NFV Reference Platform in Telefónica: Bringing Lab Experience to Real Deployments

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1 Solution Brief Telefonica NFV Reference Platform Intel Xeon Processors NFV Reference Platform in Telefónica: Bringing Lab Experience to Real Deployments Summary This paper reviews Telefónica s vision and experience on the development of Network Virtualization technologies, both in the lab and in the field, and explains the work in its Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Reference Lab, in collaboration with strategic partners from the industry to enable carrier-grade features in common virtualisation technologies. Telefónica Vision on Network Virtualization A telecommunication network has a strong dependence on its hardware. This characteristic makes service providers infrastructures rigid and expensive to operate. The introduction of any change either to launch new products and services or to evolve its technology quite often requires long periods of time. On the one hand, the inclusion of a new or differential feature is always conditioned by the need of economies of scale required to manufacture the specific network hardware, often required a long standardization process to happen beforehand. Additionally, the intrinsic complexity of a network of physical nodes makes the introduction of changes really challenging from the perspective of the management, configuration, and control of the affected equipment. In this situation, Telco operators need to transform their infrastructure to make it flexible, nimble and mouldable. Networks need to cope more efficiently with the quick pace imposed by the evolution of the digital world. Telefónica considers network virtualization as a key lever for this transformation, becoming one of its main lines of innovation and transformation.

2 Steering Network Virtualization The promise of Network Virtualization consists of effectively separating the software from the hardware in network equipment, so that network functions become independent of the physical element supporting them. Once the function is defined by software and not hardwired in a physical machine, the same type of server can be repurposed depending on the software deployed on it; that is, since the function is completely defined in software, it is possible to package each network function in one or more virtual machines and to decide where to execute them. This concept is now feasible because continuous enhancements in generalpurpose servers, generation after generation, and their enablement through open-source software libraries (i.e. Intel Data Plane Development Kit) have allowed increasing of performance by more than an order of magnitude. These advances have made commercial offthe-shelf servers adequate for Network Virtualization, taking into account their continuous pace of evolution and the significant economies of scale that they represent. In 2008, Telefónica I+D began its exploration of virtualization technologies with the development of a low cost traffic probe based on x86. In 2010, this work was the initial motivation to establish a stable collaboration framework between Telefónica and Intel to start 2 working hand-in-hand to overcome the performance limitations that, by that time, a development of that nature could still find. The result was Deeper, which, in 2010, was the first fully virtualised Deep Packet Inspection probe processing more than 80 Gb/s of traffic.1 The success of this first use case inspired Telefónica to extend the application of Network Virtualization technologies to other use cases, which led to the decision to revisit one of the most promising but also extremely challenging ones from the technological point of view: the virtualization of home network equipment in the residential segment (also known as residential vcpe). Thus, by applying virtualization technologies, Telefónica was able to maximize the switching performance on general-purpose processors to meet the extremely stringent scalability requirements of the residential market. This proved the suitability of these technologies for other scenarios and paved the way for an ambition network virtualisation program at company level, as announced during Mobile World Congress Telefónica NFV Reference Lab As part of that transformation agenda on network virtualization, in early 2014 Telefónica launched its NFV Reference Lab, a unified environment for testing elements and sharing best practices among operations of Telefónica. The lab is aimed at facilitating Telefónica s ecosystem of partners and network equipment providers to test and develop Virtual Network Functions along with advanced service orchestration layers. At the group level, the NFV Reference Lab becomes a powerful tool to assure a unified environment for testing elements and sharing best practices among the local operations of Telefónica. Working with Strategic Partners to Enhance Baseline Virtualization Technologies For the real success of NFV, it is essential to avoid closed and non-interoperable environments, which would hamper its widespread adoption. For that purpose Telefónica is actively working with key players from the industry such as Intel and Red Hat to enhance baseline virtualization technologies from the open source community and contributing those enhancements back to the upstream community, to avoid technological fragmentation. Thus, the lab is contributing to the industry in general to remove any remaining technological barriers in virtualisation technologies that might delay the adoption of NFV technologies at scale in the industry. Having the Network Virtualization infrastructure and its basic management levels ready enables the industry to focus on providing real value through differential Virtual Network Functions and differential NFV Orchestrators (NFV-O).

