Why Metrics Matter for NFV success

Girl Hanging by chain service chain metrics no MWC

Service provider’s business models are being forced to take advantage of the economics of NFV ‘s service chain capabilities. End users insatiable demand for bandwidth and guaranteed service is due to use of applications built on dev-ops based virtual environments, never taking into consideration geographic boundaries, or limited bandwidth.

With NFV, service providers are being forced into a role that includes deploying and supporting applications. The application centric nature of virtual routing, firewall, IDS all service chained together, require on demand, dynamic and reliable infrastructure.

This creates a dichotomy. Today’s service providers are constrained by boundaries, distances, technology and even cultural limitations. Historically service performance has really meant circuit performance. Circuit performance is often provided and monitored by systems based on legacy architectures or hardware based appliances and is not suited for the emerging dev ops virtual environment. As a recent study of operators found “one of the biggest challenges to being able to support NFV services will be the service assurance system’s ability to consume and maintain the dependability of performance metrics for the services. A system that cannot scale to be able to measure these services and changes will not be able to accurately reflect the current state of both virtual and hybrid services.”

Heavy Reading added “a requirement that will determine the Carrier’s ability to deploy NFV SDN (and LSO) successfully will be dependent upon their service assurance’s platform and its inherent network analytics. The SA platform will play a key role by providing proactive and predictive actionable intelligence.”

As Ericsson states, “the service assurance solution itself will [need to] reside as multiple VM’s in the data center. Services assurance solutions can be delivered as SaaS model. Also, in the legacy networks probes play a key role in providing real time information about how services are consumed by end users. The NFV transformation will also push the probes in to virtualized environments as virtual probes. NFV will require carriers to have web scale, multi-tenant, multi-service service assurance and analytics platform.”

TMForum added “key benefit of a “virtualized” infrastructure that operators want to capitalize upon is the ability to scale the network capacity on demand to adjust to the dynamic nature of traffic. In order to scale a VNF up or down, a real-time monitoring capability that provides the key performance metrics in a timely fashion to the orchestration system is essential. Traditional monitoring tools that are based on a centralized, offline processing model will not be able to provide such timely information; therefore, the monitoring paradigm for software-centric networks will need to evolve to a distributed [collection] model where key performance metrics can be computed and provided on-the-fly locally and streamed to the auto-scaling application that can initiate the orchestration workflow to properly scale the VNF or associated NFV application in a timely manner.

With all the constraints already in the carrier environment the last hurdle carriers need is hardware based legacy Service Assurance system. “There are three key facets of successful service delivery,” Raymond Chiu, CTO of Local Backhaul Networks and chief architect of Ocular IP, told RCR Wireless News during a recent discussion. “Those are collecting (consuming) analyzing service metrics, visualizing performance and intelligent integration with other systems for action.”

You can take Service Assurance in the above requisites and replace it with OcularIP. OcularIP is a web scale SaaS service assurance platform leveraging distributed collection and architected to support multi-domain, multi-tenant, multi-service, multi-technology environments. OcularIP integrates with Carriers current OSS/BSS/EMS environments plus leverages their investment in technology supporting an open connector collector that supports over 390 technologies, systems and interfaces today.

Click here to setup a demo of Ocular IP. For a deep-dive into the technology, take a look at this white paper.