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Tag Archives: OpenStack

Open Works Here! Migrating Telco Providers and Partners to a Tried and True Multi-Cloud Ready Open Stack

Greetings from OpenStack Summit! We’re here this week to talk about the opportunities for OpenStack. Telcos and CSPs in particular have looked to OpenStack as the centerpiece of their virtualization and software-defined infrastructure strategy, which is needed as we move towards 5G, multi-access edge computing (MEC)/edge and IoT scenarios. Unfortunately, OpenStack has not quite realized its potential in this regard. Telcos trying to stand up OpenStack for their NFV deployments today face significant operational complexity, cost overruns and scaling challenges—inviting questions about the efficacy of their deployments and causing them to look for new ways to problem solve for OpenStack. Further complicating matters is the drive to a distributed architecture with cloud, core and edge computing, and the move toward modern application architectures in the mobile-cloud era.

VMware has embarked on a two-pronged approach to address the dire need to make OpenStack work:

  1. Deliver a robust OpenStack offering VMware Integrated OpenStack, that provides the best of OpenStack, yet fixes some of its key flaws, and
  2. Enable providers and partners to convert & migrate their VNFs to be able to take advantage of VMware Integrated OpenStack and vCloud NFV, leveraging VMware HCX.

VMware Integrated OpenStack: OpenStack That Works:

VMware is addressing the need for more effective OpenStack deployments head-on with a leading virtualization platform, allowing our system integrator partners to provide a unified framework across IT, network and edge for telcos worldwide. VIO is VMware’s answer to the challenges of operationalizing OpenStack—and customers using the VMware OpenStack migration service will automatically have access to VMware Integrated OpenStack. We released VMware Integrated OpenStack 5.1 today.

Key features include:

  • Queens-based OpenStack Distribution—take advantage of the latest upstream functionality using the most recent OpenStack release
  • Streamlined OpenStack Deployment—quickly deploy a standard OpenStack on top of VMware SDDC. Perform upgrades with minimal disruption. This results in accelerated time to revenue.
  • Best-of-Breed Infrastructure—take advantage of advanced enterprise and cloud features and capabilities delivered by VMware vSphere, VMware NSX and VMware vSAN, including better security, high availability, simplified maintenance and disaster recovery.
  • Integrated Operations and Management—Out-of-the-box vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Automation integrations for streamlined operations such as health checks, troubleshooting and capacity management, as well as governance and control with user management, role-based access control (RBAC), quotas and more.
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack “in a box”—build small-footprint, highly-resilient micro data centers based on VMware Integrated OpenStack and have full control over these micro data centers and apps via automated, API driven orchestration and lifecycle management.

HCX – OpenStack Migration Services:

We talked about how VMware Integrated OpenStack significantly solves some of the critical issues above. But how do we get to the desired state? To help with this change, we’re introducing new migration services to enable customers to move from alternative OpenStack deployments to VMware Integrated OpenStack. We welcome providers and partners to contact us regarding early engagements with VMware to leverage such migration services.

 

The migration service leverages VMware HCX technology, which provides a seamless way to migrate workloads across private, hybrid and public clouds. HCX now additionally can convert OpenStack VMs running on KVM to migrate and run on VMware Integrated OpenStack. For telcos and CSPs, this capability now creates a common foundation across their IT, B2B, and NFV environments (the telco cloud). Additionally, it also connects these telco clouds to private, public, hybrid and edge environments. Thus, for the first time, we can have a unified architecture across IT, cloud tech (CT), network tech (NT) and edge tech (ET), accelerating the journey to 5G, edge/MEC, and IoT use cases.

 

“VMware has made a breakthrough in OpenStack production readiness—no question,” said John Antonio, CSO of IDX, a VMware partner. “Telcos and CSPs have struggled with making OpenStack work effectively in their environments, and instead of abandoning their investment, they can now work with VMware to benefit from their “PRODUCTION READY” legacy and entirely managed migration of their OpenStack deployments. VMware has the virtualization chops and the right mix of traditional and new technology to effectively serve these customers and enable them to make the most of OpenStack.”

