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Behind The 400+ Cloud Network: Explaining Huawei's NFV Commercial Code FROM ZKTEL

- Jun 27, 2018 -

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The introduction of cloud computing concepts has revolutionized the operator's network architecture, business, and operating models. Network transformation through network function virtualization (NFV) has become a common choice for more and more operators. Throughout the world, as of the end of 2017, there were more than 700 cloud network projects and more than 150 commercial applications. The famous consulting firm IHS Markit released an NFV market research show that the NFV market will reach US$11.6 billion by 2019. It can be seen that NFV has passed the initial stage of conceptual hype, and the deployment of cloud-based networks has been accelerating and it has entered the commercial stage. It is understood that the number of commercialized contracts for cloud core networks obtained by Huawei has increased from more than 20 in early 2016 to more than 400 in the first quarter of 2018, which has increased 20 times in two years.

The third-party consultancy, Strategy Analytics, recently released the "VNF Comprehensive Strength Assessment Report" to analyze and rank the supplier's VNF comprehensive strength. Huawei is in the "Leader" quadrant. Then, why can Huawei lead the world in the construction of the cloud-based core network and commercial deployment, and how can it solve the commercial challenges of NFV scale? What experiences are worth learning from?

Decoding NFV Commercial Scale: Six Challenges VS Huawei's Sixth Tool

Reliability VS Cloud Native Software Architecture

The design of telecommunication equipment is generally required to achieve more than five 9-point reliability. At the same time, environmental indicators such as temperature, humidity, electromagnetic, etc. are all more stringent than IT equipment. However, the reliability of the COTS general-purpose server is usually in accordance with the requirements of the 3-9 standard. How to ensure carrier-class reliability on the 3 9-infrastructure is the primary challenge.

In the joint innovation practice with leading operators around the world, Huawei took the lead in applying the Cloud Native concept to optimize and reconfigure virtual network function software (VNF) to meet differentiated service demands, and to realize infrastructure-independent carrier-class services. Quality assurance. As a result, the overall equipment reliability is raised to "5 9".

Performance VS Software End-to-End Fine-Tuning

NFV is highly dependent on network I/O performance. Although the capacity of the general-purpose processor chip has been greatly improved after several cycles of Moore's Law, in the case of latency and data plane forwarding and the same amount of traffic, general IT equipment and traditional telecommunication equipment are in I/O. There is a certain gap in performance, especially in large traffic and high throughput scenarios.

Huawei has conducted deep optimization of Openstack OS, GuestOS, and VNF through hardware and software pass-through and hardware acceleration technologies to meet carrier-grade forwarding requirements. After optimization, the forwarding performance of a single vCPU to 512Bytes can reach 2.35 Mpbs, which is close to bare-metal level. Therefore, in the NFV POC performance test of Telefonica UNCIA, Huawei won the first place. In the actual project, the cloud-based IMS provided by China is able to save 10-20% more resources than the industry average, and its cloudized EPC network has a single-node traffic of 130Gpbs.

Secure VS three-layer three defense defense architecture

The telecommunication network element based on closed and proprietary hardware implementation has natural advantages in security. The essence of decoupling of NFV software and hardware is to break the original closed property and inevitably introduce new security threats. For example, resource sharing brings physical boundaries to be broken, directly bringing risks such as data leakage, data retention, and being attacked; layered decoupling of new high-risk areas such as the introduction of virtual layers requires new security designs.

Huawei builds a three-layered, three-faced security architecture (three-tier refers to the COTS layer, CloudOS layer, VNF layer, three-face user plane, control plane, and management plane) to construct a defense-in-depth system for NFV systems, making security attacks in accordance with the principle of “inaccessible,” There is no authority to access, there is no authority to destroy it, and even if it is destroyed, the logic of not taking data is resisted by layers, effectively protecting the security of the open NFV system.

Integrated VS pre-verification based on open ecology

After layer decoupling, NFV increases MANO (including NFVO, VNFM, and VIM in three parts) management orchestration domain on the basis of vertical layering of the network, which inevitably increases the difficulty of integration. In the deployment of NFV, different components are provided by different vendors, which puts forward higher requirements for the interoperability and compatibility of different manufacturers' solutions. It also requires more complex intercommunication test verification, integration and planning deployment than traditional telecommunication networks, resulting in deployment ready time. Long, low efficiency, and the follow-up of each module's life cycle management is complex.

In response to the integration challenge, Huawei initiated multi-vendor collaboration and took the lead in setting up an industry-leading NFV open laboratory. Currently, it has aggregated 45 NFV mainstream vendors. Through multi-factory environment NFV network architecture integration test, verification and pre-integration of software and hardware solutions, it can significantly reduce multi-vendor integration risk, shorten deployment time, and achieve rapid delivery. Huawei has completed the mutual authentication and authorization of products with mainstream Cloud OS vendors such as RedHat, Ubuntu, and Windriver. This means that carrier customers can flexibly select VNF software, Cloud OS, and COTS hardware combinations on demand without worrying about the risk of integration deployment.

Operation and maintenance VS improve and simplify operation and maintenance measures

Through hierarchical decoupling, NFV allows resources to be scheduled in real time, services can be migrated on demand, and the architecture can be dynamically adjusted. This increases operator network flexibility and increases the complexity of operation and maintenance. The difficulty in locating faults such as increased number of faulty nodes, cross-layers, and multiple modules has become a key challenge in the early commercial practice industry consensus.

Huawei is structured through systematic operation and maintenance to greatly simplify the operation and maintenance of NFV. The unified management global view SingleView, which is a hierarchical heterogeneous entity, can be viewed through unified authentication, unified Portal, and hierarchical information topology. This helps O&M personnel to easily operate and maintain the NFV layered system without changing the operation and maintenance habits. In addition, based on rich practical experience and in-depth insights into operation and maintenance pain points, Huawei provides "one-click" tools for a large number of complex operation and maintenance operations, such as one-click disaster recovery switching, and two-site disaster recovery for two sites.

Smooth evolution VS mixed group pool solution

Cloud network transformation is a long-term process. After the initial entry, it is necessary to fully consider the collaboration of cloud and non-cloud networks, gradual migration of non-cloud services, gradual network retirement of old networks, and continuous expansion of new cloud networks.

The Huawei Hybrid Pool solution provides the best solution for smooth evolution. Through the combination of cloudized and non-clouded service networks, the operator can allow the clouded network to carry the growth of capacity expansion traffic, orderly migrate traditional services to the cloud, realize orderly development of new and old networks, and protect investment.

From "top" cloud to "use" cloud, automation + AI maximizes the value of cloud

After large-scale deployment, automation + AI will become a key means of "using" good clouds and cloud value. At present, Huawei has built a fully automated CI/CD workflow scheduling engine and an AI-based automated intelligent operation and maintenance system.

Taking the cloudized VoLTE service as an example, Huawei can complete the clouded VoLTE network design in 30 minutes through the CI/CD assembly line. After the equipment is powered on, the average call can be completed in 3 days. The overall E2E service on-line efficiency is increased by 50%. Through multi-dimensional KPI automatic fault detection based on deep learning, multi-level fault alarm association root cause analysis, and multi-strategy self-healing, 90% of faults can be automatically delimited and positioned in a cloudized VoLTE scenario, and self-healing can be achieved in 20 seconds.

In the future, Huawei will continue to innovate and continue to deepen the application of automation and AI technology on a full-scale cloud-based commercial network to achieve business line efficiency, maintenance efficiency, innovation efficiency, and cloud network resource efficiency and energy efficiency. "Never fail" autonomous network.

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