Introduction to SDN and NFV

If you’re confused about what’s the difference between SDN, NFV, Overlays and automation or what’s the role of each technology and how they’re connected

These are introductory slides for explaining the SDN and NFV technologies. what’s the difference between them and when each one is used. Also it talk about some of Cisco products in each area either SDN or NFV or the Automation with some of real use cases deployed in today’s service provider network.

Hope it’s useful and you like it.

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NFV ETSI Lab in Egypt

in last few weeks, I’ve been involved on building and designing the NFV lab according to ETSI standard in my company. The ETSI standard is shown in below snapshotimage

The concept of NFV is simple. it tends to convert the functions that exist in your “physical network” to a virtual. functions like DPI, BNG and route reflectors will be converted to Virtual machines.

The left hand side of the picture is called “MANO = Management and Orchestration” where the right hand side of the standard is the real hardware and bunch of hypervisors (KVM, ESXI)

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This allow to create many use cases such as service chaining on which subscriber traffic could be easily passed by any type of VNFs (Virtual Network Functions) regardless of it’s physical location. For example the below subscriber traffic is passed by virtual firewall, DDoS and virtual DPI before sending it out to the internet. Other subscriber traffic could be passed by a different “chains”

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Cisco has a wide portfolio that cover most of the ETSI components, Let’s explore them in brief

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NFV-O : Orchestrator

Cisco has the NSO product (Network Service Orchestrator, before it’s called Tail-F NCS). Tail-F has a huge contribution in defining the YANG language used in service modeling in the NFV. Cisco acquire the Tail-F company two years ago and it’s one of the most successful acquisition in cisco. You can read more about the Tail-F in thislink. The orchestrator job is to orchestrate the service creation over the VNFs and push the correct configuration on them based on many triggers

NSO use a concept of NEDs (Network Element Drivers) that capable of communicate with many many vendors like Sandvine, Palo-alto, Juniper and of course Cisco. it also capable of communicate using the NetConf protocol that allow it to not only orchestrate the VNF but also the PNF (Physical Network Functions – The real hardware and ASICs).

VNF-M: VNF Manager

because your network functions will be a bunch of VMs (Firewall, DPI,..etc). You will need to have a “manager” that manage the CRUD(Creation, Redeploy, Update and Deletion) operation of those VMs. Cisco has a product that called ESC (Elastic Service Controller) that integrate very well with NSO and any type of orchestrator in northbound. In southbound it ‘s capable to communicate with Openstack and VMware through standard RESful services.

VIM

The virtual infrastructure manager (openstack or vcenter) are responsible of creating the actual HDD, RAM and CPU for the VNF. Cisco recommend to integrate with RedHat Openstack (RDO)

EMS (or VNF)

This is the network function that become virtual! . I used in this lab the Cisco Cloud Service Router (CSRv) that capable on running most of the ASR functions without a problem (side note: I used it to build a complete SP-WiFi lab for one of the operator here in Egypt and it work very well in EAP-SIM and Portal based scenarios). below is the available VNFs from cisco

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My NFV Lab

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First I tried  to integrate the Cisco Elastic Service controller with Vmware vCenter but not having much luck on this integration. I stucked in starting the orchestrator service in vCenter process on which I’m thinking it’s one of the component that used by cisco ESC for communicating with VMware infrastructure. also vCenter seems complex solution to me on which limiting my options

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Although the ESC is connected to vCenter, and able to read all “tenants” or VMs from it, but it was unable to administrate them

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Hmmm, Ok. let’s seal to the other destination, The Openstack Smile

Second I imported the ESC to the openstack and installed it using the bootvm.py python script.

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Great. next step is to integrate the ESC with Openstack that took only two minutes! (Thank you VMware for wasting my time!!)

Third, Once Integration is done, You can see that ESC can successfully retrieve all the tenants from the openstack

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Also it’s capable of communicating with Openstack services like nova, cinder

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And finally it’s capable of reading all compute hosts and hosted instances

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Fourth, Push the configuration from orchestrator to ESC and watch Openstack create the images, flavors and attach all networks to CSRv (through the ESC)

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Instances page

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if you check the ESC portal, you will see immediately the CSR VNF Active, up and running in the ESC

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And you can access the CSRv console directly from the ESC through the built-in VNC utility

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But really, what’s the job of the ESC?