By providing a dependable OpenStack solution that includes a robust stack, and a migration service to get there, VMware is taking the complexity out of OpenStack to enable customers to capture value from their existing deployments. Finally, there will be an OpenStack that can work for carriers and CSPs at scale.

For more information on VMware’s OpenStack migration managed service, please visit booth B14 at OpenStack Summit in Berlin.

 

 

Production Ready OpenStack Cloud, obviously.

My team just announced a new OpenStack distribution for our NFV platform – VMware Integrated OpenStack-Carrier Edition.  It is a great solution for our customers looking to benefit from a carrier-grade Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) platform while leveraging OpenStack to run their Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) workloads.  The new distribution is our response to customers asking for a robust and proven NFV environment on which they can monetize NFV services, while also supporting their developers with OpenStack APIs.  We’ve packaged the distribution with our current NFV platform to deliver to market VMware vCloud NFV OpenStack Edition. With vCloud NFV-OpenStack, developers can “benefit” from the same Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that the operations team commits to in order to actually generate revenue.  It is THAT solid.  How is VMware able to offer such a robust solution? By the time you are finished reading this blog post the answer will be clear.

VMware is strongly committed to providing our customers with the flexibility to choose the best Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM) within the vCloud NFV platform to meet their business priorities. One of our VIMs is VMware vCloud Director which is loved by many of our customers already in production. The other VIM is VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)-Carrier Edition. VMware has had a DefCore-compliant OpenStack distribution since 2015, and our latest release is an OpenStack 2017.01 Octata-based distribution. If a customer decides to use VIO-CE as the VIM, it provides the customer the best of both worlds: they can select their VIM based on the APIs they want to use to deploy NFV services, and be assured that it has been fully integrated, tested, and certified with our NFV infrastructure. We also incorporated new VIO-CE-focused test cases into our VNF interoperability program, VMware Ready for NFV, and are actively testing interoperability between leading VNFs and both VIMs.  To this day, 21 of our 43 Ready for NFV certified VNFs ) already support earlier versions VMware Integrated OpenStack, and will be re-certified on VIO-CE as soon as the code goes GA.  Our VNF partners are always given the option to choose which VIM in vCloud NFV they want to test their VNFs with, so having 21 partners supporting VMware Integrated OpenStack is a testament to their own customers interest in OpenStack.

With the introduction of our vCloud NFV-OpenStack, we are updating the Ready for NFV program scope to provide our VNF partners with a way to make sure that they are benefiting from the new carrier-specific capabilities we have introduced in VIO-CE.  The new tests also help communication service providers in using the new capabilities as soon as they install the new distribution.  In essence, a production-ready OpenStack environment to run revenue-generating network services is a reality.  Obviously.

A few of the new VIO-CE features that we added to the VMware Ready for NFV program scope are highlighted below.

  • Multi-tenancy and VNF resource reservation – customers that are used to the abstraction layers available in vCloud Director love splitting their physical data centre into purpose built-constructs. They tend to carve out virtual data centres to various VNFs using the Organization Virtual Data Center (OvDC) available in vCloud Director. OpenStack does not have an equivalent construct since data centers are broken down into projects and resources are not limited to specific virtual data centers.  Typically, resources are allocated based on first-come, first-served approach. Well, with VIO-CE, we introduce a new concept called Tenant Virtual Data Center. In the updated Ready for NFV program we are looking to test that a Tenant Virtual Data Center (Tenant vDC) can host a VNF and ensure strong resource isolation so that one workload does not infringe on the other. The benefit of this function is that the network provider can deliver Service Level Agreements (SLAs)-based services on shared infrastructure without worrying if the resources assigned to the VNF will be available at all times.
  • Dynamic Resource Scaling – one of the benefits of transitioning workloads from dedicated hardware to software is the ability to quickly provide the virtualized function with more hardware resources if the function needs them. There are two ways to scale resources: scale-out and scale-up.  In our work with VNF partners we see that scaling-out in response to workload demand is well supported. This method is somewhat limited as it creates another instance of the VNF component that requires the same amount of resources that are already being consumed. The ability to provide a finer grain control of resources in a running VNF is realized when resizing a live network function. This live resizing of a VNF component, by adding the appropriate required resources to the running VNF without the need to reboot the component, is supported by VIO-CE and is obviously tested in the Ready for NFV program scope
  • Advanced Networking – There are several advanced networking capabilities that are introduced in VIO-CE that are important for the NFV use case and that are covered by our program.  For example, the ability to attach various types of networking interfaces to a VNF component using neutron is crucial.  We see this type of functionality as especially of interest to data plane intensive workloads.  In some cases, the VNF component is looking for a direct pass-through interface directly to the physical Network Interface Card (NIC) while also using some virtualized interfaces.  Data plane traffic typically uses the direct pass-through path while management and control plane interfaces are happy to use our VMXNET3 para-virtualized network interface.  This is an obvious operational use case that we translated to our Ready for NFV test plan.  We also have seen use cases where the VNF component is using VLAN tags to scale the number of virtual interfaces.  This is especially useful for NFV use cases such as virtual routers or Packet Gateway.  The ability of the VNF component to tag traffic with a VLAN is also tested in our Ready for NFV program.

