Chinese computing giant Lenovo has become the latest company to join the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) - a collaborative project run by the Linux Foundation to advance the state of Network Function Virtualization.

Lenovo has also announced the Open Platform@Lenovo (OP@L), a combination of the company’s hardware and Red Hat OpenStack software, aimed at telecommunications providers. Servers released under OP@L will be fully compliant with the requirements of the Open Compute Project, of which Lenovo is also a member.

“We understand how important Open standards and integrated operability will be for data centers to support 5G and IoT,” said Philippe Davy, VP of global telecommunications business at Lenovo.

“Our Telco customers are on the cutting edge of this major industry disruption, and Lenovo is committed to delivering Open Platform@Lenovo and working with industry-leading partners to provide the foundation for next-generation data centers.”

The company has promised to continue collaborating with Red Hat on cloud solutions for the telco segment.

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– Lenovo

New hat

NFV aims to replace expensive, specialized hardware traditionally used in telecommunications with commodity servers that can serve the same functions through software. OPNFV was established in 2014 with the aim of creating an open source reference platform, orchestration layer and APIs for NFV that would benefit the industry at large.

Lenovo joins the project as a Platinum Level member, giving it permanent seats on the project’s Board and Technical Steering Committee.

As part of OPNFV, the company will develop servers for data centers that will serve as a backbone for next generation wireless networks. Lenovo plans to work with Red Hat to create a certified solution stack based on Red Hat’s NFV Platform and its OpenStack distribution.

The partnership between the two companies was originally announced last year, and Lenovo already offers a range of Red Hat software within its portfolio, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It also published reference architectures and deployment guides to enable faster design and delivery of solutions running Red Hat software on its infrastructure.

“I’m delighted to welcome Lenovo as the newest Platinum member of OPNFV. Joining the project is a true testament of Lenovo’s commitment to open standards and working collaboratively to develop a more robust NFV Infrastructure for the industry as a whole,” said Heather Kirksey, director of OPNFV.

Ealier this year, the open source networking project signed up the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) and software vendor Openet as members.