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HPE NFV System v1.4 – A significant leap in pre-integrated NFVI platform architecture



Author: Karthik Subramanian, Global Product Line Manager - NFV Converged Infrastructure, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


HPE Umbrella NFV Portfolio Release - MWC_Social_Card_600x300_V01.jpgAs evidenced from the recently concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017), the focus on Telco transformation into the cloud through Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) continues to dominate the business decisions for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). The question is not “What is NFV and what are its benefits”, but “When can I be NFV/SDN-ready? “and “How soon can I can deploy NFV in the most efficient way with minimal disruption to my existing operations?”.

Keeping in mind these key questions from our customers around choice, agility, and ease of cloud migration, it is with great excitement, that Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently announced our latest and most significant product release yet - HPE NFV System v1.4. This is the latest iteration of our pre-integrated hardware-software products based on ETSI NFV specifications. HPE NFV System v1.4, introduces new features which address customer pain points around a lack of flexibility, faster scalability, and cost while continuing to deliver on the benefits of a pre-integrated and validated solution – namely around time to value and total cost of ownership (TCO) .


Multi VIM:

One of the critical decisions CSPs have to make is to choose the right Virtualization Infrastructure Managements (VIM) for their cloud infrastructure and applications. CSPs are increasingly looking for higher flexibility around VIM choices and their supported features around openness, carrier-grade capabilities, compute scale expandability, SDN support, etc.

In HPE’s efforts to make the NFV platform more open and VIM agnostic, this release supports not one, but two OpenStack-based VIM solutions: HPE Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade and Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RH OSP). 

HPE Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade is based on the HPE partnership with Wind River and offers a carrier-grade performance VIM with sub-second fault detection and high reliability. The HPE NFV System v1.4 release offers HPE Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade 4.0, which is based on the Mitaka release of OpenStack and based on Wind River Titanium Server 3.0. Some of the new HCG 4.0 features in this release are listed below:

  • Support for large scale deployments up to 500 compute nodes: a 10 fold increase in compute scale compared to the previous release.
  • Region Concept:2 controllers per 100 computes
  • Better network performance: DPDK up-versioned to DPDK 2.2
  • Improved manageability
  • Ceph storage support

With HPE’s recently announced NFV partnership with Red Hat, the Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RH OSP) 10 is now available as a pre-integrated VIM choice on the HPE NFV System. Red Hat is an open source leader, using an ‘upstream first’ approach to the development of its products, including Red Hat OpenStack Platform. HPE NFV System v1.4 will start shipping with RH OSP 10. RH OSP 10 is based on the Newton release of OpenStack.  Key features of RH OSP 10 are listed below::

  • Support for up to 300 compute nodes
  • Improved carrier grade performance with OVS-DPDK
  • Control plane redundancy
  • Support for HPE VSA, HPE 3PAR based for block storage solutions
  • OpenDaylight based SDN solution support – HPE OpenSDN


Ceph Storage support

While open source storage Ceph has been available in the enterprise world for a while, it is now starting to gain traction as a viable storage choice in the NFV space. Ceph provides support for file, block, and object storage types. Multitudes of virtual network functions (VNFs) and applications are demanding object storage and Ceph is the preferred Open source choice which provides the required capability at acceptable performance.

In this release HPE is supporting 2 flavors of Ceph, HPE Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade Ceph and HPE Red Hat Ceph. Ceph provides the necessary block storage for OpenStack Cinder required by virtual machines for permanent storage, as well as ephemeral storage for OpenStack’s Nova and Glance images. 


SDN support

As CSPs are looking to scale out across multiple datacenters and multiple geographies, the need for ubiquitous SDN functionality becomes crucial to abstract the application virtual machines (VMs) from the underlying infrastructure and achieve carrier-grade fault tolerance and disaster recoveries across the network.

HPE NFV System v1.4 now comes with pre-integrated OpenDaylight-based SDN controller with support for multi-site overlay networks. The HPE OpenSDN controller is used to provide Network Virtualization for multi-cloud stacks and is currently supported with Red Hat OpenStack. Some key features include:

  • OpenStack Networks extended across multiple sites facilitates VM/VNF’s to be agnostic to network locations
  • Significant improvements to OpenStack network performance and L2/L3 throughput with OpenDaylight-controlled OVS-DPDK
  • VxLAN tunnels for multi-site connectivity with reduced latency
  • Enhanced OpenStack Neutron network visibility and manageability with network taps and counters


Extensible Control Plane Architecture

HPE NFV System v1.4 control plane is designed to be modular with separate NFV Platform Operation Suite (NPOS) servers, separate VIM servers and separate centralized logging servers. The customers now have the choice to start with a lower hardware footprint and expand the control plane as the compute, control, and logging requirement increases with minimal service disruption.

  • HPE NFV System v1.4 Starter Kits with Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade 4.0 can now expand up to 10 control nodes within the same rack to provide support for 500 compute nodes
  • HPE NFV System v1.4 Starter Kits with Red Hat can come with 4 control nodes within the same rack to provide support for 300 compute nodes
  • Optional servers serving as centralized repository for large volumes of Physical Infrastructure Manager (PIM) and VIM logs which tend to grow with compute scale


Enhanced Platform Configuration Flexibility

Telco customers are increasingly challenged to find the optimal balance between performance and price when choosing the right infrastructure platform components. While aiming to make it easier for our customers, HPE NFV System v1.4 Kits are architected to be nimble and modular while keeping in mind the future design decisions around networking, rack connectivity, scalability and minimal service disruption. HPE NFV System v1.4 offers increased hardware component choices and services that can aid the CSPs to pick and deploy the right mix for their configurations.

  • CPU choices with differing core counts based on workloads for rackmount compute nodes
  • Choice in the number of control nodes depending on scale requirements
  • Choice of storage and memory capacities for compute, control and storage nodes
  • Granular selection of quantities for compute nodes
  • Field upgradable services to scale up and scale out control, compute and storage configurations


NFV Platform Operations Suite (NPOS)

Every HPE NFV System v1.4 comes purpose-built software package (NPOS) designed to enhance operations and management of the HPE NFV System. NPOS is VIM independent and is delivered as part of the HPE NFV System v1.4 software stack along with VIM software and the PIM software. NPOS provides some key capabilities including:

  • Intelligent Resource Management: An automated way to manage resources within the HPE NFV System to reduce VM sprawl and power utilization off unused and under-utilized nodes beyond a user-defined threshold
  • Configuration Automation: Automated installation and configuration for the entire HPE NFV System and top of rack switches with relevant software packages including VIM Software (HPE Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade or Red Hat OpenStack Platform), PIM software (OneView, CMC), storage software (VSA, Ceph)
  • Lifecycle Management: Lifecycle operations and management (O&M) such as install, configure, backup/restore, upgrade, downgrade, and uninstall for all Control Plane elements
  • NFV System Dashboard: Robust graphic user interface (GUI) to provide HPE NFV System operational information with single sign-on capabilities to extend seamless management capabilities


HPE NFV System v1.4 truly aims to aid CSPs in their vital decisions around VIM, storage, and hardware components by providing a highly modular and significantly open platform with high performance and availability, thus accelerating the NFV journey of our Telco customers.


For further information on HPE NFV System v1.4 please refer to the HPE NFV System webpage:


hpe.com_csp_nfv.png CSPResources.jpg NFVResources.png @hpe_csp.jpg @hpe_nfv.png


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