3 network nodes and their interconnections over a NFV platform without the need of closed proprietary platforms or complex integration processes, even for one of the most stringent use cases in terms of performance. Figure 1. NFV Reference Lab (Source: Telefónica) Telefónica NFV Reference Platform The Telefónica NFV Reference platform created in the Telefónica NFV Reference Lab includes a simplified NFV Orchestrator, aware of Virtual Network Functions requirements, that enables a deterministic mapping of CPU and memory. This example of open and multivendor platform facilitates automated deployments of virtualized network nodes and their interconnections over a NFV platform that enables a deterministic resource allocation to virtual machines which ensures a high and predictable performance. Demonstration at SDN & OpenFlow World 2014: First Residential vcpe Running over Telefónica NFV Reference Platform 3 The use case of residential vcpe can be naturally deployed and orchestrated in a truly open and multi-vendor NFV platform such as the one defined in the Telefónica NFV Reference Lab while assuring performance and scalability requirements. This example of network creation and management based on vcpe use case shows the possibility of doing automated deployments of virtualized As previously discussed, the residential vcpe is an appealing use case that virtualization technologies allow to deploy in a more convenient manner than traditional approaches. Network functions running at-home equipment are reduced to the minimum (barely physical and link layer functions), making the gateway device very simple with an extended life, while a fast evolution cycle can be supported by software inside the operator s network. An example is the massive migration to IPv6, which would be a costly transition using the traditional approach, could now be realized without replacing physical equipment at customer s home. Virtualisation of CPE functions provides an opportunity to transform the network by accomplishing service migration smoothly, while simplifying home operation and service deployment as it reduces external plant operations and centralizes features update. The NFV platform used to set up the demonstration at SDN & OpenFlow World 2014 is based on Commercial Off-the- Shelf (COTS) Intel Xeon processor E v2 servers, Intel DPDK and Intel GbE controllers, on Red Hat KVM environment and Brocade switches. 3

4 Other Uses Cases Running Over the Telefónica NFV Reference Platform Other examples of stringent Network Virtualization uses cases that can be deployed over the NFV Reference Platform - apart from the residential vcpe are Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Software CG-NAT and Software Router, among others: Deep Packet Inspection: 80 Gb/s tap monitoring inspection on Intel Xeon E two-socket servers. A Software Carrier Grade NAT4: 80 Gb/s full duplex dataplane on Intel Xeon E v2 two-socket servers. PE Router: Brocade vrouter 5600 achieves 80 Gb/s full duplex on Intel Xeon E v2. Conclusions Current telecommunications networks, composed of a myriad of closed hardware appliances and ad hoc equipment, are becoming a constraint for innovation in an increasingly digital and networkcentric world. To overcome this situation, Network Virtualization is a lever of transformation based on using commercial off-the-shelf hardware running the network functions in software. This novel approach can help reduce operational costs, promote interoperability, and provide a more open ecosystem to make it easier for telecommunications providers to adapt and expand services. 4 Figure 2: Residential vcpe Use Case (Source: Telefónica) The SDN & OpenFlow World 2014 demo shows how even one of the most demanding scenarios residential vcpe can be deployed and orchestrated in an NFV platform as the one running in Telefónica s NFV Reference Lab.

5 For more information about Telefonica NFV Reference Platforms, visit Solution Provided By: 1 In the 2014 Mobile World Congress Telefónica received the Network Intelligence Award 2014 for Deeper. 2 The objective is to have more than 30 per cent of the company s new infrastructures managed in accordance with this model by In Mobile World Congress 2014, Telefónica showcased the vcpe solution that is being jointly developed with NEC and now, this demo, shows how the use case of residential vcpe can be naturally deployed and orchestrated in a truly open and multi-vendor NFV platform. 4 NAT44 function that translates from a private IPv4 address and port to a public IPv4 address and port, and vice-versa, with support of overlapping addresses and tunneling. INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH INTEL PRODUCTS. NO LICENSE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, BY ESTOPPEL OR OTHERWISE, TO ANY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IS GRANTED BY THIS DOCUMENT. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN INTEL S TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE FOR SUCH PRODUCTS, INTEL ASSUMES NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER, AND INTEL DISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WAR- RANTY, RELATING TO SALE AND/OR USE OF INTEL PRODUCTS INCLUDING LIABILITY OR WARRANTIES RELATING TO FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY, OR INFRINGEMENT OF ANY PATENT, COPYRIGHT OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHT. UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED IN WRITING BY INTEL, THE INTEL PRODUCTS ARE NOT DESIGNED NOR INTENDED FOR ANY APPLICATION IN WHICH THE FAILURE OF THE INTEL PRODUCT COULD CREATE A SITUATION WHERE PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH MAY OCCUR. Intel may make changes to specifications and product descriptions at any time, without notice. Designers must not rely on the absence or characteristics of any features or instructions marked reserved or undefined. Intel reserves these for future definition and shall have no responsibility whatsoever for conflicts or incompatibilities arising from future changes to them. The information here is subject to change without notice. Do not finalize a design with this information. The products described in this document may contain design defects or errors known as errata which may cause the product to deviate from published specifications. Current characterized errata are available on request. Contact your local Intel sales office or your distributor to obtain the latest specifications and before placing your product order. Copies of documents which have an order number and are referenced in this document, or other Intel literature, may be obtained by calling , or by visiting Intel s Web site at Copyright 2014 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Printed in USA XXXX/XXX/XXX/XX/XX Please Recycle XXXXXX-001US 5

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