Applications Synchronization in the New Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) World
Software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are driving the world faster and farther than any concept yet in managing and creating new approaches to complex global networks. The move toward virtualized infrastructures brings with it unparalleled flexibility, automation, agility, and simplicity – advantages that have led many IT enterprises to adopt cloud-based platforms.
Open Source NFV
This modernization is as complex as it is exciting. NVF transformation requires new, different capabilities than standards to date for IT-based solutions. To accelerate transformation, in 2014 the Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), was established. The OPNFV is a collaborative project under the Linux Foundation that is transforming global networks through open source NFV. Building a standards-like approach used by the IETF-Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the OPNFV seeks to create and build the means for QoS-quality of service, diagnostics, provisioning, OSS-operational support systems, cybersecurity, SLA-service level agreements and all the other mechanics for viable development and deployment of real-world solutions. By creating this open-source community, all of its members can synchronize requirements and team up to jointly build solutions in a viable and practical environment for all involved.
Key leaders in this area include Ericsson and Cisco both platinum-level founding OPNFV members, along with several other telecom vendors, service providers, and IT companies. This kind of commitment by major leaders as well as encouraging new players is already yielding exciting new applications development. Yet much remains if NFV and OPNFV can be increasingly responsive to major new tech trends such as 5G and IoT-internet of things each early in their own development. Ultimately the role of companies like Ericsson and others will be to foster growth and provide the technical assistance and open platform for whatever comes along. This kind of transformation is what Ericsson has always done.
Future Digital Infrastructure
On the hardware side of things, Ericsson is an example of a company that is focusing on Future Digital Infrastructure to scale IT capabilities to prepare for the technological needs of tomorrow.
The evolution of IT is defined by Ericsson as Future Digital Infrastructure, and includes:
Disaggregation: No racks of servers. Instead panels support multiple configurable tiles. These are connected to each other through an optical backplane. They can be arranged into a nearly infinite number of combinations.
Software-defined infrastructure (SDI): Tiles are organized into pools of resources: compute, storage, memory, networking. Computer systems are then “assembled” from the pools into any needed configuration.
Liquid cooling: Tiles are cooled by circulating liquid over the components, for greater density and hotter operation.
Robotic automation: Future Digital Infrastructure is not serviced by human beings. Robots assemble the tiles, carry out maintenance, and replace broken or obsolete components. This means the datacenter can be bigger, taller, hotter, and more flexible.
Robotic resilience: A robot pulls out tiles at random to test and improve the system’s reliability.
Distributed cloud infrastructure: Future Digital Infrastructure is not just for huge datacenters run by the Super Cloud 7. The needs of the Internet of Things and 5G means that similar flexible SDI will be seen everywhere.
In this video (http://bit.ly/2puww1v), Jason Hoffman, VP, Head of PA Cloud Infrastructure demos their “robotic wall” – an installation of the automated datacenter. It’s pretty remarkable stuff.
The Digital Future Awaits
The work being done to modernize IT through open source cloud technologies, automation, and beyond is transformative beyond imagination. The Red Hat Summit this week is an opportune time to demo emerging technologies and learn about how you can accelerate your digital transformation from industry leaders, like Ericsson, face-to-face. I hope to see you there.