Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is an emerging concept, which refers to the migration of certain network functionalities, traditionally performed by hardware elements, to virtualized IT infrastructures, where they are deployed as software components. NFV leverages commodity servers and storage, including cloud platforms, to enable rapid deployment, reconfiguration and elastic scaling of network functionalities.
T-NOVA is implementing a management/orchestration platform for the automated provision, configuration, monitoring and optimization of Network Functions-as-a-Service (NFaaS) over virtualized Network/IT infrastructures. T-NOVA leverages and enhances cloud management architectures for the elastic provision and (re-)allocation of IT resources assigned to the hosting of Network Functions. It also exploits and extends Software Defined Networking (SDN) platforms for efficient management of the network infrastructure.
T-NOVA proposes a NFV marketplace that allows network services and virtual functions by a variety of developers to be published and brokered/traded with. Customers can browse them and select those that best match their needs, as well negotiating the associated SLAs and billing models. T-NOVA allows:
- The advertisement of network virtual functions. Through a customer front-end, developers describe their functions, and customers place their requests for services and virtual appliances.
- Function discovery, resource trading and service matching taking into account the offered/requested SLAs.
- Configuration and automatic deployment of virtual functions by federated management and optimization of networking and IT resources, including Wide Area Network (WAN) resources, in-network cloud (compute/storage) assets and data center clouds. Monitoring aspects are also important.
- Billing of functions and application of adjustments according to SLAs evaluation, not only between service providers and final customers, but also between service and infrastructure providers.
T-NOVA is building a marketplace for the commercialization of virtualized network functions, including a Function Store similar to the Apple AppStore and Google Play Store, which will increase the impact of NFV in the global market.
This platform can also be used as a dashboard for service providers and customers to control their offerings and subscriptions, as well as to keep track of usage for billing purposes.
T-NOVA also provides an orchestration platform for the automatic deployment of virtual network functions over shared network and IT infrastructure.
T-NOVA brings a very attractive revenue source for communication service providers (CSP), who are able to monetize their infrastructure by offering new services and by charging customers according to the actual usage of in-network resources, as opposed to claiming low, flat fees for plain connectivity services providing applications “over-the-top” with no QoS guarantees and no in-network treatment. Fast Service Rollout, flexibility, scalability, security and high availability are also benefits T-NOVA brings to CSPs.
Moreover, vendors will be able to widen their target customer groups by advertising their virtual appliances and reduce their time-to-market in the global marketplace.
For software players, the function development, exchange and trading processes take place in a multi-actor ecosystem (including SMEs), allowing them to expose their products into the global networking marketplace.