Communications services providers (CSPs) are looking to network functions virtualization (NFV) to give them the network agility required to serve the growing cloud access and services needs of their enterprise customers.
This market evolution is driving the demand for virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) – a new class of demarcation device that leverages the processing capability of an Intel processor-powered server configured with multiple service-providing virtual network functions (VNFs).
The use of VNFs adds agility to the edge of the network by allowing CSPs to easily deploy or wind down customer services to meet customer needs. To provide the foundation for vCPE, Telco Systems has developed NFVTime-OS, an NFV infrastructure operating system (OS) for vCPE deployments that delivers a complete NFV environment combining open source virtualization and performance software with its own technology for security and manageability.
NFVTime-OS provides a turnkey solution with all the benefits of open source software, but with added security, performance, and management and orchestration (MANO) features that CSPs require.
- Support of any Intel Atom or Intel Xeon processor
- Small footprint and low resource consumption
- High per-core processing and networking performance
- Zero vCPE pre-configuration and self-automated image installation
- An open and flexible NFV-OS
- DPDK and SR-IOV acceleration
- Secured vCPE device boot capability ensures the device boots using only trusted software
- Virtual switching and VNF service chaining available for all third-party VNF applications that are certified on NFVTime-OS
- Full vCPE Lifecycle management for both the NFVTime NFVI OS and VNFs, including support for remote upgrade, backup, restore, and provisioning
- Proven interoperability and performance-tested support for third-party VNFs from Cisco, Brocade, Silver Peak, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, Check Point, and other Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) VNFs
NFVTime-OS Benefits for CSPs
Telco Systems NFVTime-OS suite enables CSPs and managed services providers (MSPs) utilizing NFV to generate agile, cost-effective managed services with minimal pre-investment. Compared to fixed-function devices, the NFVTime-OS suite facilitates the cost and performance benefits of NFV that come from separating hardware from software and network functions. It also allows CSPs and MSPs to mix and match between vendors and technologies, which can shorten time to revenues.
The key software blocks in NFVTime-OS include the following:
- vCPE Lifecycle Management and Operation: Provides activation, operations, and security functionality
- Virtual Network Switch: Leverages Open vSwitch integrated with the Data Plane Development Kit (OVS-DPDK) for fast data plane performance
- Virtualization/Containerization: Supports Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor or Kubernetes* containerization environment
- OpenStack: Software module for creating VMs, configuring the service chaining, and controlling compute, storage, and networking services
- Hardware OS: Real-time Linux
- VNFs: Any third-party VNF, including those that have been certified by Telco Systems. Telco Systems’s NFVTime-OS can create service chains for all certified third-party VNFs for added service deployment flexibility
Designed for a Wide Range of Intel CPUs
Because enterprises have different needs and budgets for different branch office sizes, it’s important for NFVTime-OS to operate on a wide range of servers.
The software is designed to be flexibly deployed on four- or eight-core Intel architecture CPUs, ranging from the Intel Xeon processors E3-15XX to Intel Atom processors C27XX. The processors offer the performance and low latency needed to power the virtualization functions, the communications VNFs, and the service VNFs such as firewalls, WAN optimization, or routing.
NFVTime-OS makes use of Intel Hyper-Threading Technology for parallelization of virtualization tasks, allowing the OS to be executed in one physical core. With OVS-DPDK running on a second physical core, there are two or six cores (depending on the CPU) available for processing of service-provisioning VNFs. The software also takes advantage of Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT), a growing portfolio of technologies and features that make virtualization practical.
To download the NFVTime solution brief by Telco Systems and Intel, click here