Showing posts with label #NFV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #NFV. Show all posts

Thursday, October 19, 2017

ECI delivers its Universal CPE solution

ECI, a global provider of Elastic Network solutions for service providers, critical infrastructures and data centre operators, began shipping a new line of "Mercury" uCPE (universal customer premises equipment) -- the first member of a new family of products enabling virtualization across CPE and the service provider’s PoP.

The Mercury uCPE  delivers on-demand virtualized business services by streamlining multiple customer premises networking functions into a single software-configurable appliance.  Network functions can then be delivered virtually (VNFs) via centralized management and orchestration (MANO).

ECI said it developed its solution with the goal of reducing operational complexities and lowering both CapEx and OpEx for service providers. ECI’s Mercury uCPE supports self-installation. Users are able to control the service directly via a self-service portal. Service providers can allow their business customers to select and combine best-of-breed VNFs from a library of ECI or certified third-party VNFs, supporting internet access, VPN services, voice services, cyber security (such as universal threat management), WAN optimization, LAN monitoring, storage services, etc.

  • In July, ECI announced the launch of its Hybrid Virtualization Platform, designed to support multiple NFV-based use cases to help communication service providers simplify operations, reduce opex and enhance SLAs. By supporting delay-sensitive services and enabling improved security and termination of flows at the network edge, the new ECI platform is designed to support a variety of applications including modernised business services, as well as future Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G services. The platform features ECI's vE-CPE family, which is set to provide virtualisation across customer premises (uCPE) and service provider Edge PoP (MEC). The Hybrid Virtualization Platform comprises the Mercury NFVI platform, open source NFV management and orchestration (MANO), which runs ECI's carrier-grade PaaS system, and a suite of virtualised network functions (VNFs) that includes edge routing, session border control, WAN optimisation, LAN monitoring and caching functions.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Verizon adds Checkpoint to its Virtual Network Services -

Verizon has added Check Point Software Technologies to its growing list of enterprise security companies to imbed their security offering within its Virtual Network Services ecosystem.

This means that global enterprises facing security concerns inherent in managing network reliant applications in an on premise, public or hybrid cloud environment can now rely on Verizon Virtual Network Services - Security with Check Point. The virtual service is designed to protect traffic, assets, data and workloads hosted in corporate data centers, customer locations or virtually in the cloud, protecting traffic both inside and outside the enterprise perimeter. Companies can help secure their physical network and cloud with the same policies, simplifying security management and accelerating the secure delivery of applications.

Other enterprise security companies offering solutions with Verizon Virtual Network Services include Palo Alto, Fortinet, Juniper and Cisco. Verizon said it is creating a software-defined technology ecosystem which makes it easy for global enterprises to deploy and manage virtual networks which require flexible bandwidth and trusted security.

"Cyber security in the cloud is currently fragmented, made up of mainly 'detection only' based solutions and fails to protect enterprises from current or future cyber-attacks," said Pierre-Paul Allard, head of worldwide sales, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. "Check Point Infinity is a fully consolidated cyber security architecture that provides the high-level, pre-emptive threat prevention across networks, cloud and mobile devices, and we are delighted that it is now available to users of Verizon Virtual Network Services."

"We add virtual network services to our portfolio to give our customers choice and flexibility to manage and secure their networks as they see fit," said Shawn Hakl, Verizon's VP of new products and innovation. "With Verizon Virtual Network Services, our customers can deploy network services as applications that traditionally are provided over multiple appliances, on demand, via a centralized orchestration engine complete with closed-loop service assurance."

http://www.verizon.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Versa confirms that Verizon SD-Branch using its FlexVNF software

Versa Networks confirmed that it has been added to Verizon’s SND platform for its new Software Defined Secure Branch (SD-Branch) managed service. Specifically, Verizon’s SD-Branch offering utilizes the Versa FlexVNF Software, which combines network and security capabilities to provide a full suite of Layer 3 to Layer 7 IP services that are built on a cloud-native, multi-tenant software platform.

The Verizon offering includes software based networking, cloud based end user management and virtualized security services for protecting and simplifying branch network architectures.

Versa said its solution enables Verizon's Virtual Network Services customers to reduce complexity and control costs by virtualizing multiple components of a branch office. These include public and private network connectivity management, wireless connectivity, multi-site network support, application based quality of service and multi layered security.

“Verizon has been an early and aggressive innovator in software defining their network, as well as their customers’ networks,” said Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks. “Verizon saw the wider set of challenges that businesses were having across branch offices, and has designed a comprehensive service to virtualize, software define, manage and secure the full branch.”

“Businesses are adopting digital technologies as mainstream elements of their go to market strategy,” said Shawn Hakl, vice president of business networking and security solutions. “Software defining the branch office and WAN provides them with a flexible networking platform to accelerate cloud and digital migration while reducing IT complexity and controlling costs.”

https://www.versa-networks.com/press-release/versa-networks-added-verizons-software-defined-networking-ecosystem/


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nuage Cites Momentum in SD-WAN Adoption

TELUS is using Nuage Networks' SD-WAN solution to power its newly launched Network as a Service (NaaS), which enables Canadian businesses to virtually build, manage and cloud-optimize their networks. TELUS NaaS enables cloud-optimization for business applications through improved network performance and customizable policies that ensure mission-critical traffic, like VoIP, is prioritized over other types of traffic. TELUS said its service can reduce network deployment time by up to 80 percent and that it provides full line of sight to network performance data.

