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NFV PoCs Offer Examples and Insights as They Move Into Trials and Deployments


Guest Author: Vinay Saxena, HP Fellow, Network Functions Virtualization


As a growing number of NFV proof of concepts (PoCs) successfully conclude, and the focus begins to turn towards trials and full deployments, evidence mounts that the powerful, flexible next-generation architecture is ready for the real world. These PoCs illustrate how NFV enables service providers, data center operators and enterprises to address a wide range of critical operational and business challenges.


HP currently has 20 design-phase PoCs in the US and 28 active PoCs worldwide, and expects many deployments in multiple areas in the next 8 to 12 months. While PoCs can be found in all key areas, the majority of use cases are focused on NFV infrastructure and Virtualization Technologies (26 PoCs) and Mobile Core-IMS/EPC (17 PoCs).


Important Examples

Although there isn't enough space to provide a complete summary of every significant NFV PoC, here's a look at three particularly important use cases:

  • Nokia Telco Cloud. A joint telco-cloud solution, compliant with ETSI NFV principles, this PoC is designed to provide operators an open source-based cloud that meets their reliability and availability requirements. The PoC, which aims to accelerate the transition to an NFV deployment, is based on Helion Carrier Grade on NFV Systems, Nokia MME on Helion Carrier Grade with RT Linux, and the DPDK Enabled vSwitch with full affinity/auto-affinity deployment models.
  • ETSI PoC #34: SDN-Enabled Virtual EPC Gateway. This PoC is designed to demonstrate how an SDN-enabled virtual EPC gateway can split the control and user plane of the Serving and Packet Gateway elements, allowing them to scale EPC components independently and enable a range of deployment options. This use case is particularly significant since it involves working with multiple partners. Service level orchestration is provided by NFV-D, Helion OpenStack as the Virtual Infrastructure Management (VIM) layer, and SiteScope offers agentless monitoring and NNMi supplies Fault Management
  • Virtual Content Delivery Network (vCDN) with Orange Communications. This PoC shows validation of the Akamai CDN solution on an NFV architecture using KVM extended into the OpenStack environment. The specific use cases are Automation, Scale In and Out and Release Upgrade Automation. Service level orchestration is accomplished using NFV-D, and Helion OpenStack as the VIM layer. SiteScope supplies agentless monitoring and NNMi provides Fault Management.

 Key Insights


The various PoCs to date have provided several key insights and revealed many important operational issues. HP has learned, for instance, that VNF Manager and VIM integration is still vendor specific.  It is also apparent that the NFV tool chain is still maturing and VM applications continue to require post-installation configuration, a process that is hard to automate. Meanwhile, progress must still be made on licensing support for VNFs.


It's also important to note that not all VNFs are validated on OpenStack. There are no clear boundaries between VNFs and network services. Interaction between SDN/NFV controllers remains a work in progress. And perhaps one of the most important lessons learned to date is the fact that even simple things take time.


HP: Your Partner for PoCs


As carriers continue exploring NFV PoCs, live trials and deployments, HP is helping advance NFV by supporting the major features customers want. HP has offerings in every layer and provides a set of modular functions according to the ETSI reference architecture. This allows HP to execute any kind of PoC a customer may need.





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