VMware vCloud® NFV™ is a modular, multi-tenant network functions virtualization (NFV) platform. It provides the compute, storage, networking, management, and operations capabilities to enable Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to provide virtualized network services.

NFV is an architectural framework that is first developed by the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG). The framework provides a reference model where network functions are delivered through software virtualization with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. This way, NFV moves away from the proprietary, purpose-built hardware that is dedicated to a single service. The result is a network that is agile, resilient, and equipped to deliver high quality of services.

The vCloud NFV platform implements a modular design with abstractions that enable multi-vendor, multi-domain, and hybrid physical, and virtual execution environments. The platform also delivers an automation framework to interoperate with external functions for service orchestration and management.

In addition to the core NFV infrastructure components for compute, storage, networking, and Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM), the vCloud NFV platform includes a fully-integrated suite for operational intelligence and monitoring. This suite can be used to further enhance the runtime environments with workflows for dynamic workload optimization and proactive issue avoidance.

Figure 1. vCloud NFV Components

NFV platform

The vCloud NFV OpenStack Edition components, their interactions with each other, and how they meet CSP requirements, are described in this reference architecture.