Network Function Virtualization – NFV

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Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is an initiative to virtualize network functions – both data plane as well as control plane, basically any function that was previously carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware devices such as a switch, router, modem, etc., that typically was a dedicated hardware coupled with necessary software and management functions. It aims to transform traditional networks that was characterized by single box solutions from multiple vendors into the next generation network architecture by leveraging industry standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many virtual network functions onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage, which could be located anywhere based on the need, say in Datacenters, Network Nodes and in the end user premises.

ALTEN Calsoft Labs has been working on building a “software centric, vendor agnostic open source” based solutions since 2012, even before the term NFV was officially coined. As pioneers in the Network Function Virtualization space, we have the distinction of providing services to some of the industry’s first NFV Proof of Concepts (PoC) and commercial deployments in L4-L7 Switching, Load Balancing, WAN Optimization, Security Gateways, Virtual Private Network (VPN) Gateways, Virtual CPE (vCPE), Virtual WLAN Controller and Virtual Broadband Remote Access Server (vB-RAS) solutions.

A member of ETSI NFV ISG, ALTEN Calsoft Labs has a team of experts in virtualization techniques, VNF (Vitual Network Function) architecture, Intel® DPDK based VNF performance optimization, VNF development, testing, packaging and deployment in Enterprise and Service Provider environments.

Benefits of Virtualization:

  • Rapid services creation and roll-out
  • Reduced operational complexity eliminating truck roles to end user premises and common operating procedures (standardized)
  • Operational efficiencies achieved through automation, centralization of monitoring functions
  • Power savings due to optimization of hardware resources
  • Standard and open interfaces between network functions and their management entities enabling vendor independence
  • Hardware agnostic enabling freedom from supplier lock-ins
  • Pooling of compute, network and storage resources such that a service provider may deliver services such as cloud computing as well as network services to consumers or enterprise business users
  • Service Providers can run Virtual Network Function (VNF) instances inside an NFV Infrastructure – in order to meet service performance objectives like latency, reliability, high availability, etc.
  • NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) enables Service Provider an additional commercial service offer in addition to existing catalog of network services as well as serve global customers

It is no surprise that as the world of virtualization is making rapid progress, still some open issues exist:

  • Existence of VNF along with traditional non-NFV i.e. physical network elements
  • VNFs from multiple providers must co-exist in a common NFVI
  • Support measurement of SLA related parameters and failure notification and diagnostics in a commercial NFV Infrastructure as a service (NFVIaaS) between service providers

Virtualization Targets:

A number of network functions traditionally are deployed using a dedicated hardware infrastructure in today’s enterprise and service provider networks.

  • Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)
  • Access Router or Edge Router
  • Firewall, IDS/IPS & other security appliances
  • WAN Optimization Controller
  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
  • Network Performance Monitoring


SERVICES

  • Product Engineering Services

  • NFV Frameworks

ALTEN Calsoft Labs offers product engineering and systems integration services to network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and network operators to help them build, deploy, manage and orchestrate Virtual Network Functions (NFV Orchestration).

  • VNF Development:
    • Architect, design and develop VNFs
    • Intel DPDK based VNF optimization
    • Support for different virtualization architectures (LXC/Para/Full Virtualization)
    • Support for different virtual environments (VMware/KVM/Xen)
  • VNF Management & NFV Orchestration:
    • Design and development of FCAPS and VNF lifecycle management framework
    • Develop VNF packages for service deployment and service lifecycle management
    • Implement Network Services lifecycle management features
    • Integrate and validate with third-party NFV orchestrators or legacy NMS/OSS
  • Benchmarking and Performance Tuning:
    • Benchmarking VNF performance in Enterprise/Telco cloud environments
    • Performance improvements with Intel® DPDK based optimization
    • Fast path optimization using offloading techniques
  • VNF Porting and Testing:
    • Porting from custom silicon to COTS x86 platform
    • Migration of VNFs to a different Hypervisor/OS environment
    • VNF testing using industry leading test tools/equipment
  • VNF Deployment:
    • Prepare VNF deployment blueprint
    • VNF staging and integration (with NMS/NFVO/OSS/SDN controller)
    • Test Service and VNF lifecycle management features
    • Support Field Trials
  • Operations Support:
    • Service Roll-out Management
    • Provisioning & Configuration Management
    • Service Monitoring
    • L2/L3 Technical Support
    • NFV Infrastructure Management
    • Fine tune VNF-FG and Service Lifecycle Management Policies
  • Service Assurance:
    • Debug and fix functional, performance and interoperability issues
    • Patch Management
    • Support on boarding of new Network Services
    • Conduct Lab / Field Trials for new Network Services
    • Support migration to a new NFVI-PoP in the operator’s network
    • Monitor and update Service and VNF lifecycle management policies

ALTEN Calsoft Labs offers robust open-standards based high performance VNF and NFV Orchestration frameworks to help NEMs to accelerate development and deployment of NFV solutions.

SOLUTIONS

Cloud VPN Gateway

ALTEN Calsoft Labs’ Cloud VPN Gateway integrates virtualized environments and simplifies complex VPN deployments. We connect your infrastructure to the cloud.

Virtual WLAN Controller

Our Virtual WLAN Controller is a highly scalable and standardized solution for Enterprise Wi-Fi access points and Carrier Wi-Fi hotspots management. We ensure optimized network performance and centralized control of wireless deployments.

Virtual CPE

ALTEN Calsoft Labs’ Virtual CPE solution enable service providers to provide their enterprise customers cloud based customer premises equipment (CPE) that streamlines a myriad of network functions like routing, security, VPN, NAT and even WAN Optimization.

NFVOps

Our NFVOps framework integrates NFV Management and Orchestration in Software Defined Networks. Our solution concentrates on operationalizing end-to-end environments that supports dynamic services.

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