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Case Studies

Full-Stack Evaluation of a Private Cloud Solution

NFV Private Cloud Evaluation

One of our Enterprise Communications Service Provider customers is currently in the process of rolling out a large private Cloud platform to enable the deployment of new and flexible services. They’d like to utilise the power and flexibility of Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) to enable these new services.

The Challenge

The Telco wanted to perform an evaluation of different private Cloud components in a full-stack configuration that included a simulation of their own network infrastructure. And all without setting up their own lab and with minimal overhead on the customer’s team.

The full stack Cloud software infrastructure included:

  • Multiple VIM’s based on two OpenStack distributions (Redhat RDO and Mirantis Fuel)
  • NFVO Orchestration software (Cloudify)
  • Third-party components including:
    Apigee’s On-Prem API Management solution and
    InfluxData’s TICK Stack event management solution
  • OpenDayLight SDN Controller software
  • Multiple test VNF’s in clustered configuration, e.g.
    Clearwater IMS
    F5 Load Balancer

The evaluation needed to be shown integrating to a number of enterprise Business Support Systems (BSS), Operations Support Systems (OSS), Cloud and networks systems.

In most evaluation situations, enterprise organisations usually have an established Model lab environment set up with both compute and network resources available for software tests, trials and evaluations. This type of Model lab is usually established by an organisation to provide a test bed for new software to operate on a platform of known characteristics, and with interfaces to multiple supporting systems, e.g. BSS and OSS platforms. The inter-networking was managed using OpenDayLight SDN for SD-WAN simulation.

But not only did this customer did not have such a Lab environment available in their timeframe, but the size and scope of the evaluation would have exceeded most Model labs anyway.

The Aptira Solution

Aptira was able to solve this problem by performing the evaluation using its own networking and compute resources. Not only does Aptira keep multiple lab environments running for both customer and internal projects, but we used to be a hosting company, so we had both the available infrastructure resources and the technical skillsets required to jump on this problem and fix it – we’re highly experienced at spinning up multi-tenanted environments very quickly. 

Aptira reconfigured its own lab to provide the necessary compute and network infrastructure. Not only did the evaluation lab support the full Cloud stack but also simulated multiple sites with local Data Centre networks and Wide-area networks. 

This work has bee executed in six of streams, configuring, integrating and testing:

  1. Physical infrastructure required to support the Cloud stack;
  2. VIM-layer virtualisation
  3. SDN configurations required to simulate the customer’s network and for traffic engineering purposes
  4. API Gateway functionality for 3 purposes:
    Evaluating the API Gateway functionality
    Simulating API transactions to / from thirteen external platforms
    Capturing API transactions for evaluation documentation
  5. Configuring and testing the event management for four purposes:
    End-to-end telemetry of NFV events for CLAMP and orchestration purposes
    End-to-end telemetry of operational events for systems management purposes
    Simulating behaviour of external systems (e.g. The distribution of event data to an external Analytics engine and the resulting inbound trigger events from analytics policy execution)
    Monitoring and capturing events for evaluation documentation
  6. Configuring and testing the orchestration policies

Aptira’s ability to rapidly configure its own resources to meet the customer’s needs saved the customer significant time and investment. 

The Result

Aptira successfully completed build of the lab environment, the configuration of the NFVO full-stack, and all the required integration points. The evaluation was completed and received a high compliance rating. The Telco customer was able to validate the performance of the entire stack without impact to any of their infrastructure, software, or people. 

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