HPE and Affirmed have lassos to herd virtualized services

Companies unveil products to manage NFV environments

virtualization cloud

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is all the rage in service provider environments, and NFV management has become an issue as a result. Two companies, HP Enterprise (HPE) and Affirmed Networks think they have solutions to address operational control of NFV deployments.

HPE last week rolled out HPE Service Director, which is positioned as an end-to-end service operations coordinator for hybrid physical/virtual networks -- like those in NFV/Virtualized Network Function (VNF) deployments. Service Director is said to enable OSS automation across those hybrid environments, something current OSS systems were not optimized for.

Indeed, older OSSes can hamper service agility in an NFV/VNF environment, slowing time-to-market for new products and associated revenue, HPE says.

The company already offers an NFV Director, but the Service Director builds on that by expanding its capabilities to include orchestration of both virtual and physical assets. Service Director is said to unify operations management of the hybrid environment with common data delivered to a centralized “single-pane-of-glass.” Service descriptors define services, their operation and inter-relationships.

HPE Service Director 1.0 will be available early this year, HP says. Pre-configured packages addressing specific use cases will be delivered as extensions to the base product, starting with HPE Service Director for vCPE 1.0.

Affirmed Networks, which is one of AT&T’s Domain 2.0 SDN suppliers, this week rolled out a virtualized probe and analytics tool enhanced by storage giant EMC. It combines Affirmed’s Active Intelligent Virtualized Probe (vProbe) and monitoring capabilities with EMC’s Real Time Analytics product to probe geographically distributed VNFs.

For vProbe, Affirmed melded its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and probe/packet brokering functions together. This allows service providers to monitor control plane and data plane sessions in a virtualized EPC network, including dynamic instances of VNFs, which Affirmed says enables a 50% TCO savings over discrete probe and packet brokering appliances.

Together with EMC’s Real-Time Analytics, vProbe is intended to provide access to per-flow and per-transaction data sets, and signaling sessions. APIs and a software development kit are available to add detailed reporting and presentation tools.

Affirmed and EMC will be demonstrating vProbe and EMC analytics capability at Mobile World Congress, February 22-25 in Barcelona.

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