provider is connecting clients’ private clouds with VMware Cloud on AWS.
And then there's Vodafone's announcement it has expanded its footprint of VMware’s cloud infrastructure to power its network and to capture operational agility and cost efficiency at scale. VMware is Vodafone’s primary strategic partner for telco cloud infrastructure services, with its services used across Vodafone’s operating markets around the world in 15 countries and more than 50 sites, carrying increasing amounts of subscriber traffic on more than 300 core network functions.
The future is Photon
Organisations implementing new technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) can benefit by building on top of open industry-standard components. VMware has recently extended the capabilities of Project Photon, a minimal lightweight Linux operating system (OS) designed for containers and cloud-native technology to support IoT use cases. Together, VMware Pulse IoT centre and Photon OS can now support multiple IoT use cases at organisations of any size with consistent, secure and scalable infrastructure. Translation: it helps make running some of the most cutting-edge use cases possible.
Running the VMware Pulse IoT centre with Photon OS on IoT devices enhances the security of these otherwise highly vulnerable devices with certificate, DNS, and security token services. Additionally, VMware Pulse IoT’s over-the-air update capabilities can deliver security patches and BIOS updates to IoT devices as well as updates to the Photon OS running on edge devices. In other words, this means it can quickly update to counter the latest security threats.
VMware also appeared to be a company that's putting its proverbial money where its mouth is - or at least is generating quite a lot of positive buzz through word-of-mouth. Perhaps the surest proof that VMware's announcements and demos at MWC weren't all smoke and mirrors: throughout the entire four-day event, their stand remained one of the busiest at all times.