PARTNER FEATURE: The global operators actively embrace cloud native technology and the NFV network lands, so the operators gradually know that, in virtual network construction, they can truly enjoy the advantage of telecom network change brought by the cloud technology from promoting the construction of automation & intelligence and the operation capability. In addition, NFV technology converts the traditional single vendor and hardware-software integration network device to multi-vendor and hierarchical decoupling cloud architecture, multi-vendor integration is the primary issue during NFV network construction. The NFV cloud integration faces the challenges of high complexity of cross-vendor integration and improvement of large-scale network integration efficiency, so it is required to optimize the integration procedure and mode to respond to the challenges. So, the operators’ main points of telecom cloud network construction gradually move from NFV platform innovation to NFV cloud integration innovation.

  1. Forge ZTE NFV integration solution based on the technology innovation.

For the operators’ challenges in the field of cloud integration, ZTE gradually forges NFV integration solution from the aspects of data standardization, procedure normalization and tool automation based on the project experience and the technology innovation.

  • Data Standardization: Standard data is the soul running through NFV multi-vendor integration.

The realization of multi-vendor CI/CD automation is based on the integration data standardization and interface standardization which is a general trend in decreasing the costs and promoting integration delivery efficiency. Currently, the LLD (Low Level Design) data of different vendors mainly satisfies the deployment and configuration requirements of their own products, they don’t fully consider different vendors’ interconnection of three-layer decoupling, possibly resulting in different data and heavy workload of adoption during the interconnection. ZTE helps the operators initiate the establishment of integration data standardization and continuously promotes the standardization/templating of the configuration information and detailed planning of NFV hardware, software and network contributing to the integration data standardization.

  • Procedure Normalization: Normalized procedure is the basis of ordered and highly efficient NFV integration.

NFV integration project delivery involves interconnection debugging of multiple components of multiple vendors, there are heavy workload and many problems and the time is limited, it is required to make normalized and optimum design of the procedure to guarantee highly efficient NFV integration. ZTE extracts the ideas of procedure optimization design through the project practice:

  • ZTE analyzes associated operations and parallelizes low association integration operations;
  • Before the hardware device delivery, ZTE completes all configuration required by the software integration and realizes the configuration forwarding;
  • ZTE completes pre-integration and verification in the lab environment, identifies the integration problems in advance and solves them;
  • ZTE constructs pre-integration center, performs pre-integration for the integration products in advance and packs the whole integration plan to the required resource pool.

The above solutions promote the procedure efficiency effectively and decrease the difficulty & workload of the on-site integration tremendously.

  • Tool Automation: Automatic integration tool guarantees the efficiency and quality of NFV integration.

It is already a consensus that ZTE integration procedure automation guarantees the integration efficiency and quality. All the mainstream operators construct automatic integration tool framework, realize automatic deployment and test of different vendors’ heterogeneous components and promote the open source of automatic tool framework. ZTE already develops integration automation tool in the fields of NFV planning & design, installation deployment and acceptance test. ZTE developed AIC tool platform realizes integration delivery automation, decreases human errors and promotes the delivery efficiency remarkably. In addition, ZTE continuously cooperates with the operators to promote the vendors’ automation tool interoperability in multiple projects and contributes to forging the unified E2E tool link of integration/test/delivery continuously.

  1. Genuine knowledge comes from practice, ZTE actively cooperates with the operators to build NFV integration capability.

ZTE actively participates in the domestic & international operators’ network cloud integration technology integration, and cooperates with multiple operators to promote pilot verification in the field of CI-CT test. ZTE introduces and verifies self-developed CI-CT plan through the verification of multiple projects. In the Openlab, the application of ZTE developed AIC tool in the CI-CT pipeline is as below:

  • Based on Jenkins framework, the system deploys the virtual layer automatically with AIC deployment tool, and completes the integration interconnection with different vendors’ distributed storage by using the plug-ins promoting the deployment & integration efficiency greatly.
  • Provide the LLD files generated by AIC planning & design tool to CI pipeline as data source of the resource pool deployment, import the files into AIC deployment tool, and then the automatic deployment is completed; it saves lots of manpower, and the configuration error rate is 0.
  • AIC deployment tool and Jenkins framework already complete the on-site debugging and deployment in multiple pilot resource pools, realize automatic interconnection integration of distributed storage of different vendors, and complete the CI-CT plan application in different resource pool configuration scenario.
  1. Continuous revolution contributes to the operators’ NFV integration innovation.

Currently, the development and popularity of NFV network make that the boundary between CT and IT becomes fuzzier. The new cooperation mode appears among traditional device vendors, Internet enterprises and telecom operators. So, keep the mind and principle of open source and win-win cooperation, cooperate with the partners for technology innovation and planning & verification of the product integration solution, it is already the basis and consensus of establishing NFV commercial ecosystem.

In the future, ZTE is deep in automatic network cloud integration together with mainstream partners based on NFV layered architecture, complies with the industry requirements of 5G era, and continues the revolution contributing to the operators’ NFV integration innovation.