Service providers and mobile operators are feeling the pressure from multiple fronts driving the need for an open network hypervisor. Demand for broadband services continues to grow by leaps and bounds, yet customers expect high-quality connectivity at the same or lower prices. Meanwhile, the pace of innovation has become so rapid that new competitive services can erode operators’ top revenue sources before they have time to adjust. To thrive in such a fast-changing environment, operators need new technologies and methodologies to help them quickly deliver innovative customer services.
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A white paper from Huawei introduces Open Network Hypervisor (OpenNH), a new framework and architecture for software-defined networking (SDN) network virtualization. SDN architecture separates network control functionality from specific service functionality for increased efficiency, scale, and elasticity – but it still only provides a “para-virtualization solution” towards applications, the white paper argues. Huawei says OpenNH is the key element for a fully virtualized SDN network and the next step in the network virtualization journey.
The paper explains how OpenNH separates the physical and virtual networks via the SDN controller to create a network hypervisor layer similar to a computer hypervisor that virtualizes CPU, memory, and disk capabilities. The OpenNH hypervisor layer lies on top of the physical network and below the control layer to provide a unified API to the hosted SDN controllers on top and the network elements below.
Designed to meet the demands of cloud computing and virtualized technology, OpenNH gives operators and providers:
- Faster new service introduction
- Innovation openness
- Easy customization
- Enhanced security
- Operational simplicity
OpenNH opens the door for new business models and infrastructure sharing, Huawei says. By decoupling the physical devices from the controller’s layer, providers and operators can slice the network and run multiple parallel guest controllers on each slice. This enables customers to effectively run and manage their own independent tenant virtual networks through their own SDN controllers.
Read the paper to learn more about OpenNH, including an overview of two main use cases for the technology: network sandboxing and 5G network slicing.