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HP, ZTE prove-in #NFV at China Unicom


The first of two phases of one of the ETSI NFV Proof of Concepts was recently concluded at China Unicom’s facility in Beijing which proved in several foundational concepts for Network Functions Virtualization and the VoLTE service capability established on the PNF and VNF mixed network. HP and ZTE collaborated on the proof of concept which involved the lifecycle management of a VoLTE service using vEPC and vIMS.  The main goal of the PoC was to validate the ETSI NFV architecture and environment, which emphasized a multi-vendor approach. The PoC validated the ETSI NFV architecture framework by using an environment comprised of:

  • HP BL460 Gen9 Blade Servers with advanced virtualization features, 4*10G Intel 82599 NICs
  • NFV Orchestrator (NFV Director) provided by HP
  • VNFs (vEPC and vIMS) and their related VNF Managers and EMSs provided by ZTE
  • Virtual Infrastructure Managers provided by ZTE and HP
  • Virtualized resources abstraction based on the Hypervisor software from ZTE and HP


The PoC provided demonstration of the lifecycle management of the VNFs in a multi-vendor environment.  Performance testing was also key in the project as accelerators (DPDK, SRIOV) were validated, along with scale-in, scale-out capabilities.


The figure shows the overall architecture of the PoC, which was built primarily upon the NFV reference architecture framework. The NFVI ecosystem comprised multiple vendors with a single orchestrator to provision, deploy and manage thevEPC and vIMS deployedon COTS hardware infrastructures from HP and others.


 ZTE blog figure 0.PNG


From an NFV Management and Orchestration perspective, the following figure illustrates the multivendor environment used in the PoC for VoLTE service lifecycle management.


 ZTE blog figure 1.png


This PoC shows a clear progression in the life of NFV from concept to validation of the technology. CSPs are embracing this technology and vendors are proving they can interoperate in an open architecture, while providing solutions at scale. As CSPs worldwide look to roll out the VoLTE service, NFV now becomes a viable approach. NFV technology has now proven-in an important use case (vEPC, vIMS) that can support not only VoLTE, but many mobility services having important implications globally.


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