Network virtualization and cloud-enabled technologies are steadily reshaping the network architectures of telecommunication providers, creating strong incentives to demonstrate the viability of these technologies for commercial use. As commercial deployments accelerate, work still needs to be done. Through an open ecosystem and open standards approach, stakeholders are collaborating to improve int...eroperability at each layer of the Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI). One of the primary objectives in this collaborative work is to measure performance in a consistent and predictable way. Another goal is to minimize the complexity in planning and implementing infrastructures based on software-defined networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). To these ends, Intel and HP are removing the guesswork from the integration and performance measurements through a commercial platform based on the Intel® Open Network Platform (Intel® ONP) reference architecture.
Intel ONP offers a blueprint for redefining network architectures around the principles of virtualization. This reference architecture decouples network functions from the underlying hardware components, setting up an infrastructure for service chaining and providing a model open to centralized provisioning and management of network resources. HP has advanced the architecture further with the HP OpenNFV platform, adapting it for commercial deployments.
The rapid transformation of network infrastructures from fixed, physically based constructs to virtualized, highly manageable frameworks demands a structured and open approach. Through the efforts of Intel and HP, telecommunication providers, enterprises, and cloud-service providers are able to more accurately assess the virtualized environments as part of an NFVI. This paper explains the concepts surrounding the HP NFVI evaluation platform and provides highlights of the initial test results.