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OSS and Service Orchestration in the Times of NFV



Author: Dossevi Trenou, Chief Technologist - OSS, Communications Solutions Business/Communications and Media Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise



Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) brings significant assets to bear in the OSS, Service Orchestration, and NFV MANO space, based on bold innovation and years of experience helping communications and Internet service providers manage services, networks, and applications to deliver value to their customers.

The promise of NFV is one of service agility and scalability in the face of continuously evolving market, business, network needs and competitive challenges. Keeping this promise requires both a new architectural framework and a commitment to openness in the integration of heterogeneous building blocks and components from competitors, partners, and other third parties.

This first posting serves as a foundation for a series of discussions I intend to initiate on the subject. Today, we are exploring the proposed framework, and the key HPE and partner assets serving as its reference. In subsequent postings, we will review the ways in which this framework can be used as a tool for the agile integration of open source and third party components dictated by our CSP customer preferences.


HPE’s Approach to NFV

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a core structural change in the way telecommunication infrastructure gets deployed. This in turn brings significant changes in the way applications are delivered to service providers. NFV brings cost efficiencies, time-to-market improvements and innovation to the telecommunication industry infrastructure and applications. NFV achieves this through disaggregation of the traditional roles and technology involved in telecommunications applications.

This disaggregation can only be enabled by changing the industry’s traditional approach to applications delivery from a closed, proprietary, and tightly integrated stack model into an open, layered model, where applications are hosted on a shared, common infrastructure base.

The recognition for this need for change forms the basis of HPE’s Value Proposition for NFV as depicted in Figure 1.

OSS Blog 1.pngFigure 1. The HPE value proposition for the communications industry


The above approach extends in particular to the management of end to end resource and customer facing services deployed to leverage the combined mix of virtual and physical network functions that enable CSPs to deliver the new capabilities offered by a hybrid network.

The HPE NFV OSS and Service Orchestration framework depicted hereunder, relies on a redefinition of two components of the End to End OSS management layer, i.e. Service Management, and Domain Resource Management, to bridge the divide between the traditional silos of Telecom, Datacenter, and IT Network management on the one hand, and NFV Management and Orchestration as currently defined by standard bodies such as ETSI, on the other. Key to this redefinition are two additional pillars of the framework, i.e. Continuous Integration – Continuous Deployment (CI-CD) and Pervasive Analytics and Security, which both cut across the various components of the Domain OSS and End to End OSS layers.

OSS Blog 2.png Figure 2. HPE NFV OSS and Service Orchestration framework


This framework is modular and enables, if need be, to substitute partner and third party components to HPE-recommended building blocks, software products and solutions, as long as such components provide open industry standard interfaces for interoperability as illustrated hereunder for each of the following NFV layers:

  • OSS/BSS, CI-CD and Analytics
  • Applications and VNFs
  • Resource management and orchestration
  • Hypervisors, Containers, and Network Controllers
  • Server, Storage and Networking IT Infrastructure.

The list of third parties relevant to this approach extends beyond any of those already belonging to HPE’s ecosystem of partners described in the picture hereunder, to any other third party designated by our CSP customers, as essential to their own supplier ecosystems.



 Figure 3. HPE OpenNFV Partner Ecosystem


In its suggested deployment model, HPE relies on trusted partnerships with leaders in each relevant NFV market segment i.e. OEMs, ISVs, NEPs, Hardware and Service Vendors, and Communications Service Providers to offer our Telco and Enterprise customers, a solution that relies on a rich NFV partnership ecosystem as depicted above.


Key HPE Assets

Service Orchestration and End to End Service Management

End to end Service Management involves business processes that go beyond the mere delivery of Network Services as defined by ETSI. Based on closed loop automation of Service Fulfillment actions triggered by Service Assurance events, this management layer is addressed by a new Service Orchestrator from HPE, called HPE Service Director described in Figure 4.

One of HPE Service Director’s key differentiators, is its intent-based Dynamic Service Descriptors functionality, which is based on the ability to automatically generate service orchestration workflows determined by the delta at any given point in time, between the current state of a network resource and a desired state defined by configuration, rule and policy.

OSS-Blog 4.png

 Figure 4. HPE Service Director Architecture


NFV Orchestration (NFVO)

HPE NFV Director, the primary HPE offering in terms of NFV Orchestration and generic VNF Management, has 4 major components:

  • Model-based coordination and control: Coordinates actions to fulfill VNF lifecycle requests, maintains models of CFS and RFS, and maintains inventory information.
  • Agent-less monitoring: Monitors data on configured performance indicators, generates alters based on configured threshold crossings, and automatically configures as changes are made to VNFs.
  • Dynamic topology-based correlation: Collects events from physical infrastructure and correlates into virtual infrastructure end-to-end service view, and topology database automatically configured as changes are made.
  • Rules-based autonomous actions: Determines actions based on information and stimuli from VNF and external systems, can act internally (HPE NFV Director takes action) or externally (act on external systems), and open/closed loop processing between Assurance and Fulfillment.


OSS Blog 5.png


Software Defined Networking

The HPE Software Defined Networking (SDN) offerings include the HPE Distributed Cloud Networking (DCN) and HPE OpenSDN solutions.

HPE DCN is a complete and comprehensive networking solution that provides the framework to unify private, public, and hybrid clouds by virtualizing existing data center environments and allowing network resources to be easily provisioned and managed. It also interfaces seamless with various cloud management platforms such as OpenStack, CloudStack, HPE Helion OpenStack and VMware vSphere. Leveraging programmability of business logic and policy engine, the platform allows an open and agile solution that scales to solve the stringent needs of multi-tenant datacenters. Figure 6 depicts the policy driven WAN connectivity and traffic management with HPE DCN.


OSS Blog 6.png

 Figure 6. Policy-Driven WAN connectivity and traffic management – Federated inter-data center services with HPE DCN


HPE OpenSDN is HPE’s approach to SDN for CSPs. Our OpenSDN solutions are designed to complement our industry leading NFV solutions to ensure network agility at par with compute/storage agility. The HPE OpenSDN portfolio consist of an OpenDaylight-based carrier-grade SDN Controller. We add value to the base controller with a rich set of application packs that form the basis of our pre-tested solutions for most commonly used use cases. ODL-compliance and dynamic service chaining with the HPE OpenSDN portfolio.

OSS Blog 7.png

Figure 7. HPE OpenSDN Portfolio


The Imperative of Openness

As stated in our preamble, despite the character of innovation and the quality of the reference HPE solutions described here, the ultimate choice in terms of end to end service management components will be determined by our CSP customer. One particular trend in that regard, is the increasing consideration some of the major players in the industry, are giving to open source options and vendor neutral orchestration approaches such as OS-MANO, Open-O, Open CORD, and CUPS. Our next discussion will focus on the ways in which HPE is proposing to leverage the benefits of this Open NFV OSS framework to enable the integration of such tools and concepts as well as contributions from third parties.



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


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