Here we go again: HP Enterprise, OpenNFV, and Telefonica

One thing that’s always interesting about HP is that you really need to pay attention to know what’s happening. For example, last year the HP public cloud was on, then off, then on again, and now finally it’ll be “sunsetting” in a couple of weeks. Now we’re looking at the same type of confusion over the involvement of HP Enterprise in the world of NFV in general, and Spanish telco Telefonica in particular.

Last March, Telefonica announced that Hewlett Packard (this was pre-split) would be the lead vendor for its multi-vendor Unica virtualization project. Since then, however, Telefonica cancelled the massive contract and has gone back to the drawing board, soliciting bids for new vendors.

Barrons reported that the loss could be “impactful” to HP Enterprise, but the company has denied that there is a problem. SDxCentral quotes an HP spokesperson:

Unica represents an industry first for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Telefónica and the industry as we pioneer building a truly multivendor, open carrier network. HPE was selected as the technology provider and systems integrator of Unica earlier this year. Consistent with Telefónica’s intent for Unica to be truly multivendor, it has opened up an RFQ update with a priority on multivendor participation. HPE will work closely with other NFV ecosystem vendors that might be brought into the project and will continue to work with Telefónica on our planned Unica solution deliverable.

Light Reading, however, reports that Telefonica has confirmed that is, in fact, starting the process over again. The publication notes that HP Enterprise is, of course, free to enter a new bid. However, “industry chat suggests that HPE was unable to deliver on its promises, particularly in relation to delivering a multivendor, open architecture that would allow Telefónica to introduce or swap out virtual network functions from new or different vendor suppliers with the minimum of integration effort. Instead, HP was focusing on its own products for the projects.”

HP Enterprise is definitely interested in getting a testbed for its OpenNFV platform, and in fact the second announcement of the week was that the company would partner with China Telecom, the second largest carrier in China, to create a joint Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) lab in Beijing. According to TotalTelecom, “The joint NFV lab will utilize the HPE OpenNFV infrastructure stack and reference architecture, as well as support from HPE NFV technical experts. The lab will enable China Telecom to test and verify the benefits of transforming from legacy networks to an NFV- and software defined network (SDN)-enabled infrastructure in a safe environment prior to deployment.”

According to Enterprise Innovation, “The open platform allows CSPs to avoid vendor lock-in, and leverage the virtual infrastructure manager (VIM), providing lifecycle management of virtualized network functions (VNF) instances.”

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