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What is Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)?

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A presentation about what is the concept and the idea behind Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). Includes introduction to NFV and VNF (Virtualised Network Function) architecture, components and interfaces.

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What is Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)?

  1. 1. WHAT IS NETWORK FUNCTION VIRTUALISATION (NFV)? V1.1 22.3.2016 Karri Huhtanen
  2. 2. Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) In computer science, network function virtualisation (NFV) is a network architecture concept which uses the technologies of IT virtualisation. It is used to virtualise entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect, or chain together, to create communication services. -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_function_virtualization
  3. 3. Virtualised Network Function (VNF) NFV relies upon, but differs from, traditional server-virtualisation techniques, such as those used in enterprise IT. A virtualised network function, or VNF, may consist of one or more virtual machines running different software and processes. They are run on top of standard high-volume servers, switches and storage, or even cloud computing infrastructure, instead of having custom hardware appliances for each network function. -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_function_virtualization
  4. 4. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Traditional Model Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS
  5. 5. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Centralised Services Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS
  6. 6. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Geographically distributed Point-of-Presences (PoPs) Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS
  7. 7. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Geographically distributed dedicated hardware devices Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS
  8. 8. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Static model Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS ● Each device and server has its own fixed function and capacity. ● Adding more functions or capacity requires more devices, which is very slow.
  9. 9. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services If something breaks or overloads... Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS ● Adding replacements or capacity is hard and slow. ● Devices and servers can only fill their fixed function or role. ● Changes can only be reactive and done manually. DDOS attack Electricity brown- / blackout DHCP server overload SMS/MMS Server overload New Game of Thrones Season Free-For-All Firewall software upgrade failed
  10. 10. Traditional ways to cope with problems ● Allocating spare capacity, i.e. more capacity than is needed ● Adding redundancy, spare hardware units, i.e. more hardware than is needed ● Segmenting service areas and cells smaller => potential problems affect less customers ● Creating manual controls, e.g. firewall filters when DDoS is active ● Change control, proactive planning
  11. 11. The brave new world of Network Function Virtualisation NFV
  12. 12. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Instead of this … Internet router router router router firewall firewall firewall server server server server server server Broadband Customers access gateway router router router router router firewall firewall DHCP DNS
  13. 13. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services NFV offers something like this… Internet Broadband Customers firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache
  14. 14. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Virtualised Network Functions / devices Internet Broadband Customers ● Virtualised network functions run on virtual hosts on top of the virtualisation infrastructure in data centers or PoPs ● Virtual infrastructure can extend across PoPs firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall router firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache firewall firewall router router spare
  15. 15. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Functions/services/capacity shared across regions or customer groups Internet Broadband Customers firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache
  16. 16. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Extra capacity available freely Internet Broadband Customers ● Any spare capacity can be allocated for any VNF ● Roles and functions are dynamic, not fixed ● Actual hardware capacity can be utilised more efficiently across regions and customers firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache
  17. 17. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Capacity is general- purpose capacity Internet Broadband Customers firewall firewall router router cache cache firewall firewall router router firewall firewall ac. gw ac. gw router router cache dns cachecachecachecache router ac. gw sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewallmmsspare router sms firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall firewall router router server cache serverservercache ● Capacity can be allocated automatically ● Roles and functions can be changed according current needs or detected anomalies ● Reconfiguration/scaling can be done automatically Broadband Customer and Mobile Network PoPs prepare for prime time in streaming by repurposing capacity to streaming caches and regional routing and access capacity. Enterprise customer fights DDoS with additional firewall capacity Operator prepares for peak in SMS/MMS messages Content Service Provider adds more capacity and caching for prime time Prime time traffic requires more firewall capacity
