Testing and service assurance company EXFO has aligned with Red Hat to make EXFO’s Nova Active μ-Verifier service assurance solution available as a Red Hat-certified container. The move gives service providers and enterprises a cloud-native testing platform offering complete visibility of 5G mobile network environments.

The container solution is available for deployment on Red Hat’s OpenShift platform in hybrid cloud environments to allow those customers to have visibility from edge to core and cloud. A Tier 1 North American network operator has already put it to work, though a statement from EXFO didn’t identify that provider by name. 

Red Hat OpenShift has been gaining popularity among major mobile operators as they have been embracing cloud-native architectures for their 5G standalone networks. One of those providers is Verizon, which announced a deal with IBM and Red Hat last June. Also, Lumen adopted an IBM cloud architecture built on OpenShift.

Improved visibility will allow mobile providers to fill gaps in service assurance between network and cloud infrastructures that they may have opened up as they moved to adopt more mobile edge computing (MEC) and cloud computing as part of positioning 5G for the low-latency and high-reliability needs inherent IoT and Industry 4.0 applications. 

In announcing the collaboration with Red Hat, EXFO noted that almost two-thirds of network issues now originate from virtualized cloud infrastructure, making its assurance a key component in rapid root cause analysis and fault resolution. To bring that service assurance to the table, service providers need comprehensive visibility of network performance across virtual and cloud-native network functions, the company said.

With Nova Active μ-Verifier, network operators can use cloud-native, container-based testing to detect, diagnose and resolve issues originating from virtualized cloud infrastructure and elsewhere.

“The combination of EXFO’s active testing solution and Red Hat’s cloud-agnostic orchestration provides the adaptive service assurance that service providers need to deliver on the promise of 5G,” said Claudio Mazzuca, VP of strategic partners and alliances at EXFO, in a statement. “These are key tools to provide granular visibility into the foundation of 5G’s performance: cloud-native networks. This can enable network operators to generate revenues from enterprises and industry, while ensuring exceptional customer experience.”

Honore LaBourdette, VP of Telco Media & Edge Ecosystem at Red Hat, added, “As mobile technology, especially 5G, continues to weave its way into every industry across the globe, service providers are under more pressure than ever to evolve and scale with increased efficiency.” She said that as an enterprise Kubernetes platform Red Hat OpenShift “helps form a flexible, scalable foundation for future connectivity from the core, all the way out to the edge.”

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