Traffic Steering: Considerations, Alternatives, and Solution Requirements

An Industry Whitepaper

OpenStack has rapidly become the de facto standard open source software platform for the delivery of network functions virtualization (NFV).

Unfortunately, NFV environments present OpenStack with challenges not encountered in the traditional cloud computing environment. To use OpenStack as the software platform for NFV, plug-ins and external services must overcome these gaps:

  • Overcoming Traffic Asymmetry
  • Selecting Services Scaling
  • Horizontally Subscriber Awareness
  • Service Self-Healing
  • Standards Compliance

In practice, most communications service providers (CSPs) fall into one of two camps: either they haven’t realized these problems exist, or they think these problems can be overcome by:

  • OpenStack’s Load Balancer as a Service
  • Open vSwitch and DPDK; or
  • An external integrated load balancer

This paper introduces and explains the gaps encountered when applying OpenStack to NFV applications, and demonstrates that none of the three proposed alternatives above completely satisfies the solution requirements.

Finally, the paper closes by very briefly introducing a solution that does overcome the problems.

UPDATED : 2017-04-17 09:42:00