Video recording and production done by OpenStack Foundation.
Subscriber awareness is not a new concept but providing subscriber-level information to every function in a network has been difficult to implement in traditional networks. However, NFV/SDN framework has made it possible to obtain this information more easily. Subscriber awareness in the network layer interconnecting virtual network elements benefits operators by:
Providing unprecedented visibility into the network across elements interconnected using the SDN fabric
Enabling delivery of personalized services by leveraging functions in the network
Improving security and diagnostics by identifying and isolating subscriber flows as needed
To understand these benefits it is essential to look at this in a context of particular use cases. Subscriber awareness for service function chaining (SFC) refers to the ability to associate traffic with a customer while making appropriate, traffic-related networking decisions. SFC has gained a lot of interest due to network virtualization and it addresses networking challenges created when middle-boxes like firewalls, spam filters, DPI elements, etc., are virtualized.
An important example of SFC in operator networks is the Virtual SGi/Gi-LAN use case. SGi/Gi interface connects the mobile packet core and packet data networks (PDN) which are typically implemented on racks in middle-boxes, which can be hard to manage, update and modify. SFC with subscriber awareness creates a programmable Gi-LAN by:
Dynamically allocating network resources on a per subscriber/user basis
Automatically provisioning traffic forwarding path through the service chain
Supporting elasticity of functions
Providing capabilities, such as load balancing, high availability, and monitoring, eliminate the need for these functions duplicated in each VNF
This session will dive deeper into how OpenDaylight-based SFC is a carrier-grade solution and can provide these benefits to the mobile operators.