Packaged Linux Delivers Network Functions Virtualization

Packaged Linux Delivers Network Functions Virtualization

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are all the rage as conventional computing platforms have taken up the challenge of network routing and management (see “What's The Difference Between SDN and NFV”). The trend is to integrate monolithic, vertically integrated hardware like gateways and routers into a single, virtualized, hardware platform.

Platforms such as OpenStack are making that job easier. Integrating and deploying OpenStack is not a trivial task and it is only part of a complete system that is used to deliver network services.

Wind River's Carrier Grade Linux Communication Server (Fig. 1) is designed to provide OpenStack support out of the box. It is based on Wind River's Carrier Grade Linux with KVM virtualization support that is designed to work with their Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). The user space Open vSwitch support works with 10G Intel ARK/Niantic Ethernet adapters as well as Mellanox Ethernet/InfiniBand adapters.

Figure 1. Wind River's Carrier Grade Linux Communication Server adds OpenStack support to its carrier grade Linux implementation that employs KVM virtualization.

The server can be installed from a flash drive or other storage device. The system is complete and designed to deliver 99.999% availability with minimal loss of server and data on failover. It supports live patching and hitless upgrades. The system is designed for very large applications on the order of 100,000+ customers with carrier grade SLAs (service level agreements).

The architecture supports different installations with the default being two payload and two controller servers. The controllers start up with the OpenStack dashboard. The systems are designed for redundancy and scalability. It allows developers to build on top of a very complete and robust system.

The Carrier Grade Linux Communication Server targets COTS hardware. Developers will still be able to customize the system and add their own software on top but Wind River provides that basis for a complete system. This includes services such as packet acceleration, content inspection and flow analysis.

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