Nuage said the deployment with TELUS is indicative of a larger trend worldwide as enterprises recognize that their WAN services and architectures require significant transformation to take advantage of multicloud services. Some of its recently announced SD-WAN wins include BT, China Telecom, Exponential, NTT Data, Telefonica, Telia Finland, AscoTLC and My Republic.

Nuage capabilities include:

  • Automated end-to-end enterprise service delivery between datacenters and branch offices while offering seamless connections to public cloud services.
  • Value-added services by deploying third-party Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) at enterprise branch locations on top of open, virtualized "branch-in-the box" platforms.
  • A network analytics and performance monitoring solution (Virtualized Service Assurance Platform, or VSAP ) and software-defined security (Virtualized Security Services, or VSS ) that provides industry-leading insight and remediation capabilities.


"Nuage Networks has become a leader in helping service providers deliver fully automated and self-service SD-WAN solutions to enterprise customers who are looking to connect their users quickly and securely to applications in private and public clouds. Our platform is present in the world's largest carrier-grade networks and is being deployed as a complete overlay that can serve as a natural extension of customers' existing L2 and L3 MPLS VPN and other WAN service offerings to remote sites. We are the only vendor that offers a single SDN automation platform for the datacenter, WAN and public cloud - providing operational simplification, agility and significant cost savings across the multiple cloud-based services currently offered by these providers," stated Sunil Khandekar, Nuage Networks CEO and founder.

http://www.nuagenetworks.net

SDN Market Update: Sunil Khandekar, Nuage Networks



What is resonating in the market today for software-defined networking (SDN) and SD-WAN technologies? Sunil Khandekar, founder and CEO of Nuage Networks, says it is the ability to connect users everywhere with applications anywhere, whether they are in public or private clouds. Real deployments are becoming the new normal.

See video: https://youtu.be/-lPYVzja530

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Evolution of VNFs within the SD-WAN Ecosystem

As the WAN quickly solidifies its role as the performance bottleneck for cloud services of all kinds, the SD-WAN market will continue to grow and evolve. This evolution will happen in lock step with the move to software-defined everything in data centers for both the enterprise and the service provider, with a focus on Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and how they could be used to create specialized services based on custom WANs on demand. Although SD-WANs provide multiple benefits in terms of cost, ease-of-management, improved security, and improved telemetry, application performance and reliability remain paramount as the primary goals for the vast majority of SD-WAN deployments. When this is taken into consideration, the role of VNFs in extending and improving application performance becomes clear. Just as importantly, growing use of VNFs within SD-WANs extends an organization’s software-defined architecture throughout the broader network and sets the stage for the insertion of even more intelligence down the road.

What exactly do we mean by the term VNF? 

Before we get started, let’s define what we mean by VNF, since similar to SD-WAN, this term can be used to describe multiple things. For some VNFs are primarily a means of replicating legacy capabilities on a local appliance (physical or virtual) by means of software defined architectures, such as firewall, DHCP, DNS etc. However, restricting one’s scope to legacy services alone limits the potential high-value benefits that can be realized from a software-defined approach for more advanced features. Our definition of a VNF therefore is a superset of localized VNF and is really about the creation of a software-defined functions of more advanced capabilities, such as application aware VPNs, flow-based load balancing, self-healing overlay tunnels etc. What’s more, many advanced SD-WAN vendors provide their customers with the ability to customize these VNF applications to apply exclusively to their own WAN and/or their specific network requirements to enable unique WAN services.

What do we need VNFs for? 

SD-WAN’s enormous growth this year, as well as its predicted continued growth in the years to come follows the footsteps of the paradigm shift data centers are currently undergoing. That is, from a manually configured set of servers and storage appliances, to a software-defined architecture, where the servers and storage appliances (virtual or physical) can be managed and operated via a software-defined architecture. This means less manual errors, lower cost and more efficient way to operate the data center.

As an industry, as we implement some of the data-center approaches to the WAN (Wide Area Networks), one must note that there is a big difference between datacenter networks and WAN networks. Namely, datacenter LANs (Local Area Networks) have ample capacity and bandwidth and unless they are misconfigured, are never the bottleneck for performance. However, with WANs, whether done in-house by the enterprise or delivered as a service by a telecom or other MSP, the branch offices are connected to the Internet through WAN connections (MPLS, DSL, Cable, Fiber, T1, 3G/4G/LTE, etc.). As a result, the choking point of the performance is almost always the WAN. This is why SD-WANs became so popular so quickly, in that this provides immediate relief for this issue.

However, as WANs continue to grow in complexity, with enterprises operating multiple clouds and/or cloud models simultaneously, there is a growing need to add automation and programmability into the software-defined WAN in order to ensure performance and reliability. Therefore VNFs that can address this WAN performance bottleneck have the opportunity to transform how enterprises connect to their private, public and hybrid clouds. VNFs that extend beyond a single location, but can cover WAN networks, will have the ability to add programmability to the WAN. In a way, the “software defined” nature of the data center will be stretched out all the way to the branch office, including the WAN connectivity between them.

