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Making Software Defined Networks work for the Service Provider’s success

- February 26, 2015 - 0 Comments

An invitation to see how Tomorrow starts here at MWC 2015

We all like to talk about creating new customized services for the end user at “web-speed”. But today there is no way to automate service creation, or to dynamically affect changes (augmentation) to existing services without touching the network topology. This is because we use physical service chains across the data plane.  To achieve automated flexibility in service creation we must logically decouple the service plane from the transport plane – a software abstraction from specific network nodes.

As an industry, we lack the ability to:

  • Automatically, dynamically create new services from shared resources (service nodes/functions) as needed.
  • Dynamically modify traffic steering (for example; a DPI can re-write the SPI based on outcome of application identification).
  • Provide complete end-to-end visibility, OAM, trouble shooting and performance management.
  • Dynamically change the data path to alter the service chain without touching the network topology.

… until today.

Cisco and Intel are leading a fast growing eco-system of network technology vendors that includes Citrix and F5, to drive the IETF standardization of Network Service Header (NSH) protocol.    Open source NSH implementations are available today for Open Virtual Switch (OVS) and OpenDayLight (ODL).

NSH provides a unique Service Path Identifier (SPI) which controls the steering of a data packet in an SDN (Software Defined Network)environment including metadata to service nodes. This enables a simple forwarding model for chained traffic regardless of what happens to the packets (e.g. NAT). It also enables a simple way to construct complex service graphs.

Service Chaing using Network Service Header

Figure 1: Service Chain using Network Service Header (NSH)

Metadata is a crucial to the powerful flexibility NSH delivers for high speed virtualized service chaining, enabling global Service Providers to cross the chasm to the IT cloud service delivery model.

Extending the proven partnership for UCS, Cisco and Intel are working together across standards bodies and the open source community to drive critical enabling technologies for datacenter transformation and the Cisco InterCloud.

Cisco and Intel engineers and network architects are working together to derive the greatest performance of SDN/NFV solutions over Cisco UCS platforms running on Intel processors such as DPDK. Through this partnership, Cisco and Intel will deliver NFV architectures optimized for performance, scalability and survivability on UCS. Combined with the seamless integration with standards-based cloud technologies the end result is a solution that delivers the cloud experience Service Providers crave with the OpEx and CapEx benefits they require.

Cisco and Intel are leading a fast growing eco system of network technology vendors that includes Citrix and F5, to drive the IETF standardization of Network Service Header (NSH) protocol. Open source NSH implementations are available today for Open Virtual Switch (OVS) and OpenDayLight (ODL). Check out what Citrix is doing in this area, in their blog.

If you are going to the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, please stop by the Cisco booth in Hall 3, Stand 3E 30 to see dynamic service creation along with demonstrations of our Evolved Services Platform orchestrating the Virtual and Physical network as one. Also, stop by the Intel booth in Hall3, Stand 3D 30 (just across from Cisco) to see NSH in action. This demo will show widely deployed services by Cisco and others illustrate how dynamic service chains can easily be constructed with NSH.

Together we are creating tangible value from SDN and NFV for our Service Provider customers.

Tweet us for questions or comments @CiscoSP360.

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