Introducing Development Features for Virtualized Network Services

08/28/2018
by   Steven Van Rossem, et al.
0

Network virtualization and softwarizing network functions are trends aiming at higher network efficiency, cost reduction and agility. They are driven by the evolution in Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). This shows that software will play an increasingly important role within telecommunication services, which were previously dominated by hardware appliances. Service providers can benefit from this, as it enables faster introduction of new telecom services, combined with an agile set of possibilities to optimize and fine-tune their operations. However, the provided telecom services can only evolve if the adequate software tools are available. In this article, we explain how the development, deployment and maintenance of such an SDN/NFV-based telecom service puts specific requirements on the platform providing it. A Software Development Kit (SDK) is introduced, allowing service providers to adequately design, test and evaluate services before they are deployed in production and also update them during their lifetime. This continuous cycle between development and operations, a concept known as DevOps, is a well known strategy in software development. To extend its context further to SDN/NFV-based services, the functionalities provided by traditional cloud platforms are not yet sufficient. By giving an overview of the currently available tools and their limitations, the gaps in DevOps for SDN/NFV services are highlighted. The benefit of such an SDK is illustrated by a secure content delivery network service (enhanced with deep packet inspection and elastic routing capabilities). With this use-case, the dynamics between developing and deploying a service are further illustrated.

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