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Overture, Partners Validate High Performance NFV Service Chaining

By Paula Bernier November 06, 2015

Service providers can and should walk away from proprietary hardware and software and embrace pure-play network functions virtualization, according to Prayson Pate. The Overture Networks CTO made this proclamation in a press release yesterday that announced the successful demonstration of NFV-based service chaining in a multivendor environment.

The European Advanced Networking Test Center last month validated that the virtual network functions running on commercial-off-the-shelf servers achieved line rate throughput of 1Gigabit with low latency and low jitter, according to Overture Networks, which contributed its Ensemble Carrier Ethernet VNF to the effort. Other suppliers and solutions involved in the independent lab test at the EANTC facility in Berlin included Brocade with its vRouter, Fortinet with the Fortigate-VM, Ixia and its XG12 Ethernet test system with IxLoad software (for testing converged multiplay services and application delivery platforms), Spirent with its Avalanche Virtual cloud test solution, and Supermicro with its 505-2 server.

The test evaluated the performance of each VNF in a simulated environment in which Layer 7 traffic reflected typical Internet usage and traffic-type makeup. EANTC added NAT masquerading to increase complexity for the router, and set 100 rules to challenge firewall capabilities.

Image via Shutterstock

A couple years ago, Ericsson described service chaining to me as something that enables network operators to create what are essentially catalogs of network resources and related policies (like QoS parameters and bandwidth) to which applications can be applied as they move onto the network. In a February 2015 white paper called Service Chaining in Carrier Network sponsored by Qosmos, Heavy Reading analyst Gabriel Brown defined service chaining as “an emerging set of technologies and processes that enable operators to configure network services dynamically in software without having to make changes to the network at the hardware level.” He noted the concept of service chaining is not new and that it can be done in legacy networks, but that in tradition “hardwired” networks that’s a challenge because service chains are more difficult to deploy and change. Of course, the software-based networks that leverage VNFs will be much more dynamic and, as Brown noted, service chaining could be employed in them for such uses as packet inspection; protocol proxies; traffic optimization; and value-added services such as ad insertion, header enrichment, WAN acceleration, and more.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

Executive Editor, TMC

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