By Ron Breault
I recently returned from a hectic week at the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany. This show has grown to become one of the biggest events in the NFV industry, having increased in attendance by over 50% since 2013. With an impressive 1300 participants registered this year, the show had representatives from most of the largest equipment providers, network operators and industry analysts in Europe, Asia and North America. My role at this year’s event was to demonstrate an official ETSI NFV Proof of Concept (PoC) in the “PoC Zone” – a special, high visibility area set aside by ETSI to showcase select NFV PoCs to conference attendees.
Proof of Concept #22, “Demonstration of High Reliability and Availability aspects in a Multivendor NFV Environment”, showcases the combined efforts of three companies: Brocade, HP and Wind River. Brocade’s contribution is their well-known Vyatta vRouter, a commercial virtualized network function or VNF; Wind River provides Titanium Server, our turn-key, carrier grade NFV software platform; and HP provides the high performance ProLiant rack mount servers on which the software elements are hosted.
Our PoC demonstrates how the Wind River Titanium Server NFV platform meets carrier’s reliability and availability expectations, delivering a rock solid, carrier grade environment to the VNFs it hosts – using Brocade’s Vyatta vRouter as the example. Through a series of six live demos, I took put Titanium Server through the virtual wringer, injecting faults, simulating catastrophic failures and generally wreaking havoc on the system! As one of the few PoCs focused purely on reliability, these demos generated enormous interest from conference attendees. By the time 6 pm hit each day, I was literally spent, having performed so many demos and spoken with so many booth visitors that my voice was shot. Titanium Server and the products of our PoC partners easily stood up to the strain, working flawlessly through dozens of demos, but I need a carrier grade injection into my vocal chords before next year’s show!
Huge interest in our product aside, what was especially encouraging was seeing key members of the NFV leadership team making the time to visit the PoCs, watch the demos and provide their feedback. That kind of direct interaction is invaluable to those of us working hard on NFV and these PoCs in particular. There is nothing like putting your work out there for the world to see, then receiving recognition and delight as a reward!
All of the effort that has gone into Titanium Server, from the added redundancy, to rapid failure detection, and self-healing had clearly raised the bar for what it takes to deliver NFV. Visitors to our PoC booth now have a new standard with which to measure reliability.
I can’t wait for next year’s show!