As network functions virtualization (NFV) transforms the way service providers plan, orchestrate, and manage their mobile networks, it is also creating a new paradigm for service innovation. NFV’s software-centric approach not only drives down costs, it also makes it possible for providers to introduce services faster than ever before.
Many operators already are moving forward with planning and implementing NFV in their live networks, but performance concerns give others pause. A new white paper from Amdocs outlines a NFV checklist with eight critical factors for service providers to consider to maximize NFV benefits without sacrificing carrier-grade performance:
- Horizontal scaling: NFV applications can be designed to scale elastically on demand – in or out based on traffic. But they need to be easily replicated to rapidly add capacity for any virtualized network function (VNF).
- Vertical scaling: Adding, replacing, or removing instances in an existing VM cluster provides vertical stability with lower configuration latency than horizontal scaling.
- Agnostic hypervisor: Service providers must determine which hypervisors best fit their network and performance requirements and scale those hypervisors easily to add new services.
- Interoperability: Gating issues are inherent in disparate, third-party systems. If you have a VNF manager that runs as a mini-orchestration system, it’s possible to increase the efficiency of the interacting elements.
- Multitenancy: Reduce costs and optimize resources through multi-tenancy that can support call model customization for each tenant – including hold time, number of subscribers on the network, and complexity of the use case.
- In-service upgrades: Add new applications to the network without downtime or performance interruption.
- Pooling PCRF: Combining dedicated PCRF slices that are tuned for specific traffic models, such as VoLTE, makes high-scale and rich-context policies feasible.
- Cloud automation: With optimal cloud automation, service providers can maximize system scalability. As traffic and customer demand continue to grow, NFV will be critical to preparing mobile networks for future workloads, greater service differentiation, and automation.
Review the full white paper to learn more about how to increase scalability and service agility while maintaining the service levels customers demand.