Brocade, VMware back SmartSky’s air-to-ground network


SmartSky Network is building an air-to-ground broadband network on Brocade’s Virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) running on VMware vCloud network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions.

With this, SmartSky will connect more than 250 cell sites across the continental U.S.

The combined NFV solution from Brocade and VMware attracted SmartSky to take a software-defined approach to network infrastructure that is more agile, flexible and cost-effective than a hardware-based approach.

Brocade and VMware have collaborated for years as NFV partners.

“We are building SmartSky’s network from the ground up, enabling us to rethink how a cross-continental air-to-ground network such as this should be built,” said David Claassen, Vice President of Network and Service Architecture at SmartSky.

Claassen noted that using an NFV approach and leveraging commodity hardware for the underlying physical fabric would deliver the best ROI while increasing service-ability and reducing many of the operational headaches common with traditional hardware-based networks.

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