Defining SD-WAN VNFs

So what does a VNF that is programmable and addresses the WAN bottlenecks look like? These VNFs are overlay tunnels that can perform certain flow logic and therefore can work around network problems on a packet-by-packet basis per flow. These VNFs are so smart, they have the problem diagnosis, problem alerting and most importantly, resolution of the problem all baked into the VNF. In other words, unlike the days without SD-WAN where an IT manager would have an urgent support ticket whenever a network problem occurs. With VNF-based SD-WANs, the networks are becoming smart enough to solve the problem proactively, in most cases, before even it effects the applications, services and the user experience.

This increase in specific VNFs for the SD-WAN will start with the most immediate need, which is often latency and jitter sensitive applications such as voice, video, UC and other chatty applications. Even now, VNFs are being used to solve these issues. For example, a CIO can have a VNF that dynamically and automatically steers VOIP/SIP traffic around network problems caused by high latency, jitter and packet loss, and in parallel have another VNF to support cross-traffic and latency optimization for “chatty” applications.

In another example, a VNF can be built in minutes designed to steer non-real-time traffic away from a costly WAN link and apply header compression for real-time traffic only in situations where packet loss or latency crosses a specific threshold during certain times of the day, all the while updating syslog with telemetry data. With this level of flexibility and advanced capabilities, VNFs are poised to become the go-to solutions for issues related to the WAN.

A VNF load balancer is another such overlay that has the ability to load balance the traffic over the WAN links. Since the VNF load balancer is in essence a software code that can be deployed onto an SD-WAN appliance, it has the power of taking advantage of various types of intelligence and adaptability to optimize the WAN performance. VNF load balancers should also work with standard routing so that you can inject it in your network, say between the WAN modems and your firewall/router seamlessly.

Clearly, VNFs are part and parcel of SD-WAN next wave of evolution, bringing intelligence and agility to the enterprise WAN. As 2017 ramps up, we’ll see more and more innovation on this front, fully extending software-defined architecture from the data center throughout the network.

About the author

Dr. Cahit Jay Akin is the CEO and co-founder of Mushroom Networks, a long-time supplier of SD-WAN infrastructure for enterprises and service providers. Prior to Mushroom Networks, Dr. Akin spent many years as a successful venture capitalist. Dr. Akin received his Ph.D. and M.S.E. degree in Electrical Engineering and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey. Dr. Akin has worked on technical and research aspects of communications for over 15 years including authoring several patents and many publications. Dr. Akin was a nominee for the Most Admired CEO award by San Diego Business Journal. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Netronome enhances Agilio SmartNIC for OPNFV Danube

Netronome, a provider of intelligent networking solutions, has announced support for the latest OPNFV software release, OPNFV Danube, and integration into its Agilio SmartNIC platform, which is claimed to improve networking performance by up to 4x and to reduce CPU consumption by over 5x.

Netronome noted that at the OPNFV Summit in Beijing, Open-NFP.org is hosting the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, which will feature technical sessions focused on acceleration of VNFs within the framework of OPNFV Danube-supported data planes such as Open vSwitch (OVS) and the Fast Data project (FD.io). Participants in the sessions include China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), Guangzhou Research Institute at China Telecom, OPNFV, Open-NFP, SK Telecom, Spirent Communications and ZTE.

Netronome explained that designers and operators of cloud and telco data centre networks recognise the need for server acceleration and offload to realise the TCO benefits of NFV. SmartNICs can play a key role in efficiently delivering acceleration, while acceleration and offload of portions of VNF functions can offer further cost benefits.

During the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, OPNFV community members are proposing an open framework and API to cover NFVi and VNF acceleration designed to promote broad cooperation and collaboration in the industry. The minis-summit is hosted by Open-NFP.org, a global, community-driven organisation that seeks to enable open, collaborative development in the area of data plane acceleration for network functions processing in server networking.

Open-NFP hosts 40-plus open projects and comprises over 100 developers, including service providers, OEMs, research institutions and academia. The portal also offers developers support via a P4- and C-based data plane software development environment and open source code related to Netronome Agilio SmartNICs.

Sessions to held during the event will cover areas including:

1.         NFVi acceleration models and offload architectures for OVS and VPP data planes using SmartNICs.

2.         VNF acceleration models and offload architectures for NFV using SmartNICs.

3.         An open API model for enabling NFVi and VNF acceleration, including the use of sandbox functions based on the P4 and/or C programming languages.

4.         A proposal for developing and testing VNF acceleration under the umbrella of the OPNFV Pharos Labs initiative, leveraging resources and support from the Open-NFP community.

Regarding the demonstration, Nick Tausanovitch, VP of solution architecture at Netronome, said:

-           "Enhancements to OVS-DPDK and introduction of new data plane technologies such as FD.io improve networking performance, however, these technologies rely on x86 compute cycles for networking functions, bringing down server efficiency while starving VNFs of bandwidth and reducing the CPU cycles available".


-           "The Agilio SmartNIC platform from Netronome, integrated with the OPNFV Danube software platform release, relieves such bottlenecks, enabling service providers to deliver new 4G and 5G services faster and more economically".



