OpenStack is often used in conjunction with network functions virtualization (NFV) technology in data centers to deploy cloud services, especially communications services offered by large service providers and cloud providers.
OpenStack is an open source virtualization platform. It enables service providers to deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) server hardware. These applications are hosted in a data center but can be accessed via the cloud, the model behind NFV.
Open Source, With Many Flavors
Many different technologies can be used to build an NFV data center. NFV OpenStack is one of many popular open source technologies that are used to build a virtualized architecture. Many of the largest service providers, cloud providers, and large enterprises are adopting OpenStack as a method to build an NFV infrastructure that is compatible with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) MANO standards for NFV. This is because both ETSI and Linux Foundation’s OPNFV have used OpenStack as their Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM), a portion of the MANO framework.
Because NFV OpenStack implementations can be built on open source technology, many commercial operations are adopting OpenStack so that they can make support, development, and service improvements to the platform. Some of the startups and tech companies that have pursued this model include Mirantis, and PLUMGrid. Large technology companies such as Cisco, HP, Oracle, and Red Hat have also built and marketed tools, platforms, and support infrastructure around NFV OpenStack technology.
Cited as Economical and Efficient
NFV OpenStack can be used to build large, scalable services. It does this by coordinating networking, compute, and storage resources. Additional tools can be used to automate the orchestration of services and build tools to manage resources using APIs.
The nature of using open technologies as the foundation for certain software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV frameworks means those technologies are more driven by community standards. The use of standard, open source technology is enabling large operators and enterprises to tap into a wide range of open development models and tools to speed up development and lower costs. This allows companies to deploy more cloud technology with scale and agility.
The main drivers of NFV OpenStack adoption, according to a research user survey by the OpenStack Foundation, are the ability to increase operational efficiency, to remain competitive by innovating faster, and to save money.
Updated February 2019