Why pre-integrated NFVI makes a difference
Why can’t you just take a few selected components and connect them and immediately have a working NFV infrastructure for telco applications? After all, most functions are open source and have open interfaces. OpenStack and OpenDaylight have already solved the problem, right? It is not that easy, unfortunately.
NFV infrastructure challenges
To start with, there are thousands of parameters to set in an NFVI system to ensure the best performance for the required set of telco workloads. Not only do these settings have a direct impact on performance, if they are incorrectly set they may even stop the system from working. How do you optimize such a system? The best way is to use recommendations based on solid NFVi competence; you need a configuration that is well thought-through and thoroughly tested.
Another question to ask is, how can you ensure that an update or upgrade of one component does not deteriorate the performance of the overall NFV infrastructure solution? Also, do you know whether a certain interface is supported at all? Will the right hardware drivers be there? Without solid system architecture work, you won’t really know. And without solid system competence, you won’t have a well-functioning solution.
One of the experiences Ericsson has learned from the field is that the deployment of NFV infrastructure is a challenge, in particular when the operator has cherry-picked the different components. In such a situation, the operator is faced with designing a solution that considers the network, integrating it and, as discussed above, tuning it. Once the solution is up and running, similar challenges need to be considered when the components are updated and upgraded.
Equally important is continuous operation and having proper support for the entire solution, not just for the different components and products constituting the solution. How do you isolate a fault when there are several alarms from different parts of the system?
Pre-integrate the NFV infrastructure with competence
Through years of working with cloud and virtualization, Ericsson has learned that making NFV infrastructure work requires a great deal of experience. More and more operators are recognizing that. The way to deal with the issues cited above is to deliver a large part of the solution pre-integrated. Pre-integration is really a good way to build competence into the solution. In its pre-integrated NFV infrastructure solution, Ericsson has made a solution that is tuned for performance and tested thoroughly, and we have ensured the high-level and low-level design of the solution will simplify customers' NFVI projects. And we can definitely support the solution.
But doesn’t pre-integration imply a lock-in effect? No; lock-in comes typically with closed interfaces or contractual restrictions. What our pre-integration offers is a recommended system configuration that is thoroughly verified for telco workloads.
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