Delivering NFV Service Assurance with White-Box vCPE/uCPE Appliance

Background

The accelerating roll-outs of SDN and NFV architectures by service providers have raised the discussion that MPLS service will soon come to an end. Indeed, enterprises that have deployed SD-WAN and other NFV services have enjoyed the benefits of software-configurable bandwidth and traffic segmentation. However, when QoS and service assurance are taken into consideration, it seems software-defined network architecture and virtualized infrastructures have not reached its maturity form yet, unless some VNF performance monitoring measures are deployed.

Therefore, the role of NFV service assurance and application performance monitoring has been more significant than ever, with the introduction of NFV MANO (management and orchestration), the critical component for the success of VNF roll-outs. The initiatives behind NFV MANO are aimed at providing real-time analytics, visibility and monitoring to network management staff so that QoS can be monitored and assured. The next step of NFV service assurance would be the continuous efforts in integrating and harmonizing various open source software, OSS/BSS systems and white-box hardware.

Requirements

With the considerations of performance and application monitoring for SD-WAN, service providers shall adopt a white-box vCPE/uCPE appliance that can monitor and guarantee the performance in QoS and QoE over regional, national and global virtual enterprise networks. In other shorts, the required white-box appliance will meet the requirement of conducting following tasks:

Real-time Computing

In order to assure service and application quality, the required white-box platform shall be capable of real-time digital signal processing to offer continuous uptime performance. For example, server grade processors like Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7 or Xeon® E3 family should fulfill the requirements.

Network Virtualization

With network virtualization, service operators can decouple the logical network from the physical layer which offers them the agility and flexibility in network segmentation and traffic management whenever an issue arises. Therefore, the required white-box hardware shall be empowered with virtualization engines.

Scalable Design with Potential Expansion Capability in Throughputs

The ideal white-box vCPE/uCPE shall provide multiple Gigabit LAN ports for greater networking throughput in real-time applications. Meanwhile, the NIC module slots are necessary in the event of potential expansion of 1/10/25/40/100GbE copper/fiber connectivity in the future.

Full-Redundancy and High Availability

To ensure 24/7 uptime operation, the white-box server require 1+1 redundant power supplies to ensure full-redundancy and high-availability with constant supply of power.

Lanner’s Solution

To meet above challenging demands for NFV service assurance, Lanner has introduced its 1U networka appliance NCA-5210, featuring 14nm microprocessor, the new Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1200 v5 Series, DDR4 memory support and the I/O boosting, comprehensive Intel® C236 Series chipset, and flexible LAN configurations.

As footprints are increased, NCA-5210 offers the dedicated real-time computing performance. Based on its Intel® x86 open architecture and virtualization-assisted engines, NCA-5210 can be harmonized with open source software and VNF, and with the high-performance nautre, the white-box appliance is ideal for NFV management and orchestration to assure service quality and application visibility.

In order to minimize downtime possibility, NCA-5210 provides 1+1 redundant power supplies and 4 cooling fans to ensure full-redundancy and high-availability with constant supply of power.

Regarding bandwidth, NCA-5210 offers flexible LAN configurations. Depending on the SKUs, there are Ethernet connectivity options of 8 x RJ-45 GbE LAN + 2 x NIC module sockets and 12 x RJ-45 GbE LAN, 4 x SFP GbE Fiber + 2 NIC module sockets. If there is any potential expansion, NCA-5210 is expandable with the two Ethernet NIC module sockets at the front bezel. For remote management interface, NCA-5210 comes with an OPMA socket for IPMI card insertion.

Delivering NFV Service Assurance with White-Box vCPE/uCPE Appliance was last modified: July 15th, 2020 by Jorge Peregrina