VMware, announced VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack Edition 3.0, the next generation of the company’s production-proven network functions virtualization (NFV) platform for communications service providers (CSPs). With this new version of vCloud NFV-OpenStack Edition, which will include VMware Integrated OpenStack-Carrier Edition 5.0, VMware will be able to deliver breakthrough improvements in network performance, new carrier-grade networking capabilities, and intent-based service assurance to help improve the total economics of software-defined, open standards-based 5G and multi-cloud telco networks.
“VMware’s NFV solution is deployed in more than 50 CSPs globally supporting a wide variety of use cases and more than 300 million mobile subscribers. And with the imminent arrival of 5G, a new approach to the telco network and cloud is required to solve for the hyper distribution of virtual network functions, applications and data,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco NFV Group, VMware. “With VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0, service providers will be able to build software-defined, programmable, highly-distributed Telco Distributed Clouds based on open standards to deliver new advanced services to consumers, and quality-of-service-based network slices to serve the application needs for a wide variety of industries.”
VMware vCloud NFV delivers a 5G-ready NFV infrastructure (NFVI) platform, tuned to support rapid rollout of next-generation services with low latency and high network throughput, and support for a massively distributed set of end points and devices. VMware vCloud NFV enables CSPs to create an end-to-end software-based network architecture to deliver consistent, pervasive connectivity and intrinsic security to applications and virtual network functions wherever they are located, at global scale from core to cloud to edge, and independent of underlying physical infrastructure or location.
“A highly performant and reliable NFV platform is key to unlocking the cloud efficiencies that NFV promised,” said Caroline Chappell, Research Director and lead analyst for Analysis Mason’s Software-Controlled Networking research program. “It’s important that operators gain the benefits of a carrier-grade and scalable NFVI without sacrificing support for open industry standards and the ability to execute virtual network functions from multiple vendors. As operators begin to scale commercial NFV deployments, they will need robust platform features and the potential in future to run the same NFVI in multiple clouds.”
Key advancements in the newest release of vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0 will include:
Accelerated NFV Performance: VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack will include support for VMware NSX-T Data Center, which adds Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK)-based techniques that deliver accelerated data plane network performance, dramatically increasing CPU efficiency, while preserving all the existing benefits of VMware’s NFV infrastructure. VMware’s advanced networking architecture delivered through new high-performance switching, enhanced platform awareness, and more secure multi-tenancy, will be transparent to virtual network functions (VNF) providers, and deliver kernel-based security, deterministic resource allocation, linear scalability, and consistent multi-flow performance. Beta tests by customers such as NTT Com, Telia Company, and Telefonica of the new NSX Managed Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS) in Enhanced Data Path mode have shown network performance improvements of 3-5x depending on packet size.
Carrier-Grade Networking: VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0 will deliver a range of new carrier-oriented networking capabilities through the inclusion of NSX-T Data Center, and enable the extension of VMware’s vision for the Virtual Cloud Network to CSPs. The platform will deliver increased network resiliency through fast link failure detection and bare-metal edge networking support with extended security, performance, and policy management. Network slicing using micro-segmentation will give CSPs the flexibility to allocate QoS, security, availability, and other policies in a virtual network slice that can be delivered to support different business segments. Native support for the Container Networking Interface (CNI) will enable advanced networking and security for container-based workloads and microservices. Multi-cloud networking and security will provide IT teams operational control of and visibility into heterogeneous environments spanning data center, public and telco clouds and edge environments.
Intent-Based Service Assurance: VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0 will introduce a new paradigm in NFV operations with intent-based assurance that will allow CSPs to define operational and business intent for the network, and continuously verify performance against the defined intent through Day 0, Day 1 and Day 2 operations. New capabilities will include service onboarding and operations; capacity planning, forecasting and reclamation; advanced issue isolation and remediation; and dynamic performance optimization.
“Service providers are being pressed to deliver new and differentiated services faster, in an on-demand model, and maintain a high quality of experience for the user,” said Sandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel. “This requires a new architecture for network functions virtualization, while creating a delivery method that will support an all-IP infrastructure. To that end, VMware, in collaboration with Intel, is bringing DPDK network acceleration to VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0, to deliver the packet processing performance and throughput required by communications service providers to meet these new demands.”
