Delivering “Always On” NFV Solutions without Sacrificing Reliability or Performance

A collaboration of Wind River and GENBAND is helping service providers transition to NFV-based solutions that wrest greater efficiency from the infrastructure and reduce time to market.

The evolutionary change in telecommunications networks towards all-IP architecture has begun to collapse the traditional boundaries between IT infrastructure and telecommunications infrastructure. The IT data center has for years been the location for web-based services and applications. As the telecommunications environment has moved to all-IP, more and more network tasks can be available as pure software functions, deployable by leveraging previously IT-centric data center architectures.

OPEX and CAPEX Efficiency

We’re seeing the emergence of pure-IP communications networks based on IMS and SIP, transported over IP Cable, Fiber, LTE, and the like. Increasing the communications service provider’s (CSP’s) interest in this evolution are the compelling operational savings (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX) efficiencies, as well as the service agility gained from moving historically proprietary hardware solutions to a more generic compute environment. Hence the motivation by CSPs to adopt all-IP networks and the introduction of fully cloud-based general purpose compute data center architectures, including Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) specific architectures.

The numerous benefits include:

  • Operators need no longer bear the burden of proprietary hardware platform integration from multiple vendors into their network, the associated replacement and integration costs, and having to face such efforts and costs over and over again.
  • Immunity to hardware obsolescence across multiple proprietary systems.
  • Minimization of operational interruption from equipment upgrades.
  • Rapid, low-impact, and low-cost Time-To-Deployment for new network functions or changes in scale across existing network functions.
  • The ability to focus on a single IP infrastructure based on general purpose compute platforms, enabling a highly efficient cost model, where virtualized functions make it possible for those platforms to have multiple roles.
  • The evolution of elastic cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), whether public or private, wherein the many network resources of a communications network may be elastically scaled as-required—based on actual live network use.

This represents a revolution in cost-optimization and future-proofing to CSPs. Consider the follow-on benefits of geo-distributed cloud/Software Defined Networking (SDN) implementations—dynamic location changes of assets under software control; the geo-redundancy flexibility that the cloud/SDN infrastructure provides—and the reasons for this technology shift become even more obvious and compelling for the operator.

The transition to NFV based technology continues to gain momentum. And service providers face an increasing need to provide secure, seamless interworking of real-time communications sessions across IP network borders in order to offer high quality interconnect and access-based communications services to business and consumer customers.

GENBAND™, a leading provider of real-time communications software solutions, has collaborated with Wind River® as part of the Wind River Titanium Cloud™ ecosystem to demonstrate the power of NFV for CSPs. GENBAND’s elastically scalable, virtualized session border controller (SBC) with the Advanced Media Software (AMS) application under the lifecycle management of the Virtual Network Function (VNF) Manager, are integrated with the Wind River Titanium Core and Titanium Edge software environment. CSPs can now have enhanced, carrier grade real-time communications service offerings with the following benefits:

  • Network functions are consolidated and virtualized, reducing capital and operating expenses and accelerating service agility.
  • Open standards help avoid proprietary hardware and vendor lock-in.
  • This wide-ranging solution portfolio includes SBCs, Advanced Media Software, Intelligent Messaging, and Session Media Control.
  • Intelligent VNF management framework and open APIs streamline interworking, combined with carrier grade availability to ensure reliability.
  • A graceful migration path avoids “rip and replace” network transformations.
  • Flexible licensing plans accommodate elastic services and on-demand applications.

By leveraging the Titanium Cloud portfolio of products, GENBAND’s SBC VNFs (see Figure 1) enable high reliability solutions for CSPs. Using open standards, Titanium Core and Titanium Edge provide carrier grade NFV infrastructure capabilities, including sub-second fault and failed virtual machine (VM) detection, high switching performance to maximize VM density, and built-in packet acceleration—all contributing to a high-performance and high-reliability telco cloud.

