Ensuring SDN and NFV Performance for a Future-Proof Network

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Gigaom Research reports that software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) represent two of the more dramatic oncoming technology shifts in networking. Both will significantly alter network designs, deployments, operations and future networking and computing systems. Key drivers include improved network service levels and lower operating and capital costs.

That’s good news for the telecom industry, whose overall assessment is that the migration to SDN and NFV will breathe new life into traditional network configurations vis-à-vis greater agility and flexibility. As network speeds increase, performance will be an issue.
Network appliances provide the real-time insight needed to continuously monitor, collect and analyze traffic for management and security purposes. Appliances can be virtualized, but the same constraints that affect the performance of physical appliances will also affect virtual ones.

Those hoping to span the gap between the networks they now have and those on the horizon can use virtualization-aware appliances, which provide real-time insight using analysis acceleration. This enables event-driven automation of policy decisions and real-time reaction to those events, thereby allowing the full agility and flexibility of SDN and NFV to unfold.

SDN and NFV: Re-Examining the Standards

For most telecom carriers, managing SDN and NFV is difficult in light of the considerable investments they have made in Operations Support Systems (OSS)/Business Support Systems (BSS) and infrastructure. This must now be adapted not only to SDN and NFV, but also to Ethernet and IP networks.

This adaptation must occur because most of the OSS/BSS systems are based on the Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security (FCAPS) model of management first introduced by ITU-T in 1996 – almost 20 years ago. This concept was simplified to Fault, Assurance and Billing (FAB). Management systems tend to focus on one of these areas and often do so in relation to a specific part of the network or technology, such as optical access fault management.

Using FCAPS and FAB is problematic because they were based on traditional, voice-centric networks based on Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH). They were static, engineered, centrally-controlled and planned networks where the protocols involved provided rich management information. This made centralized management possible.

However, attempts have been made to insert Ethernet and IP into these management concepts. For example, Call Detail Records (CDRs) have been used for billing of voice services, so the natural extension of this concept is to use IP Detail Records (IPDRs) for billing of IP services. xDRs are typically collected in 15-minute intervals, which are sufficient for billing. This does not, in most cases, need to be real-time. However, xDRs are also used by other management systems and solutions as a source of information to make decisions. Click here to read the full article at Telecomramblings

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

View all contributions by Wahengbam Rorrkychand

Website: http://www.blog.tonsetelecom.com

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