Advancing Support for Open Standards – OpenStack, ONAP and OSM
VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0 will add VMware Integrated OpenStack 5-Carrier Edition, one of the first commercial OpenStack distributions to comply with the OpenStack Foundation’s 2018.02 interoperability guidelines. An active member of the OpenStack community, VMware packages, tests, and supports all major components of VMware Integrated OpenStack, including the full open source OpenStack code in a multi-cloud architecture. VMware is a platinum and founding member of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project, and leads the ONAP Multi-Cloud project. VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack is fully compliant and integrated with the ONAP Beijing release. VMware is a key contributor and participant in the Technical Steering Committee for Open Source MANO (OSM). VMware vCloud NFV-OpenStack supports integration with OSM release 4.
Improved Economics for Communications Service Provider Networks
VMware vCloud NFV can deliver a demonstrable impact on the total economics of digital transformation for CSPs. As networks evolve to deliver new revenue streams from 5G and telco cloud services, VMware enables enhanced economic value through:
Lower Total Infrastructure Costs: lower overall network infrastructure and ongoing power, cooling and rack space costs through new DPDK-based networking; ability to reduce or eliminate networking and security infrastructure costs through inclusion of distributed firewalling and load balancing as part of NSX Data Center; a unified Telco and IT cloud infrastructure to maximize return from capital and operational expenditure in equipment, tooling and training.
Optimized Operations: increased network efficiencies and reduced operational costs through predictive analytics that can project future requirements and automatically balance workloads to optimize network performance; efficient operations and increased cost savings through a real-time predictive capacity analytics engine that proactively detects capacity risks, automates resource reclamation, and right sizes resources; superior QoS and lower customer churn through Intelligent remediation capabilities that can predict, prevent, and troubleshoot faster.
Superior TCO for OpenStack NFV: 45 percent lower total OpEx for OpenStack over a five-year period versus leading alternative; 83 percent lower total hardware and software CapEx versus competitive alternative; support for 33 percent more subscribers in the same period of time and using the same amount of money as would be possible to activate using the competitive solution. All results based on TCO study by ACG Research(1).
Additional Customer and Partner Commentary
“NTT Com shares VMware’s vision of the Virtual Cloud Network, which will provide consistent, pervasive connectivity and security for apps and data across Telco Distributed Clouds,” said Mr. Tetsuya Funabashi, senior executive vice president of NTT Com. “As resources become more distributed in the 5G/IoT era, telecom networks will demand greater performance from the software-defined networking infrastructure across core, cloud and edge environments. We verified the latest NSX managed virtual distributed switch and confirmed that it gained competitive performance on short packets. We are looking forward to this technology and further collaboration with VMware.”
“Telefonica is leading the industry in network virtualization through the UNICA initiative, and through our leadership in driving Open Source MANO (OSM) where we are collaborating with VMware,” said Antonio Elizondo, head of Network Virtualization Strategy and Technology at Telefonica. “We are glad to see VMware investing and innovating in critical areas such as open standards with VMware Integrated OpenStack 5, as well as evolving their NFV platform by incorporating accelerated data plane performance. VMware has demonstrated significant performance advancements of vCloud NFV’s new switching architecture in our test labs.”
“As discussed in a new white paper that Telia Company has developed together with VMware: there are various considerations we need to make when evolving from the current infrastructure, operations and management models as communication service providers embark on the journey to 5G modernization. CSPs require a transition to a cloud-centric and fully automated infrastructure and on-demand service delivery models that are agile, automated, open, and secure in a move to what we call a Virtual Cloud Network,” said Mauro Costa, Director, Network and Infra, Telia Company. “Telia has already come a long way setting detailed requirements and we consider VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 with integrated OpenStack a step in the right direction to help us accelerate our journey towards 5G even further. We look forward to the continued advancements in performance, operations, and total economics.”
“Dell EMC and VMware are accelerating time to deployment and improving overall economics for Telco Clouds through integrated solutions based on industry-leading hardware and software, and open architectures,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, vice president, Service Provider Solutions, Dell EMC. “The latest release of VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 will be able to help CSPs and mobile operators take advantage of new opportunities more quickly, flexibly, and efficiently while cutting costs and preparing for the 5G future.”