Virtualization is key to successfully transforming today’s networks to address such things as service agility, network scalability and operations automation. The fact is, however, delivering the highest quality of experience to subscribers is still the name of the game. To do this in virtualized networks, the whole aspect of service assurance must be reimagined. Service assurance must become an integral part of the service definition, rather than a function of the network. That path has its hurdles though.
Here are eight challenges of SA in the context of virtualized networks:
- The highly dynamic nature of the network and service topology in NFV-based networks means service performance can no longer be inferred from traditional network performance monitoring.
- The cascading nature of virtual network functions (VNFs) in the service chain can introduce a state where each VNF is performing within specifications, but the resulting end-to-end service may not, leading to customer complaints when nothing obvious is wrong.
- NFV-based services will be dynamic and involve many different VNFs, making them very difficult to troubleshoot without advanced assurance, visibility and automation.
- In virtual networks, most ports and links in the service path will be virtual and move around during optimization, making monitoring difficult – or impossible – using traditional methods.
- For SLA purposes, monitoring needs to remain active during service or network reconfiguration – there cannot be any “gaps” in the KPIs while these changes occur.
- Initially, services will be implemented in a hybrid environment including both NFV and non-NFV platforms, making it difficult to isolate performance issues quickly.
- Service integrity needs to be automatically revalidated after any network or service optimization.
- Infrastructure failures, occurring in currently unused resources may not be detected until too late – after they are activated.
Effective solutions using VNF-based active probes exist to tackle these challenges head-on. For instance, through the Amdocs Open Network Partner Program, EXFO has onboarded its virtual active probing solution into ONAP to enable orchestrated service assurance and closed-loop automation.
Learn more about this joint solution that delivers end-to-end service assurance through embedded testing and monitoring, providing 100% visibility throughout the entire lifecycle of the service.
Read the solution brief