Vodafone Idea and Cisco team up on multicloud network in India

Vodafone Idea, the largest telecom service provider in India, is working with Cisco Systems to build an automated multicloud network for its retail and enterprise customers.

Vodafone Idea and Cisco are deploying a distributed multicloud architecture based on Cisco's network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi.) The integrated cloud, which Vodafone Idea said is the largest in the country, is being used for its IT and network applications that are hosted in one cloud.

RELATED: Masergy's Watson: NFV is still not living up to its full potential

 The automated solution has enabled a nationwide deployment in record time, according to Vodafone.  While the cloud offers many benefits to Vodafone Idea's end customers, it also fast-tracked Vodafone Idea’s data core network rollout, increased its capacities, and helped reduce capex, with cloud implementations being done in just 72 hours.

Vodafone Idea said its automated cloud scale architecture is synchronized across applications, operating systems, infrastructure, and an underlying IP-MPLS core. It taps into a range of Cisco solutions including Cisco virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) for NFVi management, Cisco Ultra Packet Core and policy, third party VNFs (virtual network functions), Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI), leaf-spine architecture, and cloud security.

Vodafone Idea is also working with Cisco's Customer Experience teams on the deployments.

“We are in the midst of a large scale network Integration and transformation program to serve our approximately 390 million subscribers,” said Vodafone Idea CTO Vishant Vora, in a prepared statement. "Building a robust, secure and future proof network infrastructure based on cloud is a key component of the transformation. The distributed cloud architecture will enable edge and fog computing services for our customers in both the enterprise and consumer spaces. Cisco has collaborated with us in building this fully virtualized, scalable cloud architecture that supports our traditional connectivity as well as IoT.”

NFVi needs a makeover

NFVi will be a topic of discussion at this week's Open Networking Summit in San Jose. To date, the promise of NFV has been largely unfulfilled, as it has proven to be a complex endeavor for service providers and vendors. By going with one vendor, Vodafone Idea is able to reduce its NFVi pain points.

The Linux Foundation's Heather Kirksey, vice president, community and ecosystem development, said in a Tuesday interview with FierceTelecom that there were too many versions of NFVi, which has made them difficult to test and prevented the creation of an industry-wide NFVi ecosystem.

A panel today at ONS, which includes Kirksey, AT&T's Amy Wheelus, AT&T's Mark Cottrell, Verizon's Beth Cohen and China Mobile's Qiao Fu, will discuss how an NFVi ecosystem system can be built to reduce the pain points of NFVi and achieve economies of scale.