The ICCLab T-Nova members are back from the 3rd and final project review meeting that was held on March 16th in Athens, Greece. Couple of days before that, we were enrolled in the preparation and setup of the final demos at N.C.S.R. Demokritos premises.
Several demonstrations were shown to the reviewers during the demo session in order to point out the achievements in the last year of the project. Moreover a poster session was held in parallel to stress the contributions in terms of conference and journal papers published within the project’s scope, Figure 1.
Stitching virtual network functions (VNFs) together in a so called Network (Service) Function Chain is not a novelty any longer. Described in our previous post, the SDN team had already worked on creating SFC library support for OpenStack in our SDK for SDN. In this blog we describe the advances made towards integrating Netfloc services with both, Heat Orchestration Template (HoT) – based orchestrators and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) – based orchestrators.
To do so, and also to make a step towards automatizing the SFC management with Netfloc, we created a Heat plugin for Netfoc. It is based on the Netfloc API library for managing network service chains in OpenStack clouds. The parameters required to create the service include: OpenDaylight credentials, the IP and the port of the Netfloc node, along with the Neutron port IDs of the VNF instances.
For a network service operator, applying the plugin makes it very simple to deploy multiple chains in OpenStack cloud infrastructure. An example includes a packet inspection VNF that determines if the traffic is video and the type of the video service, and sends it further to a virtual transcoding unit VNF for quality adjustment. If data traffic is detected, packets are steered to a virtual security appliance acting as a virtual firewall, which sends them further to a virtual proxy VNF and a deep packet inspection VNF.
Last week in Athens we integrated the SDK4SDN aka Netfloc in the T-Nova Pilot testbed in order to showcase service function chaining using two endpoints and two VNFs (Virtual Network Functions).
NETwork FLOws for Clouds (Netfloc) is an open source SDK for datacenter network programming developed in the ICCLab SDN initiative. It is comprised of set of tools and libraries that interoperate with the OpenDaylight controller. Netfloc exposes REST API abstractions and Java interfaces for network programmers to enable optimal integration in cloud datacenters and fully SDN-enabled end-to-end management of OpenFlow enabled switches.
Distributed Computing Frameworks
Big Data processing has been a very current topic for the last ten or so years. In order to process Big Data, special software frameworks have been developed. Nowadays, these frameworks are usually based on distributed computing because horizontal scaling is cheaper than vertical scaling. But horizontal scaling imposes a new set of problems when it comes to programming. A traditional programmer feels safer in a well-known environment that pretends to be a single computer instead of a whole cluster of computers. In order to deal with this problem, several programming and architectural patterns have been developed, most importantly MapReduce and the use of distributed file systems. There are several OpenSource frameworks that implement these patterns. Continue reading
Overview: Network Functions as-a-Service over Virtualised Infrastructures
Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) is an emerging concept. It refers to the migration of certain network functionalities, traditionally performed by hardware elements, to virtualized IT infrastructures, where they are deployed as software components. NFV leverages commodity servers and storage, including cloud platforms, to enable rapid deployment, reconfiguration and elastic scaling of network functionalities.
With the aim of promoting the NFV concept, T-NOVA introduces a novel enabling framework, allowing operators not only to deploy virtualized Network Functions (NFs) for their own needs, but also to offer them to their customers, as value-added services. Virtual network appliances (gateways, proxies, firewalls, transcoders, analyzers etc.) can be provided on-demand as-a-Service, eliminating the need to acquire, install and maintain specialized hardware at customers’ premises.
T-NOVA will design and implement a management/orchestration platform for the automated provision, configuration, monitoring and optimization of Network Functions-as-a-Service (NFaaS) over virtualised Network/IT infrastructures.
T-NOVA leverages and enhances cloud management architectures for the elastic provision and (re-) allocation of IT resources assigned to the hosting of Network Functions. It also exploits and extends Software Defined Networking platforms for efficient management of the network infrastructure.
Furthermore, in order to facilitate the involvement of diverse actors in the NFV scene and attract new market entrants, T-NOVA establishes a “NFV Marketplace”, where network services and functions by several developers can be published and brokered/traded. Via the Marketplace, customers can browse and select the services and virtual appliances which best match their needs, as well as negotiate the associated SLAs and be charged under various billing models.
More info here.