Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) are technologies that provide agility in the networking space, while reducing CAPEX and OPEX, but they need to be Managed and Orchestrated accordingly in order to provide Network Services. That is the role of the Management and Orchestration (MANO) stack, as defined by the ETSI recommendations. Furthermore, as the industry moves from dedicated boxes into Virtual Network Functions, the desire to automate and ease the deployment process has never been higher.

WhiteNFV Architecture, aligned with OSM

WhiteNFV’s architecture is based on Open Source MANO latest release (Release SEVEN to this date), so it includes the latest developments. Main components are:

  • LifeCycle Manager (LCM) – The general orchestrator of Network Services.
  • Resource Orchestration (RO) – The component in charge of the lifecycle of resources at the VIM layer, so it interfaces with virtualization managers (like OpenStack) and SDN controllers.
  • VNF Configuration and Abstraction Module (VCA) – The component in charge of communicating with the VNFs, mainly for Day 2 configurations, which it achieves today using a Juju controller.
  • Monitoring Module (MON) – The component the takes care of collecting metrics from different VIMs, and also VNFs towards Release FIVE.
  • Policy Module (POL) – The component that, given a particular VNF status or metric value, configures alarms and implements actions, such as auto-scaling.

Most components, except for VCA, are delivered as Docker Containers:

Built for resiliency

Our deployments make use of a Container Orchestration Engine (COE) to implement a resilient architecture. In particular, this COE is based on our own Kubernetes distribution (WhiteMist), that will ensure a distributed and resilient deployment, taking advantage of the newest dockerized architecture of OSM. High availability and VIP load balancing is implemented by COE, providing a highly reliable solution.

Carrier-grade stability

At Whitestack we value Network Services stability, and will put all our efforts together to implement a tiered continuous integration and delivery platform, aimed to combine rigorous testing with the agility required by business units. By using an automated continuous testing environment, we are going to keep track of the repository health, detecting (before any major Release) any commit that breaks functionality.

Predictable upgrade-path

We care about maturity of the Code, so since OSM Release FIVE (and following releases), we implement a technical process to minimize negative impact of the most recent features introduced. After any major release, a rigorous automated testing process will follow (based on most typical customer scenarios), with intermediate releases candidates that might be tested in our labs and/or in our customers’ labs. When ready, an ER (Early Release) will be shipped to selected customers, to be deployed within a limited scope and under detailed supervision. After maturity, a GA (General Availability) release will be made available globally.

Industry-aligned Roadmap

WhiteNFV is 100% aligned with OSM Upstream releases, so newest features will be available for our customer’s production environments by either:

  • Releases (following an official path)
  • Maintenance Releases (minor changes or limited scope features appearing in OSM ‘point’ releases)
  • Priority Releases (case by case, for instance, for implementing hotfixes)

In cases where Whitestack contributes the feature, the preferred path would be to make it available to upstream first. The final decision of making the feature available upstream will depend on the owner’s and requested agreement, and then on its general need in other environments.

Certified and continuously validated

Within the NFV space, it has been exposed to interoperability tests in all latest ETSI NFV Plugtests events. Throughout these tests, WhiteNFV features are continuously validated with different VIMs from other manufacturers, with VNFs from different vendors, and evolving ETSI NFV standards.

WhiteNFV is our NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) platform based in the ETSI Open Source MANO project. It is compliant with ETSI NFV-MANO Architectural Framework and is on the path to be compliant with ETSI SOL standards.

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