WhiteNFV Denver (named after one of the cities where the community met in 2017) brings along a number of new features to orchestrate a broader range of network functions in more diverse production environments. “This is part of the greater evolution the industry is seeing, which is a conversion to a unified platform that enables an orchestrated combination of virtual, physical and containerized network functions”, said José Miguel Guzmán, Whitestack’s Business Development Manager for NFV.
WhiteNFV now leverages Kubernetes, the open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, from two perspectives: It is deployed on top of Kubernetes as a set of distributed containers to perform the different orchestration functions, but is also able to deploy Containerized Network Functions (CNFs) to address the needs of 5G applications and other microservices-based network functions.
This release also “includes a brand-new execution environment for running asynchronous orchestration tasks on Kubernetes, which we leverage (for example) for scaling the VNF monitoring capabilities” said Gianpietro Lavado, Senior Architect of NFV Initiatives at Whitestack. “This new approach not only allows monitoring VNFs with the traditional SNMP protocol, but simultaneously provides options to implement any other telemetry approach, and integrate it with Prometheus”.
WhiteNFV Denver is the first (and so far the unique) distribution of OSM to adopt Helm Charts as its deployment technology for Kubernetes. Helm is the package manager for Kubernetes, and it is considered the state-of-the-art option to find, share and use software in Kubernetes, up to the point that telecom vendors are considering Helm for its 5G CNFs (Containerized Network Functions). “The transition to Helm allows us to simplify the deployment process, by using a Helm Chart that defines templates for the deployment descriptors, with all its parametrizations and dependencies, something that in the past was implemented with Ansible and was a burden to maintain”, said Joris Vleminckx, Delivery Manager at Whitestack.
Below the hood, WhiteNFV uses WhiteMist (Whitestack’s Kubernetes solution), OpenEBS (the most widely deployed and easy to use open-source storage solution for Kubernetes), MetalLB (load balancing for Kubernetes), Prometheus (time series database for metrics’ storage), Grafana (Dashboards for metrics) and Openstack’s Keystone (integration with authentication backends).
A very disruptive feature in this latest version is the introduction of a new Placement module (PLA), “which allows operators to introduce new criteria to decide where to automatically deploy VNFs, based on Cost, Latency or any other objective criteria”
Finally, the distro was enhanced through the integration with two additional SDN controllers: Juniper Contrail and Arista CloudVision, allowing control of the datacenter fabric from OSM, to create an accelerated dataplane for inter- or intra-datacenter network services.
We are happy to see how the community behind OSM is growing after each formal release, currently reaching more than 140 members.
For a detailed description of OSM Release EIGHT, check the latest OSM Release Notes.