  • At Mobile World Congress in February, Netronome announced that its flagship Agilio CX SmartNIC platform has been integrated into a range of NFVi solutions from OEMs, including Juniper Networks, Mirantis and Nuage Networks (Nokia) to help telcos prepare their data centre infrastructure for the growth in data and new services.
  • Netronome also announced that Ericsson had added support for the Agilio CX SmartNIC platform within its NFVi solution to enable offload and accelerated datapath processing and to keep virtual machines (VMs) and VNFs hardware independent for rapid onboarding.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Enea launches lightweight virtualisation platform for the network edge

Enea of Sweden, a supplier of network software platforms, has announced the introduction of Enea NFV Access, a lightweight virtualisation platform designed for customer premise deployment at the network edge.

Enea NFV Access is optimised to provide a minimal footprint, high throughput solution for virtual network functions (VNFs) running in KVM and Docker containers. NFV Access supports both ARM and x86 white box solutions, enabling operators and service providers to address a range of price and performance points while utilising a common platform and management interfaces.

Enea's NFV Access is designed to meet the specific requirements of enabling virtualisation on edge devices, eliminating the need for a full OpenStack deployment to provide a lightweight platform. The solution, along with VNFs, can run on as few as two cores without limiting throughput or performance, while support for container virtualisation enhances VNF density and reduces total system footprint.

In addition, NFV Access allows mixing of containers and virtual machines on the same platform, enabling both greater flexibility and offering a migration path from VMs to containers.

The key components of Enea NFV Access include virtualisation via KVM and Docker, optimised vSwitch, a full FCAPS management solution, VNF lifecycle management, service function chaining (SCF) capacity and an optimised data plane supporting 10 Gbit/s line rate from VMs and containers. The solution also features open, standards-based interfaces, making it hardware agnostic and fully portable, offering interoperability with popular VNFs.

NFV Access supports VNF lifecycle management and service function chaining via a range of northbound interfaces, including NetConf, Rest, OpenStack and Docker, which can either interface orchestration directly, or interface to a control node in a central office or point-of-presence (PoP). This functionality enables the solution to be integrated with existing networks and orchestration solutions, simplifying virtualisation of network functions at the edge.

In combination with the company's previously announced NFV Core platform, Enea now addresses three vCPE deployment scenarios: central office and PoP via NFV Core; customer premise deployment with Enea NFV Access; and distributed scenarios by combining both platforms.


  • Recently, Enea, together with China Mobile, ARM and Cavium, announced an agreement to collaborate in the China Mobile Open NFV Testlab via Enea's OPNFV-based NFV Core platform and Cavium's ARM-based ThunderX workload-optimised data centre server processors. The work was to include validation of NFV tests cases such as vCPE, vBRAS, vEPC and vIMS and support for Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).
  • In April this year, Enea unveiled its NFV Core deployment-ready NFV software platform targeting central office virtualisation at the network edge.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DXC to offer security VNF based on AT&T FlexWave under expanded partnership

Expanding a long-standing strategic alliance, DXC Technology and AT&T announced a new initiative designed to help global customers improve efficiency, productivity and security when migrating, orchestrating and managing cloud-based networks across the enterprise.

Under the agreement, DXC will become the first IT services company to launch a third-party virtual network function (VNF) based on AT&T FlexWare. The initiative is intended to align the two companies to support businesses through technology-driven digital transformations.

DXC's on-demand security VNF, inclusive of firewall and intrusion protection services, enhances the virtual edge service functionality in its next generation portfolio. This capability is designed to help DXC clients leverage their investments, reduce capex and enhance operational scale and consistency for cloud platforms, whether hybrid, public or private.

The latest joint initiative expands the AT&T FlexWare platform ecosystem to support innovation and provide expanded choice for business customers. As well as adding a new VNF to the AT&T FlexWare platform and reselling AT&T FlexWare to its customers, DXC will also utilise FlexWare for its internal operations.

The new virtual edge service will provide DXC customers with advanced security for small- and mid-sized office locations alongside AT&T's catalogue of VNFs, which are supported through the marketplace. Utilising an opex model, the new offering will allow DXC's enterprise security policies to be extended to remote office locations, delivered as-a-service.

Additionally, the AT&T FlexWare platform will enable DXC to efficiently deliver services to clients while helping reduce capital requirements. DXC is continuing to explore additional opportunities to virtualise the technology supporting its services that are available to clients.



  • AT&T recently announced new network connectivity options and security applications for its FlexWare offering, and that it was expanding availability to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
  • The AT&T FlexWare platform is designed to simplify the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions for businesses and allow users to flexibly manage their networks, reduce total cost of ownership and avoid the need to use proprietary hardware-based solutions.
  • The latest FlexWare enhancements enable network function virtualisation (NFV) over a broader range of connection types. Specifically, FlexWare features an expanded range of connectivity options via both AT&T and third party service providers, with options including Ethernet, VPN (MPLS), dedicated Internet and broadband, as well as three new virtual security options.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Netcracker 12 Targets Operation of Virtual and Cloud Infrastructure

Netcracker Technology announced the launch of Netcracker 12, a new technology platform featuring a comprehensive product suite designed to help service providers accelerate digitalisation and operationalise virtual and cloud infrastructures at scale.

The new Netcracker 12 provides an integrated platform with two-speed architecture and advanced agility layers designed to support rapid customer engagement, while optimising the digital business and operational domains.

