As enterprises have relied more and more on cloud applications, network outages can be a great deal of pain in both financial and reputation aspects. In fact, due to the increasing uses of mobile devices and wireless connections, communication service providers (CSPs) have been seeking network changes to upgrade their infrastructures in order to meet emerging demands and assure quality of service (QoS).
However, network upgrades may cause unexpected downtimes during the transitions, and also the additional costs in hardware and software investments can be a real deal of expenses. Thus, a great number of CSPs have turned their attention to SDN (software-defined networks) and NFV (network function virtualization) as the optimal solution to address the challenges in performance, reliability and CAPEX/OPEX in order to stay ahead in the severe competitions.
An all-in-one service assurance solution provider in Europe cooperated with Lanner to develop an optimized platform integrating the provider’s QoS software with the networking hardware from the latter. The joint solutions were developed to address core network service assurance and performance visibility in both data centers and edges. Prior to the introduction of the joint solution, there were specific technological requirements as below:
For the data centers:
Dual management ports
Since network link failures may occur, dual management port provides a failover backup to assure that routing and protocol can remain in the event that an Ethernet management port fails.
Dual SFP ports for test measurements
The joint solution shall provide dual SFP ports for diagnoses, monitoring and test measurements.
NIC Slot for Expansion
To address the challenges in network traffic and outage, the joint solution must provide expansion slot, such as NIC interface for additional Ethernet modules to expand the bandwidth.
Redundant Power Supply
Since power outage is one of the major causes of network outages, redundant power supply plays a critical role to ensure high-availability.
Precision Time Control
Precision Time Control is an essential synchronization mechanism for CSP data centers and the joint system shall comply with IEEE 1588 time-stamping and 802.1AS packet enabling over Ethernet protocol.
For the edge and branch:
Compact form factor
The environment in an edge or branch often requires space-efficiency, and thus compact form factor is ideal.
Multiple LAN interface
To ensure available bandwidth, the joint solution at the edge shall provide multiple LAN ports and at least one for management port.
In an edge environment, the compact solution shall be mounted in a rack to enable space-efficiency.
Precision Time Control
Same as mentioned above.
Lanner’s NCA-4012 is a 1U 19” rackmount network appliance designed for carrier-grade service assurance appliance. NCA-4012 offers the optimization for virtualization service assurance, empowered by I Intel® Xeon® D-1548 8/16-core CPU, codenamed Broadwell-DE, delivering exceptional computing performance. NCA-4012 also comes with abundant LAN interface, redundant PSUs, configurable system memory and scalable storage options to meet the QoS demands for data centers.
Regarding edge deployment, NCA-1020 is presented as a compact service assurance appliance empowered by Intel® Celeron® Processor N3010 (codenamed Braswell) designed to meet the requirements in branch offices and retail surroundings. Besides the low power consumption and decent processing capability, NCA-1020 also provides necessary I/O functionality for Service Assurance and Performance Monitoring.