- Further advances to the 3-layer network decoupling concept
- Separates apps, cloud operating system and standard hardware
- Latest test used the OpenFlow and OVSDB protocols
- Creating a more flexible infrastructure for China Mobile’s 5G network
ZTE has emerged from its recent well-documented political troubles (for example in the US,UK and Australia) to announce that it has completed a decoupling and interconnection test of its SDN controller with the carrier-grade Cloud operating system of China Mobile.
The joint test, which ZTE says is an industry first, involved environment installation inspection, basic function and stability testing, plus verifications of over 20 protocol extensions in order to implement the automatic launching and dynamic adjustment of NFV sites. ZTE says the solution will help China Mobile introduce SDN to NFV deployment so as to accelerate the core network 3-layer decoupling and NFV process and assist with the standardisation of the NFV and SDN interface. This will then create a new and more flexible infrastructure for China Mobile’s 5G network.
We need to back up a little here to better understand the new architecture that China Mobile and its two main vendor partners (ZTE and Huawei) have been developing. The partners have been working on the concept of a “3-layer” decoupled network architecture for well over a year now, which enables telcos to more efficiently run applications, cloud operating system and bare metal hardware. The idea is to allow each layer to evolve and develop independently.
China Telecom and China Unicom have also been actively testing 3-layer decoupling over the past year. Back in March, ZTE announced that it had completed the verification test of 3-layer decoupling for China Mobile’s 5G core network architecture, working with the China Mobile Research Institute. It verified network slice deployment and orchestration, and service-based architecture. China Mobile is a major supporter of open networking concepts and uses OpenStack to power its CloudOS, which in turn facilitates the operation of VNFs on the open hardware.
The latest test with ZTE used OpenFlow from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) as the protocol for SDN control, forwarding and separation. It also used the Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol (OVSDB) – which is an OpenFlow configuration protocol – as the protocol for vSwitch management to meet the requirements of decoupling and interconnection.
ZTE says its ZENIC SDN virtual data centre controller has also been used for the interconnection of third-party OpenStack cloud platforms, such as RedHat’s, in addition to China Mobile’s CloudOS. The vendor is also China’s first platinum member of the OpenDaylight Foundation and has already deployed 360 SDN/NFV commercial and PoC projects with telcos.
Original Press Release:
ZTE and China Mobile complete industry’s first CloudOS and commercial SDN system decoupling test in NFV architecture
4 September 2018, Shenzhen, China - ZTE Corporation (0763.HK / 000063.SZ), a major international provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the Mobile Internet, today announced that it has completed the industry’s first decoupling and interconnection test of ZTE’s ZENIC SDN controller with the carrier-grade CloudOS of China Mobile.
ZTE helps China Mobile introduce SDN to NFV deployment so as to accelerate the core network 3-layer decoupling and NFV process and promote the NFV and SDN interface standardization, thereby building up a new and more flexible infrastructure for the future-oriented 5G network of China Mobile.
The joint test involves environment installation inspection, basic function and stability test, and verifications of over 20 particular protocol extensions in NFV scenario. It successfully implements automatic launching and dynamic adjustment of NFV sites.
During the entire life cycle of the NFV network elements, SDN technologies can continuously enhance network resource utilization efficiency, improve network virtualization, simplify the compatibility with the existing network, and increase the network agility in various service automation scenarios. During the test, Openflow is used as the standard protocol for SDN control, forwarding and separation, and OVSDB is used as the standard protocol for vSwitch management, meeting requirements of decoupling and interconnection and vigorously promoting the NFV and SDN interface standardization.
Compatible with mainstream virtualized software, ZTE’s ZENIC SDN vDC controller is applicable to the scenarios of hybrid overlay, hardware overlay and software overlay. It has also been employed to complete the interconnection with the third-party OpenStack cloud platforms such as RedHat in addition to China Mobile’s CloudOS case. By virtue of unified resource planning and deployment, it can quickly construct new virtualized data centers.
China Mobile has initiated virtualization tests and pilots by gradually integrating SDN technologies to implement automated network configuration, enhance network service capability and horizontal scalability. Its newly-built core network and network elements delivering value-added services will adopt virtualized network elements in NFV architecture to substitute the traditional ones, intending to realize hardware resource sharing and further extend the scope of sharing in the resource pool by decoupling software from hardware, thereby accelerating the network virtualization transformation.
As China’s first platinum member of OpenDaylight, ZTE has already deployed 360 SDN/NFV commercial and POC projects with world-leading operators. It has built a large number of virtualized data center projects for international and domestic operators and enterprises, including China Mobile’s Hohhot private cloud, China Telecom Shanghai’s LSN, China Telecom Guangxi’s CO re-architecting, etc.
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