ESC play a vital role as a VNF manager in monitoring the VNF operations.  for example if one of the VNF that created through the ESC is deleted by mistake. the ESC will detect this event and immediately re-deploy the impacted machine without any intervention from your side. You can program it with many events to be monitored like overloading the VM, underloading, License experience..etc

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The ESC communicate with openstack through REST messages over HTTP and order it to create VM (VNF) with specific flavor, Image ID and attached networks) as shown in blow snoop between ESC and Openstack

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Conclusion

NFV is one of the hottest topics in service provider area and it soonest they will convert to this model to save much power and space in datacenter and more important is to introduce agility and harmony in today’s complex network. I really recommend you to choose open standard solutions and not limit your options to propriety software. Learn openstack and YANG modeling and be open minded to automation mythology

Finally I’ve the complete NFV lab integrated components (Orchestrator, VNF-Manager, Openstack and VNF) up and running in my company lab. I think it’s the first lab of it’s type here in Egypt to the best of my knowledge Smile

for any questions, please post a comment and we can discuss it together

Thank You

S

Juniper MX BRAS – Part 3

As you notice from previous configuration. We have to configure the unit 1 with static VLAN (800) to create only ONE SUBSCRIBER INTERFACE . However in real world scenario this not necessarily the case. we need to make MX check the incoming vlan id from DSLAM and handle the creation of both VLANS and Units that hold the PPPoE sessions. BTW, Here’s a golden rule. One Vlan per Unit!

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You can find below the interface structure in dynamic configuration. The physical interface is ae(Active Ethernet) and beneath it the auto-configure command that “instantiate” the VLAN and SVLAN from dynamic-profile

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Read More »

Introduction to Diameter Protocol – Part 1

Introduction

Diameter is an authentication, authorization, and accounting protocol. used primarily for Service provider networks . It evolved from and replaces the much less capable RADIUS protocol that preceded it.

in this presentation I will try to familiarize you with the new AAA protocol and deep dive into the diameter protocol details, Credit Control Application (Gx,Gy and GZ) and sample use case for peering Sandvine PTS (Working as PCEF) with freePCRF.server and finally introduce you with seagull, a popular test tool to test different diameter-based scenarios

Hope You like it.

Juniper MX BRAS – Part 2

In this post I will continue to deep dive into the Juniper MX configuration and tweak it to work as a BRAS. Please refer to my previous blog post for more information on PPP protocol Stack

Let’s start

to configure MX as a BRAS,  The Following configuration is needed on BRAS

Basics Configuration

  • Interface creation –>configuration inside dynamic profile
    • Vlan Interface
    • PPP Interface
  • PPP Handling(PAP) –>configuration inside dynamic profile
  • Creating loopback
  • Radius Authentication – – >configuration inside access-profile
  • Radius Accounting – – >configuration inside access-profile
  • Address Assignment – – >configuration inside access-profileService and speed allocation

Advanced(Optional)

  • Advanced QoS
  • Change Of Authorization
  • Captive portal/redirection configuration
  • Wholesale

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Juniper MX BRAS – Part 1

 

In last few weeks, I Spent most of my time working on Juniper MX and try to evaluate it as a BRAS. Previously I was working on Juniper E Series Broadband routers and now some of my customers need to move to the new MX especially after EOL announcement of E series platform. So let’s start

 

Part 1: Introduction To PPP Protocol

Part2: Juniper Mx BRAS Configuration

Part3: Juniper Steel-Belted Radius Configuration

Part4: Final Thoughts and wrapping up!

 

First Here’s my topology that I will work on it

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Nodes Name and Function

Node Name

Platform

PPPoE_Client Windows 7 with PPPoE Interface
PPPoE_server Juniper vMX router working as BRAS and with SM license installed on it RE14.1
AAA Juniper Steel-Belted Radius (SBR)
LDAP Any Open source LDAP , OpenLdap is OK

 

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Understanding Juniper Steel-Belted Radius(SBR) Attributes

Radius attribute is one of the core part in radius protocol. it allow you to shape and control the subscriber behavior and give BRAS the ability to assign correct services to subscriber and information like routing, IP Address, VRF and other important info. Below I will illustrate type of attributes

1-Attribute without specific value (to be provided by Administrator)

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Here you should provide value to this attribute. other examples are Framed-IP-Address, Service-Info, Framed-Routing..etc

 

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