It’s always exciting to take concepts and ideas and turn them into working solutions. That’s what Red Hat is doing now–with an NFV demo at this year’s OPNFV Summit in Germany. Our demo, based on ManageIQ and taking place at the Red Hat booth – B09, is a blueprint for building an open source carrier-class Cloud Management Platform (CMP), including NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) capabilities, that supports orchestration/automation of modern cloud-native applications as well as network services that require specific telco features. We are inviting solution providers and telcos to join us for this important industry initiative, which Red Hat VP and chief technologist Chris Wright is highlighting during his keynote at the summit.
As one of the platinum founding members of Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), Red Hat has been a key contributor to this project since its founding in September 2014. To accelerate the adoption of NFV, Red Hat and other OPNFV members initially focused on building NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM) by integrating components from upstream projects such as Linux, OpenStack, Ceph Storage, KVM hypervisor, QEMU, libvirt, DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit), OVS (Open vSwitch), and OpenDayLight (SDN control). We have worked closely with OPNFV, ETSI’s NFV ISG and other communities to drive consistent implementation of standards for NFV. Today, OPNFV is an open source reference platform that is intended to accelerate the introduction of new NFV products and services. While most of the focus has been on the NFVI and VIM, it is now time to focus a bit more on the other components of the Management and Orchestration (MANO).
The functions of the MANO are defined into three major functional blocks as shown below in the graphic. While the VIM has been standardized on OpenStack, the VNFM and NFVO functions are still not standardized. As a result, many traditional network equipment vendors and ISVs have defined their implementation of NFVO. With this diverse group of products and interfaces, VNF onboarding and lifecycle management is difficult and time consuming, as there is currently no standard way to implement VNF packaging and associated application descriptions. And since network services are an aggregation of network functions, the need for standardized service orchestration to instantiate, manage and chain/aggregate VNFs is also necessary.
Recently, the OPNFV has started to do more work in the MANO area, as a way to accelerate the on-boarding and management of Network Services and VNFs. The OPNFV community driving this project is also collaborating with other open source groups including two that newly emerged: OPEN-O, under the Linux Foundation, and an ETSI-hosted project Open Source MANO (OSM).
Open source NFVO as part of an open source CMP
While Red Hat is involved with both OPEN-O and OSM, we believe a more practical way to accelerate the creation of an open source NFVO is to start with a proven CMP product that is widely deployed and already has most of the attributes for managing cloud-native applications, as defined in a generally-accepted CMP reference architecture. This will enable telcos to use the same cloud platform to offer enterprise cloud services as well as networking services to their customer. We believe such a platform is ManageIQ because it is already a robust and proven enterprise CMP that can easily grow to include an NFVO and manage network services. We would like the community to join us in building such an open source CMP which can manage both native cloud application as well as network services in an NFV environment.
On this MANO front, Red Hat would like to initially focus on working with the community to create a robust open source NFVO that will provide key several functions, including:
- A simple on-boarding process for any new network services and virtual network function (VNF) packages, based on the OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA).
- Management of global NFVI resources across multiple and diverse VIMs, fulfilling the resource orchestration functions, validation and authorization of NFVI resource requests.
- Definition of the interface to VNFM for NS lifecycle management (including instantiation, scale-out/in, performance measurements, event correlation, termination).
- Management of the integrity and visibility of the network service instances through their lifecycle.
- Management of the network service instances topology (e.g., create, update, query, delete VNF Forwarding Graphs).
- Policy management and evaluation (e.g., policies related with affinity/anti-affinity, scaling, fault and performance, geography, regulatory rules, network services topology, etc.).
To create a robust open source NFVO, we believe ManageIQ is a great starting point.
ManageIQ is a widely deployed CMP that can be quickly enhanced to support telco-specific requirements for deploying and managing virtualized network services in VMs or containers. While virtualized network services require many common cloud management features such as self-service provisioning, service catalog, capacity and performance management, they also require specific telco and network management and orchestration features that include support for service functions chaining and aggregation, network configuration support and carrier-class reliability. Therefore, as telcos offer both enterprise cloud and networking services to their customers, this is essential for the industry to provide a carrier-class CMP that supports modern cloud-native applications as well as network services that require specific telco features but also share many of the attributes of cloud-native application.
The ManageIQ development/integration framework is very mature and well designed. A testament to this is that the core Tacker/AWS integration was completed in about two weeks by a small group within Red Hat that was previously unfamiliar with ManageIQ. ManageIQ’s “provider” construct has been used to integrate with several platforms (iRHEV, OpenShift, AWS, Azure, and OpenStack) and is currently being used to integrate with the Nuage SDN controller. The Nuage team has told us it was able to quickly integrate with ManageIQ with only a few changes.
Demo at OPNFV
We are showing that ManageIQ can be used for building an open source carrier-class CMP, including an NFVO, that supports modern cloud-native applications as well as network services that also require specific telco features.
The purpose of this technology demonstration is to show that the open source ManageIQ project is a viable project that ensures:
- Completely open source with upstream first that is supported by a multi-vendor community.
- VIM agnostic that includes OpenStack and other cloud infrastructure such as AWS.
- Support of both virtual machines (VMs) and containers.
- A flexible and simple development platform for easy integration of third-party components including the VNFM.
To accelerate the development of an open source NFVO that supports a diverse environment, the ManageIQ software will demonstrate service deployment in a scenario that is multi-VIM (RHT OpenStack & AWS), multi-technology (VMs & containers), and multi-site (OPNF, RHT Raleigh, AWS East). The demonstration will show:
A unified CMP, based on ManageIQ, for managing:
- OpenStack cloud, Tacker as G-VNFM
- Public cloud
- Kubernetes+Docker containers in VMs in AWS, managed with OpenShift
The onboarding of VNFs by ManageIQ
How the development environment of ManageIQ can be easily leveraged to:
- Show the integration of the Tacker VNF Manager
- Show TOSCA network service descriptor (NSD), VNF descriptors (VNFDs) integration
Multi-VIM capability of ManageIQ
- Deployed to OpenStack (Using Tacker)
- With the help of our partner, China Mobile, we have deployed an IMS (ClearWater) on OpenShift/AWS – tested using the Zoiper soft client
- Used Ansible Integration to link Clouds by configuring VPN in deployed routers (CloudRouter)
We invite anyone and everyone to come see our demo at the summit, and let us know what you think. We would like to hear your feedback and collaborate with other solution vendors as well as service providers in our upstream community. In our demo, we show how easy it is to modify ManageIQ to do Tacker/AWS integration and show TOSCA network service descriptor (NSD) and VNF descriptors (VNFDs) Integration. ManageIQ is a great open-source CMP platform that can be used to create an open source carrier-class CMP (including an NFVO) that supports network services as well as modern cloud-native applications. Please join the community and feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts below in the comments section or at firstname.lastname@example.org.