As with traditional network architectures, NFV or Network Function Virtualization, still faces some of the same challenges when it comes to reliance on the network itself for monitoring and managing the network infrastructure, rapid identification and resolution of network issues and ensuring secure access to and logging for network components.

The Uplogix out‐of‐band platform brings the same functionality for continuous monitoring, secure access and network automation in traditional networks to NFV and hybrid NFV architectures.

Virtual Ports

There are a variety of cases where typical console device management may be impractical or impossible. For these deployments, Uplogix has virtual device management ports. These virtual ports mimic the functionality of physical serial interfaces.

In the case of NFV architecture, these virtual ports can be established to manage the virtual devices running on a host machine from a physical Uplogix Local Manager. Virtual ports can be used in conjunction with physical ports on the Uplogix platform.

The maximum number of allowable virtual ports on a physical Uplogix Local Manager is 16 ports. To assure adequate performance on richly configured systems, Uplogix recommends that the sum of configured physical ports and virtual ports not exceed the total number of physical ports supported by the Uplogix platform.

Virtualizing Uplogix in NFV environments

Uplogix can also be virtualized in an NFV architecture. For the out-of-band link, a USB cellular modem can be attached to the host machine for access by the Uplogix VM.

USB-attached console ports provide connections to physical devices including the host machine itself.

NFV device console ports can be accessed across the hypervisor backplane to the virtual console port provided for each device, limiting the requirement for outside network connectivity. Management IP connections to each NFV device can be connected across the internal virtual switch.

Benefits include ease of deployment and less hardware to install/purchase by taking advantage of existing host machines. 50 virtual ports (plus 1 hardware port to manage the host machine) are supported.

A limitation of running Uplogix as a VM on the host machine is that it loses some of the independence of running on a physical appliance. For example, if the host machine goes down, all of the VMs, including Uplogix will not be functional. Or, during an operation that reboots the host machine, Uplogix will not be able to monitor the device.

Summary

For more information, check out the Uplogix for NFV Solution Guide.

NFV is gaining adoption, in part, because it provides abstraction of services from physical boundaries and limitations. Instant networks can be formed, utilized and decommissioned as work flow needs expand and contract.

While the promise of NFV is great, it will also come with management challenges that Uplogix can address. The variety of ways to deploy Uplogix makes it possible to use the most effective method for each site, while maintaining consistent management from the NOC through the Uplogix Control Center