Architecting vCloud NFV by using well-defined modules allows the CSP to accelerate the deployment of the platform and reliably expand it when needed. The platform components are grouped into three distinct containments. The VMware vCloud NFV platform uses the term Pods as a mean to streamline the NFV environment operations and delineate between different roles. For example, a cloud management team can easily operate the Management Pod, whereas a network management team is likely to oversee the Edge Pod. VNFs are always deployed in the Resource Pod.
Each Pod is identified by its functional designation - Management Pod, Edge Pod, and Resource Pod. The Pod functions are the following:
- Management Pod
Management functions are required to manage the NFV Infrastructure and the VNFs and their components. Management, orchestration, analytics functionality, and ancillary elements such as DNS, VNF-M, and NFV-O are grouped into this category. Resource orchestration such as vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, NSX Controller, and vCloud Director for Service Providers are hosted in this Pod. The analytics components, which include vRealize Operations Manager, vRealize Network Insight, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Orchestrator, and business continuity components such as Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication are all located in this pod. Other management-related components such as NFV Orchestrators run in the Management Pod. OSS/BSS can be very large in sizing, and therefore their placement depends on the system itself.
- Edge Pod
The Edge functions provide a logical networking delineation between VNFs and external networks. Network traffic transitioning between the physical domain and the virtual domain is processed by these functions. NSX Edge is hosted in a VM or bare metal appliance in the Edge Pod and handles all connectivity to the physical domain in the architecture. The type of networking traffic that traverses the Edge Pod is called North-South traffic.
- Resource Pod
VNFs are placed in the Resource Pod. The VNFs then form the virtual network service.