Chapter 1. Understanding Red Hat Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a software-based solution that helps the Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to move beyond the traditional, proprietary hardware to achieve greater efficiency and agility while reducing the operational costs.

An NFV environment allows for IT and network convergence by providing a virtualized infrastructure using the standard virtualization technologies that run on standard hardware devices such as switches, routers, and storage to virtualize network functions (VNFs). The management and orchestration logic deploys and sustains these services. NFV also includes a Systems Administration, Automation and Life-Cycle Management thereby reducing the manual work necessary.

1.1. Advantages of NFV

The main advantages of implementing network functions virtualization (NFV) are as follows:

  • Accelerates the time-to-market by allowing you to to quickly deploy and scale new networking services to address changing demands.
  • Supports innovation by enabling service developers to self-manage their resources and prototype using the same platform that will be used in production.
  • Addresses customer demands in hours or minutes instead of weeks or days, without sacrificing security or performance.
  • Reduces capital expenditure because it uses commodity-off-the-shelf hardware instead of expensive tailor-made equipment.
  • Uses streamlined operations and automation that optimize day-to-day tasks to improve employee productivity and reduce operational costs.

1.2. Supported Configurations for NFV Deployments

Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOSP) supports NFV deployments with the inclusion of automated OVS-DPDK and SR-IOV configuration. For more information on the support scope for features marked as technology previews, see Technology Preview.

Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI)
Customers can now co-locate the Compute sub-system with the Red Hat Ceph Storage nodes. This hyper-converged model delivers lower cost of entry, smaller initial deployment footprints, maximized capacity utilization, and more efficient management in NFV use cases. For more information on HCI, see Hyperconverged Infrastructure Guide.
Composable roles
You can now use composable roles to create custom deployments. Composable roles allow you to add or remove services from each role. For more information on the Composable Roles, see Composable Roles and Services.
Open vSwitch (OVS) with LACP
As of OVS 2.9, LACP with OVS is fully supported. This is not recommended for Openstack control plane traffic, as OVS or Openstack Networking interruptions may interfere with management. For more information See Open vSwitch Bonding Options.
OVS Hardware offload
Red Hat OpenStack Platform supports, with limitations, the deployment of OVS hardware offload. For information about deploying OVS with hardware offload, see OpenvSwitch Hardware offload.
Open Virtual Network (OVN)

The following NFV OVN configurations are available in RHOSP 16.1.4: