On July 30, NSN provided an update on the virtualization progress of their Liquid Core / Liquid Network development. NSN has been an early leader with the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) virtualization with their Proof of Concept activity using commercial off-the-shelf equipment. The initial virtualization developments were on the ATCA platform, and commercial deployments were TBD.
With this update, several new things are worth noting.
1. Now on the HP blade server platform
2. Commercial x86 IT hardware in the Data Center
3. Open Stack, VM Ware, KVM, ESXi
4. Curious lack of industry buzzwords – no mention of SDN or NFV
5. Commercial availability is 2014
Call it what you like, but this progress on virtualization with commercial IT hardware is a bold move for the EPC. Competitor arguments for a purpose-built EPC, and specifically a router-based PGW, will be put to the economic test.