The vCloud NFV solution includes six components that together provide a holistic approach to operations management functionality for the NFV infrastructure of a Communication Service Provider (CSP). Together, the vRealize Operations, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Network Insight, Site Recovery Manager, vSphere Replication, and vSphere Data Protection components monitor the health of the virtualization infrastructure, collect its logs and alarms, correlate events across multiple data sources and components to predict future issues, leverage the policy based automation framework to conduct remediation, and analyze data to help with health prediction and capacity planning.

The key operations management tasks carried out by these components are:

  • NFVI Visibility. NFVI visibility is achieved by collecting key performance and capacity metrics from the entire virtualization layer, the physical devices, and the VIM components. When problems occur, the operator can uncover the root cause and determine its location quickly, reducing the Mean Time To Repair (MTTR).

  • Fault Collection and Reporting. The components used in the NFV environment, in the physical infrastructure, the virtualization layer, or even the VNFs themselves, generate various log messages and alarms. vCloud NFV includes an integrated log collection system that can correlate between alerts and log messages to quickly troubleshoot issues.

  • Performance Management and Capacity Planning. Ongoing management of performance and capacity across the NFVI is required for optimal and economic usage of the platform. The performance management capability helps identify degraded performance before VNFs are affected. This leaves the operator with enough time to take corrective measures, increasing the Mean Time To Failure (MTTF).

  • Optimization. The operations management components analyze system usage and proactively provide optimization recommendations, including network topology modifications.

The specific components responsible for operations and management are:

VMware vRealize Operations Manager

VMware vRealize® Operations Manager™ delivers intelligent operations management with full stack visibility across physical and virtual infrastructures. Through integrated performance and health monitoring functions, vRealize Operations Manager improves system performance, avoids service disruption, and helps the CSP provide proactive management of the NFVI infrastructure. The key capabilities that enable these benefits include predictive analytics, smart and configurable alerts, and user guided remediation. With policy based automation, operations teams automate key processes to improve the NFV environment operations.

The vRealize Operations Manager extends to collect information through management packs. Information collected is filtered for relevancy, analyzed, and presented in the form of customizable dashboards. The monitoring solution exposes an API that retrieves performance and health data pertaining to the NFVI, and the virtual resources that make up the VNF instance, through an external system.

Out of the box, vRealize Operations Manager does not monitor VNF service availability or VNF internal KPIs. The VNF Manager derives this information through direct interaction with the respective VNFs. However, VNF vendors can write their own management packs, known as plugins in vRealize Operations Manager, to extend functionality to the VNF application. In doing so, the vRealize Operations Manager becomes a single pane of glass from which the operator manages all components required to construct a virtual network service.

vRealize Operations Manager exposes the information it gathers through an API that can be consumed by OSS/BSS, or integrated directly with other MANO components.

VMware vRealize Log Insight

vRealize Log Insight delivers heterogeneous and highly scalable log management with intuitive, actionable dashboards, sophisticated analytics, and broad third party extensibility. It provides deep operational visibility and faster troubleshooting across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Its innovative indexing and machine learning based grouping enables fast log searches that aid in quickly troubleshooting issues.

vRealize Log Insight ingests large amounts of syslog data from the physical and virtual NFVI components, to deliver near real-time monitoring, search, and log analytics. It automatically identifies structure from all types of machine generated log data, including application logs, network traces, configuration files, messages, performance data, and system state dumps to build a high performance index for analytics purposes. Coupled with a highly intuitive dashboard for stored queries, reports, and alerts, vRealize Log Insight assists the operator in speedy root cause analysis and reduction in Mean Time To Repair (MTTR).

The vRealize Log Insight API provides programmatic access to vRealize Log Insight functionality, and to its datastore. As a result the OSS/BSS systems or MANO components can integrate with vRealize Log Insight to gain further insight into the system events and logs.

VMware vRealize Network Insight

vRealize Network Insight collects metrics, log data, network topology, and event data to provide a detailed view of the network configuration and its health. Information is collected on all NSX managed networks, including East-West traffic between VNF components, and North-South traffic in to and out of the NFV infrastructure. Broad Layer 2 to Layer 3 support means that vRealize Network Insight can visualize both the underlay and the overlay networks, providing the operator with a holistic view into all relevant network layers. Using this information, the operator can optimize network performance and increase its availability with visibility and analytics across all virtual and physical elements.

VMware Site Recovery Manager

Site Recovery Manager works in conjunction with various storage replication solutions, including vSphere Replication, to automate the process of migrating, recovering, testing, and failing back virtual machine workloads for disaster recovery across multiple sites.

VMware vSphere Replication

vSphere Replication is a virtual machine data protection and disaster recovery solution. It is fully integrated with vCenter Server and VMware vSphere® Web Client, providing host-based, asynchronous replication of virtual machines including their storage.

VMware vSphere Data Protection

vSphere Data Protection is used for backup and recovery. It is fully integrated with vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client, providing disk-based backup of virtual machines and applications. It conserves storage usage by using standard deduplication techniques

Third-party backup solutions that are certified for use with VMware vSphere can be used instead.