The enhanced Netcracker product portfolio aligns to the business, operational and infrastructure needs of digital service providers and encompasses domains including:

1.         Digital customer enablement, leveraging a multi-speed architecture and analytics to enable omni-channel customer support and management, also offering an application and partner ecosystem.

2.         Digital business enablement, designed to transform legacy customer, partner and revenue management IT environments into cloud-based business systems.

3.         Digital operations enablement to help service providers rapidly create and deliver new digital, virtualised, cloud and value-added services over hybrid networks and including NFV management and orchestration and SDN controllers.
4.         Digital and cloud infrastructure, comprising virtual network functions (VNFs) including customer-edge, core and value-added VNFs, as well as data centre and NFVI and IoT and M2M modules.

5.         Advanced analytics that leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics modules that can be applied to internal and external operations.

6.         Cloud platform, a microservices-based, cloud-native platform that serves as the foundation for all Netcracker products and solutions, deployable in private, public or hybrid clouds using a DevOps approach.

7.         Business, operations and infrastructure agility layers, comprising an API ecosystem that enables the multi-speed IT architecture.


Netcracker noted that Netcarcker 12 is complemented by an expanded portfolio of professional services, designed to ensure that customers receive the support and guidance required to manage the complexities of a multi-speed IT architecture as they launch digital transformation and virtualisation initiatives.


Friday, May 12, 2017

ABI forecasts NFV market to reach $38bn by 2022

According to ABI Research's latest Network Functions Virtualization Tracker and Forecasts report, after a slower start than initially anticipated, the network function virtualisation (NFV) market is set to experience moderate growth based on continuing NFV investments by major telcos.

ABI Research forecasts that North America will be the largest market, accumulating $13 billion in NFV-related investments during 2022, while Europe will see the highest growth rate with an estimated 53% CAGR between 2017 and 2022. The research firm notes that early adopters claim benefits offered by NFV-enabled systems including reductions in network capex and opex, service agility and faster deployment of new network elements.

ABI forecasts that overall NFV market revenue will reach $38 billion in 2022, although hardware expenditure, including servers, storage devices and switches, is expected to decline over time, while software and services segment spending is forecast to experience growth rates of 55% and 50%, respectively.

ABI notes that although the NFV market is evolving and technical expertise is starting to mature, the standardisation and multi-vendor involvement challenges will remain over the next two years. It adds that software and services vendors will have the opportunity to identify NFV use-cases for enterprise verticals and leverage these to deliver end-to-end integrated systems.

In terms of suppliers, ABI believes that the established vendors, including Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia, plus specialists such as Amdocs and Netcracker, will see early success, with systems integration becoming ever more important. It also notes that vendors are investing in open source software, which may increase business opportunities initially but could create difficulties in the future, particularly if telco interest in specific open source projects wanes.

ABI notes that currently, NFV is primarily seen as a means of reducing costs, but that new revenue opportunities will require a wider transformation which is likely to be driven by 5G after 2020.

Commenting on the report, Neha Pachade, senior analyst at ABI Research, said:

-           "In 2015 and 2016 the market experienced some early successes, but mostly reconsiderations and failures with NFV… early adopters conducted proof of concept testing and NFV-integrated system demonstrations to understand the impact of NFV in the technical, operational and cultural domains".


-           "Forecasts indicate that NFV will become a sizeable opportunity for vendors, although it is not yet clear whether it will cannibalise existing hardware-based product lines or create new market use cases".


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Verizon expands universal CPE portfolio with whitebox, OpenStack

Verizon announced it has expanded its Virtual Network Services offering with the addition of x86-based whitebox options leveraging OpenStack to its universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) portfolio.

Verizon's uCPE offering means that enterprises do not need to invest in separate, dedicated hardware appliances to deliver key virtual network functions (VNFs) such as software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), security, routing, WAN optimisation, or any network function that can be virtualised.

Verizon is seeking to simplify the transition to software-defined, application-centric network deployments for organisations of any size by expanding its Virtual Network Services uCPE options from vendor-specific platforms to an open hardware, open source whitebox architecture.

Verizon's uCPE portfolio targets applications ranging from solutions suitable for small retail sites up to large data centre deployments and leverages commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and a globally distributed open source architecture. This allows enterprises to rapidly deploy services globally using Verizon's application library.

The uCPE solution features service chaining and enterprise orchestration functionality that enables automated onboarding and provisioning, with future orchestration releases to offer service assurance capabilities for fault and performance monitoring, closed-loop healing and a VNF factory. The enhanced life-cycle orchestration capabilities are designed to enable enterprises to implement near real-time SDN technologies.


Verizon noted that the combination of COTS hardware and a distributed deployment of OpenStack allows customers to decouple hardware from software and removes the need for proprietary hardware. This capability can help customers to reduce costs and simplify the physical network architecture, as well as allowing them to choose the most suitable hardware and applications for their individual requirements.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry Alliance partner on network transformation

The Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry Alliance announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly establish the Open Broadband Laboratory Asia (OBLA) and to promote network transformation and cloud evolution initiatives.

The new partnership, signed during the recent China SDN/NFV Conference in Beijing, also introduces the forum's Open Broadband initiative, established with a mission to create an open framework defining cloud-based broadband.

It was noted that Open Broadband Labs are a collaborative resource designed to support the integration, staging and testing of open source, commercial software, standards-based and vendor implementations, where vendors, integrators and operators can work together on new and coexisting solutions.

