4 Aspects OpenStack need to Address to Support NFV

What is OpenStack? Any idea? Well, let’s dive in!

Well, it is defined as an open source platform that utilizes pooled virtual resources to develop and manage private and public clouds. Core cloud computing services like computing, storage, identity, networking, and image services are handled by the tools that include the OpenStack platform, also called the projects. And, in order to create unique and deployable clouds, almost more than double dozen optional projects can be bundled together.

When we talk about virtualization, resources like CPU, storage, and RAM are drawn off from several vendor-oriented programs and split by hypervisor before being further distributed according to the requirement. And this is where OpenStack utilizes a compatible set of APIs to tap those virtual resources a step further into separate pools that are used to fuel cloud computing tools that can bridge the communication gap between the administrators and users.

The OpenStack NFV Background

Did you know whendidOpenStack NFV actually started? In 2010, Rackspace and NASA launched OpenStack, an open source computing platform. And right since 2010, the OpenStack has gained epic impetus, and OpenStack’s 200 member companies justify the fact.

At first, OpenStack was not framed and designed keeping the carrier requirements in consideration. But after 2 years in 2012, a set of key telecommunication service providers agreed to the notion of incorporating virtualization and cloud principles into their telecommunications realm.  As a result, the term network functions virtualization came into existence. Service providers approached vendors to develop virtualized network functions (VNFs) and NFV platform to help them turn defter in delivering various services, and to further cut down the equipment and operational cost.

Hence, to spot the identified gaps in OpenStack and other relevant open source projects, industry giants established ‘Open Platform for NFV as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project in 2014. The motive was clear enough i.e. to create a carrier grade, open source reference platform for NFV.

Following are the 4 major areas that OpenStack NFV needs to find out immediate solutions for:

The Distribution Aspect

In the Information and Technology arena, organizations need to integrate their respective datacenters to cut back on their costs. But this does not always goes well with the NFV because there are various NFV applications that require real-time response together with low latency. Also, the NFV applications need to be readily available and must survive from natural calamities and disasters. Therefore, service providers require the flexibility to deploy network functions in a distributed infrastructure- at the core of the network, metro area, access and perhaps in customer’s vicinity as well.

However, the bottom line is that the service providers call for a platform that will handle efficaciously the distributed NFV infrastructure efficaciously, significant for the low signal latencies and disaster flexibility.

The Networking Part

Virtualized Network Functions come with varied demands and requirements. And as they are spread throughout the NFV infrastructure, the minimum requirement for NFV network involves the importance of connectivity, both within the data centers and across WANs. Security reveals that different network functions shouldonly be connected to each other if they want to exchange data, but the NFV control, data, and management traffic should be discrete.

The Significance of Automated Lifecycle Management

What do you think is the biggest advantage of NFV as a software solution? Well, it is its capability of automating operational processes. And this includes the entire application lifecycle, right from its implementation to its monitoring, scaling, healing and upgrading. Studies have showcased that this automation will allow service providers to curtail their operational expenses by almost more than 50% in some scenarios.

Hence, the bottom line is that service providers immediately need a platform that will not only automate the deployment and scaling but also various other lifecycle operations of intricate carrier applications with different component functions.

The NFV Infrastructure Operations

The distribution of NFV infrastructures across several locations in a service provider’s network will certainly come with different challenges and will straight away influence the operational processes and support systems. The distributed infrastructure of NFV clearly shows that a cloud nodeat a different locationis added, upgraded, or even removed more often as compared to the centralized cloud.

OpenStack is still under heavy development in several aspects and as it saturates, OpenStack will become more stable and effective in functionality. It will come with the capability of meeting the desired NFV requirements in specific areas. However, all OpenStack NFV requirements are not possible to achieve.

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