Figure 1: Wind River Titanium Cloud Components with GENBAND VNFs

Figure 1: Wind River Titanium Cloud Components with GENBAND VNFs

SBC Virtualized Network Functions

CSPs need to provide secure and seamless interworking of real-time communications sessions across IP network borders, so their customers can count on high quality interconnect and access-based communications services. These services include Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking, unified communications services, and SBCs as a service (SBCaaS) to businesses. Also available are interconnect services including voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE), rich communication services (RCS), and roaming for peering and IP eXchange (IPX) applications. GENBAND’s virtualized SBC provides CSPs and enterprises robust security and seamless interworking of real-time communications services across IP network borders for many applications (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: GENBAND SBC Applications

Figure 2: GENBAND SBC Applications

GENBAND SBC VNFs are designed to enable flexible distributed deployment topologies, maximizing the benefit of the independent and elastic scaling of the SBC control/signaling VNF (Advanced Control Software or ACS) and SBC media VNF (Advanced Media Software or AMS). The microservices architecture of the cloud-native SBC VNFs consists of virtual machine (VM) clusters, providing high performance and elasticity while enhancing resiliency and geo redundancy. Furthermore, the SBC can uniquely support hybrid virtual-appliance configurations, whereby the media plane processing (AMS) can be implemented as a full VNF with software-based media processing and transcoding, or on a physical COTS appliance controlled from the cloud, or vice versa (see Figure 3). This allows for a graceful evolution of existing network-based deployments to the NFV cloud, protecting existing investments.

GENBAND’s VNF Manager provides full lifecycle management of GENBAND and third-party VNFs, enabling seamless interworking with the orchestration and virtualization infrastructure manager environments. VNF Manager supports orchestration, instantiation, automation, and elastic scalability of GENBAND VNFs.

GENView Manager OneEMS is a virtualized, centralized element management for configuration and performance monitoring. GENView Analytics provides powerful additional network and session performance management and troubleshooting capabilities using intuitive interactive visualization tools, customized dashboards, and commercial Big Data analysis frameworks.

As the industry’s first fully integrated and feature-complete NFVI platforms, Titanium Core and Titanium Edge enable an NFV infrastructure to achieve the ultra-reliability and high performance mandated for telecom networks. It delivers six-nines (99.9999%) reliability, compared to the three nines of virtualized platforms based on common enterprise software. Combining open source and open industry standards with required carrier grade extensions, Titanium Cloud is the only commercial portfolio of products enabling service providers to maintain the rigorous uptime required as networks transition to a virtualized infrastructure. With Titanium Cloud, service providers can now meet the “always-on” expectations of consumers.

Figure 3: Flexible Media Resources

Figure 3: Flexible Media Resources

A network transformation is underway to enable better infrastructure use and faster time to market through software-defined services. CSPs are seeking best-of-breed solutions that can help accelerate this transformation. They are also demanding solutions that provide seamless automation without compromising the “always-on” reliability expected from carrier grade systems. The GENBAND and Wind River partnership enables service providers to leverage NFV without sacrificing the reliability and performance of fixed-function networking solutions. By collaborating with Wind River through the Titanium Cloud ecosystem to provide interoperable networking services, GENBAND offers its CSP customers carrier grade NFV solutions that combine GENBAND’s reliable VNFs with Wind River Titanium Cloud software.

SBhatiaGENBANDSanjay Bhatia is Vice President of Solutions Marketing at GENBAND where he oversees the company’s product marketing organization and alignment of GENBAND’s go-to-market strategy across different market segments including NFV, Cloud, Enterprise Unified Communications, MSO and Wireless. Bhatia is an accomplished telecommunications professional with over 28 years of wide-ranging global experience. Bhatia has held a variety of senior leadership roles in Product Marketing, Product Line Management, and Research & Development for leading technology companies. He possesses a strong track record of successfully introducing new technologies via innovative product and solutions launches. Bhatia is an accomplished speaker who has presented at several global events. Prior to joining GENBAND, Bhatia served in senior business unit and marketing roles at Tekelec and various leadership positions at Nortel Networks. Bhatia holds bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech University.

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