The focus of Open Broadband Labs, such as OBLA, is to accelerate the realisation of marketable and commercial new services and applications, and the migration from existing broadband infrastructures to cloud-based models featuring NFV and SDN technologies.

Under the partnership agreement, the Broadband Forum will exclusively license the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance to undertake the construction of OBLA in China and to conduct conformance and interoperability testing, migration best practices, technical due diligence and training around the project. The SDN/NFV alliance will build and manage the OBLA, while the Broadband Forum will provide technical direction, testing methodologies, a standards framework and domain expertise.

The joint initiative is intended to support the development of network cloud standards verification, testing, solution conformance and provide a proving ground for testing new services.

The Broadband Forum noted that OBLA builds on multiple ongoing and completed virtualisation and cloud projects, including the Network Enhanced Residential Gateway, which transitions functionalities from the residential gateway to the operator network, the Cloud Central Office, Fixed Access Network Sharing, SDN in the Access Network and virtual Business Gateway.


The initiative also complements the SDN/NFV Industry Alliance effort to advance the readiness for SDN commercial utilisation and promote the development of the SDN industry.



  • Recently, the Broadband Forum combined with the NG-PON2 Forum to create the new NG-PON2 Council, tasked with accelerating the development of NG-PON2 technology The forum noted that it was already working on NG-PON2 through its Fiber Access Networks working group.

Chelsio T6 100 GBE Supports Large-scale NFV

Chelsio Communications, a provider of Ethernet unified wire adapters and ASICs for storage networking, virtualised enterprise data centres, cloud services and cluster computing environments, announced benchmark testing results for the integrated packet handling capabilities of its Terminator 6 (T6) 100 Gigabit Ethernet adapters.

During the testing, Chelsio's T6 100 Gbit/s adapters demonstrated packet processing performance for the small size 64 Bytes network packets of up to 75 MPPS, when measuring transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) network traffic independently. Bi-directional network processing for 64 and 128 Bytes packets delivered performance of 93 MPPS, saturating the PCI Gen3 x16 bus.

Chelsio stated that this packet processing performance can enable the rapid deployment of network function virtualisation (NFV) in both service provider and enterprise network cloud deployments.

The T6 100 Gigabit Ethernet unified wire adapter, launched in March, offers line rate throughput of over 176 Gbit/s for 512 Bytes packets and up to 93 MPPS bi-directional packet rate for small packets, which the company claims will help to enable large-scale NFV deployments.

Chelsio's T6 adapters provide flexible support for 1, 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces together with offload capabilities including iWARP, storage protocol acceleration (iSCSI, NVMe-oF and FCoE) and DPDK acceleration. The T6 adapters are designed to accelerate DPDK-based networking applications by increasing bandwidth and packet rate (MPPS).

By offloading compute-intensive server-based networking functions and utilising multi-CPU socket platforms more efficiently, the solution can help deliver improved performance, while CPU cycles are freed for additional applications processing.

Chelsio noted that its unified wire adapters utilise DPDK-based poll mode driver (PMD), designed to enable fast packet processing and low latency, eliminating the need for data to traverse the Linux kernel and avoiding interrupt handling overhead for sending and receiving data to the x86 server. The T6 DPDK-based driver targets high-instruction compute node and service node applications such as cybersecurity and telecom wired/wireless infrastructure applications.

Chelsio T6 adapters also feature offload for traffic management, packet classification and filtering, OVS offload, and crypto functions. When combined and configured with the DPDK interfaces, these capabilities can enhance DPDK functionality by enabling network security, monitoring and QoS for incoming/outgoing traffic.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Enea unveils NFV platform for Virtualisation of Network Edge

Stockholm-based Enea, a supplier of network software platforms, announced the introduction of Enea NFV Core, a high performance, deployment-ready NFV software platform designed to enable central office virtualisation at the network edge.

Enea's new NFV Core software is designed to allow network operators, service providers and telecom and network equipment vendors to develop solutions enabling a virtualised network edge that can deliver lower costs and increased flexibility in creating new services.

Enea noted that while the data centre/cloud side of NFV software is maturing and becoming commoditised, in the base station and customer premise equipment segment there are currently few independent software vendors with viable offerings. In addition, there is significant potential for differentiation as the use cases differ for each deployment scenario.

Enea aims to address typical distributed NFV use cases such as virtual CPE (vCPE), and the new Enea NFV Core platform targets central office applications. The solution provides multi-architecture support that enables virtualised network functions (VNF) to execute on both Intel x86 and ARM commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

Enea NFV Core is based on the open technology standards OPNFV and OpenStack, and so can benefit from the speed of innovation provided by the open source community. However, Enea noted that unlike open source offerings NFV Core is hardened and deployment-ready, which speeds development time.

The Enea NFV Core software has been configured, enhanced and optimised to deliver the performance and availability required for edge use cases, and has been integrated, tested and validated.

At MWC 2017, Enea partnered with Lanner Electronics to demonstrate a proof-of-concept of a commercial NFV solution for vCPE built on OPNFV and able to run on x86 and ARM-based COTS hardware. The PoC involved Enea running its network virtualisation software on a central office server that sets up and initiates a video call between two tablets, one connected to an x86-based Lanner device, and one connected to an ARM-based device.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NEC partners with K-Opticom to trial vCPE over 10G EPON Internet connections

NEC and Netcracker Technology announced that they have conducted a successful trial in partnership with K-Opticom of Japan of a system combining network functions virtualisation (NFV) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet PON (EPON) technologies.