  18. 18. But wait, there’s even more…
  19. 19. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services This is called Network Function Virtualisation Infrastructure (NFVI)… Internet Broadband Customers firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache
  20. 20. Broadband Customers Mobile Network Customers Enterprise Customer Operator Core Network Content Provider Services Operator Services Each of the small boxes can be a Virtualised Network Function (VNF) … Internet Broadband Customers firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare spare capacity ac. gw ac. gw router router dhcp dns cachecache spare capacity sms mms router router dhcp dns firewallfirewall firewall firewall router router spare firewall firewall router router spare serverservercache
  21. 21. Each of the VNFs can consist of multiple components (VNFC) … FIREWALL VNF Load balancer Load balancer Packet Filter Packet Filter Packet Filter Packet Filter Stateful Firewall Stateful Firewall Stateful Firewall Stateful Firewall Policy and Rule Database Policy and Rule Database VNFC VNFC VNFCVNFC autoscaling ● Each Virtualised Network Function Component (VNFC) may consist of several virtual hosts, which automatically scale up and down when needed. ● VNFs and VNFCs can both provide e.g. REST or netconf interfaces for management, monitoring and integration purposes.
  22. 22. Idea is that VNFCs and VNFs can be re-used… ENTERPRISE SITE VNF FIREWALL VNF AUTHENTICATION AUTHORISATION ACCOUNTING VNF ROUTER VNF VPN VNF STORAGE VNFCLOUD BACKUP VNF ● … as building blocks of new VNFs and services. ● They are supposed to have web services like REST APIs => web developers are supposed to be able to build operator customer self- service portals ● Standardised interfaces should mean better vendor interoperability => avoiding vendor lock- ins
  23. 23. ETSI NFV Architecture and Interfaces
  24. 24. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi According to ETSI GS NFV-SWA 001 V1.1.1 (2014-12): Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); Virtual Network Functions Architecture
  25. 25. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi Operations Support System (OSS), Billing Support System (BSS) Element Management (EM) MANO VNFM VIM
  26. 26. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi Main NFV reference points
  27. 27. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi Execution reference points
  28. 28. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi Other reference points
  29. 29. NFVI OSS/BSS EM1 EM2 VNF3VNF1 VNF2 EM3 Virtual Computing Virtual Storage Virtual Network Computing Hardware Storage Hardware Network Hardware VirtualisationLayer Vn-Nf VI-Ha NFV Management and Orchestration NFV Orchestrator VNF Manager (s) Virtualised Infrastructure Manager(s) VNF Manager (s)VNF Manager (s) Os-Ma Ve-Vnfm Nf-Vi Or-Vnfm Vi-Vnfm Service, VNF and Infrastructure Description Or-Vi OpenStack HEAT Overture OpenMano Nokia Ericsson HP ... Overture, vendor own VNFMsOpenStack VMWare WindRiver Canonical Red Hat Ubuntu Suse HP ... Nokia Ericsson Juniper Cisco HP Radiator ... Implementations
  30. 30. VNF architecture Virtualised Network Function (VNF) Virtualised Network Function Infrastructure (VNFI) Element Management (EM) Virtualised Network Function Manager (VNFM) Virtualised Network Function Component (VNFC) Virtualised Network Function Component (VNFC) Vn-Nf SWA-5 Vn-Nf SWA-5 SWA-4 SWA-3 Ve-Vnfm-vnf SWA-1 SWA-2 According to ETSI GS NFV-SWA 001 V1.1.1 (2014-12): Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); Virtual Network Functions Architecture
  31. 31. VNF definition by ETSI “A Virtualised Network Function (VNF) is a Network Function capable of running on an NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and being orchestrated by a NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) and VNF Manager. It has well-defined interfaces to other NFs via SWA1, the VNF Manager, its EM, and the NFVI and a well-defined functional behaviour.” ETSI GS NFV-SWA 001 V1.1.1 (2014-12): Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); Virtual Network Functions Architecture
  32. 32. Summary ● The objective in NFV is to build an automated standard-based cloud infrastructure for creating communication services. ● ETSI is leading the NFV standardisation. ● Operators are also doing partial reference implementations such as Telefonica’s OpenMano for management and orchestration. ● Many vendors and operators are participating into OPNFV work, which aims to build a full reference stack for operator NFV. ● Current favourite for Virtualised Network Function Infrastructure (VNFI) is OpenStack, which provides also basic management and orchestration (MANO) components such as Heat. ● Some parts and objectives of the NFV concept may feel utopian, but work is constantly being done to fill the gaps. ● NFV infrastructure and VNFs are already being deployed for customers even if those components do not yet have all the features NFV concept promises.

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