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Mobile Network Function Virtualization Fundamentals

  • April 2016
  • -
  • EJL Wireless Research LLC
  • -
  • 101 pages

This report provides a comprehensive technology analysis on network function virtualization (NFV) and how it specifically applies to mobile networks A detailed analysis covering the various equipment vendor ecosystems is included as well as an analysis on the current views on both a virtualized EPC and virtualized RAN (vRAN) within a mobile network as well as virtual baseband units (vBBU) and virtualized base stations (vBS)

Features

- Definitions and explanations of NF, NFV, and NFVI
- NFV Reference Architecture
- NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) Requirements
- NFV Use Cases
- NFV Hardware Analysis
- Open NFV
- OpenDaylight
- Equipment Vendor/Service Provider Ecosystems including

Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia)
China Mobile
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
Ericsson
Huawei Technologies
Wind River Systems

- Total Pages: 101
- Total Tables: 4
- Total Exhibits: 39

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The objective of the report is to help senior managers/product line managers achieve a practical understanding of NFV concepts, understand the nature of network function virtualization, how it can help resolve practical issues and how it could help people improve their network performance, configuration and the flexibility for function enhancements The report is also a good reference for system architects in understanding the key points of NFV and helping them to make a proper decision on network feature development

The report will initially review the history and origin of the concept of network function virtualization Then, it will explain what is network virtualization and network function virtualization, as well as the differences between them The early applications of the concept of network virtualization and network function virtualization are discussed in the report in order to help readers understand where the concept came from, how it has become so popular

The report points out that network function virtualization is a concept rather than a specific technology Network function virtualization is actually a summation of modern computing
technologies, and it is a new stage of a computing network configuration and operational model

The report also touches on radio access network virtualization (vRAN) – a hot topic that has been discussed in the wireless industry Current activities are reviewed and practical market
requirements are also discussed in the report

The report will intensively analyze the relationship between NFV and standardization, desirable conditions and practical industry realities The objective of ETSI’s NFV working group will be introduced with discussions about the reality that service operators have experienced in the past and are experiencing currently

The financial aspect of deploying NFV networks will be generally discussed to highlight the necessity and practical benefits of NFV deployments
Consumer expectation and network operators’ expectations will be briefly discussed in the report, which outlines the different level of expectations for NFV

Table Of Contents

Mobile Network Function Virtualization Fundamentals
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 8
11 Network Virtualization 9
12 Network Function Virtualization (NFV) 14
13 The relationship between SDN and NFV 15
14 ESTI NFV Work Group and Specification 16
15 OPNFV and Its Objectives 18
CHAPTER 2: WHAT PROBLEMS DOES THE INDUSTRY EXPECT NFV TO RESOLVE? 21
21 Network Services of NFV 21
22 ETSI Use Cases 21
23 General Comments to Use Cases 23
CHAPTER 3: REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE OF NFV 38
31 NFVI 39
32 NFV Ecosystem Environment 40
33 Open Source Development 41
34 Ecosystems Offered by Different Manufacturers/Operators 42
35 Open Daylight Project 51
Summary 56
CHAPTER 4: NETWORK VIRTUALIZATION VS NETWORK FUNCTION VIRTUALIZATION57
41 Network Virtualization Practical Use Cases 57
42 Projection of NFV and Possible Use Cases under Discussion 58
43 The relationship between NFV and standardization 60
CHAPTER 5: AGILE NETWORK AND NETWORK ORCHESTRATION REQUIREMENTS 62
51 Definition of an Agile Network 63
52 Functions of Network Orchestration 64
53 Network Design Criteria to Meet the Requirements of an Agile Network 69
54 Minimum Function Set Requirements for Network Orchestration 71
CHAPTER 6: DEPLOYMENT FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NFV 76
61 When and Why Is NFV Needed? 76
62 The Benefits of Deploying NFV to an Existing Network 77
63 Justification of NFV Deployment Costs 79
64 NFV Ecosystem and Interoperability 79
65 Network Reliability 80
CHAPTER 7: CURRENT NFV CHALLENGES 81
71 Multi-vendor Operation 82
72 Open Source and Standardization 82
73 Issues associated with open source and protocols 84
Summary 87
CHAPTER 8: NFV HARDWARE ANALYSIS 88
CHAPTER 9: MARKET POTENTIAL AND CONCLUSIONS 96
91 The Status of Current NFV products Claimed on the Market 99
3
TABLES

Table 1: Comparison of Reliability Requirements between IT and Telecom 80
Table 2: Technical/Business Risks for Virtualization 93
Table 3: Development Risks for Virtualization 94
Table 4: OEM Vendor Network Function/Hardware Platform 95
4
EXHIBITS

Exhibit 1: Diagram of a Practical Network Architecture 10
Exhibit 2: Network Virtualization 11
Exhibit 3: PC Architecture as a Simplified Example of Internal Virtualization 12
Exhibit 4: Internal Virtualization 13
Exhibit 5: NFV Reference Architecture 15
Exhibit 6: Relationships between NFV, NV, and SDN 16
Exhibit 7: What the Service Provider is Expecting from NFV 17
Exhibit 8: OPNFV Platinum Members 19
Exhibit 9: OPNFV Arno Release Overview 19
Exhibit 10: An Architecture View of Virtualized EPC 24
Exhibit 11: Virtualized EPC on IA Server Platform 24
Exhibit 12: C-RAN Architecture Diagram 25
Exhibit 13?The Concept of Virtual RAN by China Mobile 26
Exhibit 14: LTE Mobile Network Diagram 27
Exhibit 15: RADISYS - Virtualized C-RAN for small cell deployment 28
Exhibit 16: Altiostar Virtual RAN Architecture 29
Exhibit 17: ASOCS Fully Virtualized Base Station (vBS) in a Standard Cloud 30
Exhibit 18: Alcatel-Lucent vRAN Activity Timeline 31
Exhibit 19: Alcatel-Lucent 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE RNC) 31
Exhibit 20: Alcatel-Lucent D-RAN/C-RAN/vRAN Evolution Diagram 32
Exhibit 21: Parallel Wireless 3G/4G/WiFi vRAN Architecture 34
Exhibit 22: Ongoing NFV MANO Work 37
Exhibit 23: NFV Reference Architecture 38
Exhibit 24: Alcatel-Lucent Cloud-Bandâ„¢ Ecosystem 43
Exhibit 25: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise OpenNFV Reference Architecture 46
Exhibit 26: HPE OpenNFV Application Partner Ecosystem 47
Exhibit 27: Wind River Titanium Cloud Ecosystem Architecture 50
Exhibit 28: Wind River NFV Ecosystem Partners 50
Exhibit 29: OpenDaylight HYDROGEN Architecture (Release 1) 52
Exhibit 30: OpenDaylight HELIUM Architecture (Release 2) 53
Exhibit 31: OpenDaylight LITHIUM Architecture (Release 3) 54
Exhibit 32: OpenDaylight Release Timeline (Release 1-5), 2013-2016 55
Exhibit 33: Long Term Objective of NFV with Multi-vendor Configuration 59
Exhibit 34: Reference Points in NFV Reference Architecture 60
Exhibit 35: The Roles of Network Orchestrator 65
Exhibit 36: Management and Orchestration Function of VNF 78
Exhibit 37: Hardware Platform Evolution towards Virtualization 90
Exhibit 38: Virtual Network Functions and Common Hardware Platform 97
Exhibit 39: AdvanceTCA Modular Platform Concept 100

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