The companies claim that the trial verified for the first time that virtualised CPE (vCPE) can be successfully operated over 10 Gbit/s Internet connections.

K-Opticom is a provider of telecommunications services in the Kansai region of Japan based on its own fibre network, serving over 1.5 million residential subscribers. The company specifically offers the mineo mobile service through a MVNO arrangement and the eo denki electric power retailing service for residential customers.

NEC noted that vCPE provides CPE and other top-layer functions, such as dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and network address translation (NAT), from data centres over Internet connections. vCPE is designed to allow the provision of enhanced home-based communications and to simplify home gateways, and the vCPE trial with K-Opticom delivered the following:

1.         By virtually establishing conventional CPE functions on the K-Opticom network, vCPE can support the provision of a secure communications environment, as well as facilitate the delivery of new services such as VoD, cloud storage and parental control.

2.         Enabled monitoring of communications status on devices such as computers and smartphones remotely at the request of the service user; allowing communications services top be improved and facilitating the prompt identification and resolution of faults.

NEC stated that based on the results of the trial with K-Opticom, the companies plan to conduct further trials in preparation for the full-scale roll-out of vCPE over 10 Gbit/s Internet services.http://www.nec.com/en/press/201704/global_20170411_02.html

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Israel's Neptune Consortium Demos vCPE

Neptune, the Israeli consortium for network programming, announced that it has performed a general demonstration of its technologies as part of its mission to build on the software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) technologies that are currently under development.

Neptune is seeking to significantly reduce the time required to deploy new services and new service types, enable more efficient use of network and computational resources, and facilitate faster and more intelligent response to network events.

The latest demonstration by Neptune included four industry firsts, as follows:

1. A multi-vendor vCPE demonstration, in which a single service provider OpenStack controller established end-to-end services terminating on virtual CPE (vCPE) from three vendors, ADVA, Telco Systems and RAD, all running on top of a Mellanox switch and HCA adaptor.

2. Satellite network vendor Gilat demonstrated vCPE capabilities in a satellite ground segment gateway, including integration of tactical mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) UHF radio networks into an SDN and NFV-based multi-vendor heterogeneous virtual RAN (vRAN) based on technology developed by Elbit Systems Land and C4i.

3. The above demonstration also featured Open Mobile Edge Cloud (OMEC) with the first fully virtual cellular base station (from modem to management) developed by ASOCS and accelerated by a pool of network attached programmable hardware accelerators.

4.Transport of the common public radio interface (CPRI) standard over microwave by Ceragon Networks.

In addition, ECI Telecom demonstrated how its multi-layer service app is able to perform fast recovery from optical-layer faults employing an ONOS controller combined with OpenFlow optical extensions, and ADVA presented MEC for the delivery of enterprise services.

The demonstration was conducted at a Bezeq International facility, supported by equipment located at four other sites, and attended by outgoing chief scientist of the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry, Avi Hasson, the head of the chief scientist's technological infrastructure division, Ilan Peled, Neptune chair Dr. Yaakov Stein, and representatives of the consortium members.

Neptune was founded in 2014 to develop methods to automate and programmatically manage service provider networks, irrespective of underlying network technologies leveraging SDN and NFV. Backed by the Israel Innovations Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy and Industry), consortium members include: ADVA (Israel), ASOCS, Bezeq International, Ceragon Networks, ECI Telecom, Elbit Systems, Gilat Satellite Networks, Mellanox Technologies, RAD and Telco Systems (BATM Group).

The consortium also includes research institutions Ariel University, Ben-Gurion University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Holon Technological Institute, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, the Lev Academic Center in Jerusalem, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

ADVA introduces FSP 150 Pro VMe pluggable server for NFV

ADVA Optical Networking has launched its new FSP 150 ProVMe (P2.4), designed to remove the risk of introducing virtualisation and helps service providers to quickly and cost-effectively implement NFV.

The new FSP 150 ProVMe (P2.4) solution is intended to simplify NFV deployments leveraging a hot-swappable, pluggable server that allows NFV rollout as and when needed. In combination with hardware-assisted NFV infrastructure support functions, the latest addition to ADVA's Edge product family offers a cost-effective way for service providers to deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) in response to customer demand.

The new pluggable modular server can also be integrated with the ADVA Ensemble portfolio to support distributed NFV deployments using embedded cloud functionality to enable greater security and scalability.

The ADVA FSP 150 ProVMe (P2.4) is a multi-technology solution that supports multi-layer business service demarcation and VNF hosting. The solution combines virtual and physical network functions to enable low-latency forwarding and enhanced performance.

Hardware-assisted support functions include tunnelling technologies and service assurance, which serve to liberate compute resources for revenue-generating services and help service providers to offer a range of demanding applications more efficiently. Specifically, VNF monitoring functionality is implemented in hardware to enable server-independent service assurance, providing information for managing and optimising the NFV infrastructure.

