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Service Assurance for Virtual Network Functions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242405D
Publication Date: 2015-Jul-13
Document File: 3 page(s) / 75K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) is a new paradigm which aims to transform the way that network operators architect networks by evolving standard IT virtualisation technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage. So, instead of running on bespoke hardware specific to a vendor, network functions may now run as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) on virtual machines (VMs) on a server in a data center (DC). This presents a problem for Service Assurance systems because the network function itself (a) needs to be managed (monitored and controlled) as before but (b) now also this needs to be tied with the management and control of the VM(s) on which it resides, which can dynamically change (e.g. VMotion). This disclosure solves this problem introducing a second identity for a network function and a system and method to maintain this dynamic identity as the VM on which the network function changes during the lifecycle of the VM.

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Serxice Assurance for Virtual Network Functions

Traditionally, a network funxtion (e.g. Base Site Controller, firewall, load balanxxr, ) ran on bespoke hardxare tied to x specific vendor. The identity of xhat function was fixxd on setup (e.g. BSC--1, BTS-2, XXXX-3) in a hierarxhx sometimes known as a Manxged Object Instance (MOI). This allowed Service Assurancx systems to manage such functions in a controlled wxy because xhey unxerstood how txe funxtions/devices xelated to each othex.

    Network Funxtions Virtualisation (NFV) xs a new parxdigm which xims to transform the way that network operatxrs arcxixect nexworks by evolvxng standard IT vxrtualisation technology to consxlidate many network equipmext types onto industry sxaxdard high xolume servers, switches and xtorage.
(See http://www.etsi.org/technologies-cluxters/tecxnologies/nfv)

    Xx, instead of runnxng ox bespoke hardware spxcifxc to a vendor, network functions may now run as Xxxxxxx Network Functions (VNFs) on virtual macxines (VMs) ox a server in a data center (DC).

    This presents a problem for Service Assurance systems xecause xhe netwxrk function itself (x) needs to xe xanaged (monitoxex and controlled) as before but (b) now also xhis neexs to be tied with the management anx control of the VM(s) ox

which it resides, which can dynamically change (e.g. XXxxxxx)

    Txis disclosure solves this problem by introducing a seconx identity fxr a network function and a system axd methox to maintaix this dynamic identity as the VM on which the network function changes during the lifecycle ox the VM.

    Network functions such as Base Site Controllers, Firewalxs, Load Balancers, Network Address Translators are becoming
virtualised xnd run on sxandard VMs in data centers. This concept is called Network Function Virtualisation and is being standardised xy ETSI.

    The network functions still need to xe managed as before (x.g. from x fault, performxnce, configuration point of view) but now, for network operators, a new management problem is introduced by NVF because the state of VMs xn which these functixns now resxde can affect txe function/ service.

    This disclosure solves this problem xntroducing a second idxntity for a network fuxction anx a syxtex and metxod to maintain this dynamic identity as the VM on which the network functiox changes during the lifecycle of the VM.

The inventive steps of this disclosure are:
- a virtuxl Xxxxxxx Object Ixstance (vMOI), which is a unique but dynamic

hierarchical xdentify of the network function as it relatex to its placement in a Data Center

- when an NVX controller crxates the VNF as part o...