Cloud Native VNF Operation Automation

We’ve been helping network operators to realize the benefits of Network Functions Virtualisation since the very beginnings of the NFV movement, and one message that we hear over and over is that improved operational efficiency is the number one motivation for embarking on the transformation to a virtualised network.

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Our NFV journey started before the term “NFV” was coined, back in 2011, when we began the development of an IMS solution designed from the ground up for a cloud environment. Like every other vendor of networking gear, we came from a background where software was packaged as an appliance, and we had a lot to learn about the cloud and about cloud native software design. One lesson we took onboard very early on was that operations automation is a fundamental requirement. If you build a system that is decomposed into several microservices components, which scales out horizontally by instantiating more and more of these components, then you are never going to be able to successfully deploy and manage such a system manually! Clearly, operations automation is something that you must bake into the software from the outset.

Our people are software designers and developers, not telco network operations experts. It’s been a huge pleasure collaborating on this white paper with Telia, and we’ve learned a lot from the Telia team and the perspective they bring on network operations. It’s also been very gratifying to have the Telia experts confirm that the approach we’ve taken to operations automation in the design of our VNFs, learned from best practices in the cloud software world, does indeed provide an excellent basis for the massive improvements in operations efficiency that network operators look for in planning their adoption of NFV.

We hope that this paper, based on the combined perspectives of cloud software developers and network operations experts, will help the industry to better understand how to maximize the most important benefits that NFV transformation can bring: far faster and hugely more efficient network operations.

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