One of the nice things in a modular architecture, is the ability to change modules.  VMware customers with a vCloud NFV environment can experiment with OpenStack alongside their production setup.  In fact, they do not need to put all their eggs in one basket and can experiment with VIO-CE in the lab while continuing to run their production workloads using vCloud Director. With an ever-increasing number of VNF partners supporting VIO-CE, our customers also have a production ready OpenStack cloud.

Jambi

VMware is Shaping the Future of NFV at Mobile World Congress 2017

MWC banner

VMware will have a significant presence at this year’s Mobile World Congress, including a range of Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) demonstrations and presentations at our booth in hall 3, stand K10. Continue reading

VMware’s vCloud NFV is OpenStack…and a whole lot more!

About twice a week I find myself having the same conversation: “This Virtual Network Function (VNF) works on OpenStack” someone says.  My response has not changed in a while: “Great, vCloud NFV is also OpenStack.”

At that point in the conversation the trajectory is never predictable, but always a lot of fun. As if I needed more convincing that the industry is confused about what OpenStack is and is not, I was lucky enough to present a session at VMworld explaining the role of VMware Integrated OpenStack (or VIO as we typically refer to it) in VMware vCloud NFV. The questions we received at the end of the presentation were a testament that we need to clarify a few things. Continue reading

Multi-VIM Strategies Will Drive NFV Success, Not the Choice of Hypervisor

As part of the VMware NFV team, I meet service provider customers on a daily basis. I often get the question about choice of hypervisor. When I ask why the focus on the hypervisor, customers often tell me it’s because they believe the choice of hypervisor determines the potential for openness, flexibility and choice. This is not the case. Here’s why:

  • You don´t deploy a hypervisor, you deploy a service
  • To deploy a service, you don´t buy a hypervisor, you buy an NFV platform
  • To buy an NFV platform, you don´t choose a hypervisor, you choose a platform partner
  • Every platform partner has their own solution, vendor specific configurations of OpenStack, KVM, vSphere etc.

But here’s the key: platforms don’t interoperate at the hypervisor, they interoperate at the VIM (virtual infrastructure manager). And to support a successful NFV deployment your platform needs to be able to interoperate across more than one VIM

OpenStack will, in time, support cloud-ready VNFs, but many VNFs are not yet cloud ready. That means many early VNFs don’t understand that they have a flexible cloud infrastructure beneath them. To support these non cloud ready VNFs the platform must emulate dedicated hardware, not a cloud platform. That means another API (application program interface). Another VIM.

Next on the horizon are containers that promise Hyper-scale, and another VIM implementation.

So for an NFV platform to enable success for the operator, it must support multiple VIMs today, and be backed by a strategy to cater for any future evolution at the VIM layer. Regardless of which hypervisor is deployed.

Multi-VIM

That’s why VMware has developed interoperability with more VIM´s than any other vendor in the industry, and continues to invest in that strategy.

To learn more about VMware´s NFV offering please visit us here.

Henrik