ADVA noted that these features offer a key differentiator for the ADVA FSP 150 ProVMe series and have been verified in independent EANTC testing. In March, ADVA announced that the EANTC had validated the capabilities of the FSP 150 ProVMe solution. The EANTC tests showed that the edge NFV device could minimise added latency and that hardware-assisted support functions, such as synchronisation and service assurance, could be activated without using compute resources.

Describing the new product, Stephan Rettenberger, SVP, marketing and investor relations at ADVA, said, "By adding a pluggable server directly into the demarcation device, service providers can choose exactly when they want to roll out VNFs to customers… this technology has been engineered to align capital costs with actual revenue".

http://www.advaoptical.com/

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

OPNFV Hits a Milestone - the Blue Danube Release

The OPNFV Project, an open source project that was launched two and a half years ago to facilitate the development and evolution of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) components, announced its fourth platform release - Danube.

“Danube represents an evolutionary turning point for OPNFV,” said Heather Kirksey, director, OPNFV. “It brings together full next-gen networking stacks in an open, collaborative environment. By harnessing work with upstream communities into an open, iterative testing and deployment domain, we’re delivering the capabilities that truly enable NFV, and that is very powerful.”

Key enhancements available in OPNFV Danube include:

  • Foundational support and introduction of capabilities for MANO: Integration between NFV Infrastructure/Virtual Infrastructure Manager (NFVI/VIM) with Open-Orchestration (Open-O) platform (now ONAP); instrumentation of NFVI network telemetry to support Service Assurance and other use cases; multi-domain template support (Domino project); and translation features between YANG and Tosca modeling languages (Parser project).         
  • Enhanced DevOps automation and testing methodologies bring a fully integrated CI/CD pipeline, the creation of Lab-as-a-Service (LaaS) to enable dynamic provisioning of lab resources, the introduction of stress testing into the OPNFV test suite, and a Common Dashboard that provides a consistent view of the testing ecosystem.
  • Focus on NFV performance including acceleration of the data plane via FD.io integration for all Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding (FastDataStacks project), and continued enhancements to OVS-DPDK and KVM. The release also sees a renewed focus on performance test project activities through virtual switch testing (VSPERF project), root cause analysis for platform performance issues (Bottlenecks projects), initial compute subsystem performance testing to lay the groundwork for Benchmarking As a Service (QTIP project), and storage subsystem performance testing (Storperf project).    
  • Key NFV architectural enhancements, including the ability to dynamically enable and configure network control through integration with OpenStack Gluon and increased reliability and test cases that support multi-site and High Availability (HA) work.
  • Feature enrichment and hardening in core NFVI/VIM functionality such as IPv6, Service Function Chaining (SFC), L2 and L3 Virtual Private Network (VPN), fault management and analysis, and a continued commitment to support multiple hardware architectures, as well as traditional hardware OEMs, whitebox, and open source hardware through collaboration with the Open Compute Project.

“We’re seeing the culmination of over two years’ of collaborative work from across the community really come together with the release of OPNFV Danube,” said Tapio Tallgren, lead software architect in Mobile Networks Architecture & Technology, Nokia, and chair of the OPNFV Technical Steering Committee (TSC). “Things like real foundational support for MANO, OPNFV’s sophisticated testing, and DevOps and CI/CD model propel the project into a more robust industry platform for advanced open source NFV.”

The next OPNFV release, labelled ‘Euphrates,’ will include even more vigorous features and capabilities.

https://www.opnfv.org

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Status Report for OPNFV - the Blue Danube Release



Heather Kirksey provides a status update on OPNFV as the project makes its fourth major release -- Danube.

See video: https://youtu.be/5pLlP6KBgDc


Thursday, March 30, 2017

OneAccess launches OVP Design Studio for NFV

OneAccess Networks of France announced the launch of OVP Design Studio, a software tool designed to enable communication service providers and managed service providers to accelerate the creation and delivery of NFV-based services.

The new OVP Design Studio provides a graphical software tool with a 'drag and drop' design environment within which operators can model, design, test and validate complete virtual network function (VNF)-based service chains.

Once a service had been tested and validated, OVP Design Studio allows the user to export it either as an XML template or a network service descriptor (NSD) for integration into any NetConf-capable orchestration system, enabling a significant time-saving compared to current service design and deployment methods.

OVP Design Studio is designed to be used in conjunction with OneAccess' Open Virtualization Platform (OVP), a hosting platform featuring integrated vRouter for OneAccess and third-party VNFs. The solution is designed to simplify the process of creating virtual network services by quickly instantiating and interconnecting VNFs, defining the service parameters and troubleshooting the resulting service chain.

OVP Design Studio is a key element of the OneAccess OVP portfolio, which targets applications in branch offices where users wish to create virtualised deployment of on-premise services.

In October 2016, OneAccess Networks launched its OVP Linux-based middleware platform that enables lifecycle management of both OneAccess VNFs and those from third-party vendors. The platform included a drag and drop GUI that combines the NetConf, SNMP and CLI APIs in a single VNF management interface. OVP can also be bundled with OneAccess' range of white-box CPEs and VNF catalogue.

OneAccess unveiled a range of carrier-grade physical and virtual network functions designed to enable service providers to deploy NFV (network functions virtualisation) in an open and interoperable environment earlier last year. The solution includes OVP, a carrier-grade VNF catalogue and whitebox CPE.



See also