A Multi-Vendor NFV Orchestration Demo at MWC

by Recep Ozdag, Director of Solutions Marketing for SDN and NFV, Cyan Inc.

Think about all of the things that are automated and simplified in your life that used to be manual. For instance, changing the TV channel. There was a time that you needed to open the newspaper or the TV guide to see what was on TV. You then got up and walked over to the TV, squatted down in front of it and started to manually dial through the channels one at a time to find your show. If the reception was bad, you might need to play with the antennae to get a better signal – in the room, maybe even on the roof. All of that just to change the channel?

Software, automation, and revolution in technology over time make those types of processes obsolete. Sure, at the time it made sense, it doesn’t any longer.

These are the types of innovations that SDN and NFV are bringing to wireless telecommunications infrastructure.

Today, service providers spend months trying to validate and fully deploy new mobile services across their footprint due to the proliferation of proprietary and purpose-built infrastructure within an evolved mobile packet core. This is further exacerbated by the manual processes required to configure them. There is little software automation or scale in the model.

These proprietary platforms also limit flexibility in rolling out new services and cause sever scalability caused by the usage of fixed-function hardware based appliances.

Network function virtualization (NFV) can provide the automation, flexibility, and agility carriers require to successfully compete in today’s evolving communications landscape. NFV implements network functions in software running on shared high performance servers instead of using dedicated proprietary hardware. Carriers can apply this concept to today’s Evolved Packet Core (EPC) infrastructure.

Software virtualization of these functions allows carriers to deploy a virtualized EPC (vEPC) solution not on massive and proprietary hardware throughout the network, but on scalable commercial off the shelf servers in a data center. This virtualized approach decouples the network hardware from the network functions and helps service providers deliver services in a manner similar to the use of cloud computing technologies within the network infrastructure as a more automated, flexible, simplified, streamlines and cost effective approach.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel, Cyan, RedHat, Dell and Connectem will demonstrate a deployment ready end-to-end LTE mobile network service orchestration solution that operationalizes a vEPC. The demo, which has been accepted as an ETSI PoC and has been sponsored by multiple operators, includes an LTE mobile device connected to a virtualized eNodeB wireless device, and SDN based packet-optical transport mobile backhaul network that connects the eNodeB to a cloud infrastructure based data center that runs on Linux/KVM and OpenStack powered by Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers providing the vEPC functionality.

Running carrier grade, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform with 6WIND’s Intel® DPDK optimized vSwitch and 6Wind Networking Stack that improves VM switching and packet processing performance 10 tenfold on Intel Xeon processor-based servers by Dell, the Intel Open Network Platform (ONP) provides a high performance and programmable NFV infrastructure that can scale to demanding mobile communication bandwidth. The demo utilizes a vEPC software solution from Connectem. Cyan provides carrier grade SDN and NFV management and orchestration using Blue Planet software to control and provision the eNodeB, the Cyan Z22 Packet Optical Transport network, the NIDs (network interface devices), the gateway switch inside data center and the RedHat OpenStack Platform as well as the Connectem vEPC software.

The demo will showcase a complete, end-to-end vEPC, vDNS and vTester setup, service chaining and teardown, illustrating both NFV capabilities within the data center as well as provisioning of these functions within a realistic carrier network using SDN. Come see us if you are in Barcelona!

Recep Ozdag is Director of Solutions Marketing for SDN and NFV at Cyan Inc. In this role, Recep is responsible for the company’s go-to-market strategy around Cyan’s SDN/NFV Orchestration software solutions. Before joining Cyan, Recep was in product marketing for the Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group (CSIG) at Intel. He lead Intel’s SDN switch and router marketing efforts as well as launched Intel’s SDN and NFV initiative; the Open Network Platform.