Virtualized Network Functions as-a-Service

Network virtualization and SDN provide a path to network architectures and design models that are well suited to the demands of today’s data centers. With both technologies, network administrators can simplify provisioning, scaling and on-going network management. While SDN separates the control and forwarding planes to offer a centralized view of the network, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) primarily focuses on optimizing the network services themselves.

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an umbrella term covering several network technologies aimed at making the network as agile and flexible as the virtualized server and storage infrastructure. With SDN, the control plane and data plane are no longer integrated together in the network devices. The control function is not proprietary to the manufacturer of the network device. They are instead isolated from each other. The data plane remains an integral part of the network device, but the control plane is implemented on a centralized controller machine having an Application Programming Interface (API) that can be used to perform specific networking functions for application servers that access the network devices.

SDN Architecture

SDN Architecture

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is an initiative to virtualize the network services that are being carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware. The goal of NFV is to decouple network functions from dedicated hardware devices and allow network services that are now being executed by routers, firewalls, load balancers and other dedicated hardware devices to be hosted on virtual machines.

However, in an NFV environment, a Virtual Network Function (VNF) takes on the responsibility of handling specific network functions that run on one or more virtual machines on top of the hardware networking infrastructure — routers, switches, etc. Individual virtual network functions can be connected or combined together as building blocks to offer a full-scale networking communication service.

NFV Architecture

NFV Architecture

Network virtualization is a method of combining the available resources in a network by splitting up the available bandwidth into channels, each of which is independent from the others, and each of which can be assigned (or reassigned) to a particular server or device in real-time. Each channel is independently secured. Network virtualization attempts to align network resources so they can better address the requirements of rich multi-tenant environments.

First Step in Network Virtualization:
CloudController Integrates With OpenStack Neutron

The CloudController Network Virtualization module has been designed to support any SDN / NFV Infrastructure, just as CloudController IaaS workflows integrate with any on-premise hypervisor platform or hyperscale public cloud service. The initial release supports the OpenStack Neutron API, and can thus be used with any networking devices that are Neutron compatible. Coming releases will support VMware NSX-T and NSX-V, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud and the Microsoft Azure Virtual Network Service.

The cloud administrator has complete control of which types of virtual network Services can be created and made available to the account and user Supply Chains. Virtual networks just become another type of service object that can be deployed in 1-tier, 2-tier or 3-tier modes.

OpenStack Neutron Logo

How CloudController Operates
Virtual Network Orchestration

CloudController, does a great job of simplifying the creation, deployment and delivery of ‘service objects’, such as virtual servers, virtual server resource pools, bare-metal servers, platforms, etc.  We now add Network Virtualization Features to this list!

The CloudController Service Catalog Manager is based upon a single data model. It allows creation of Service Catalog Item (SCI) templates of service objects the cloud administrator wishes to make available to groups of cloud users or individual cloud users. The multi-tier / multi-tenancy account and user hierarchy defined in CloudController’s Supply Chain Manager is seamlessly integrated to the Service Catalog Manager, and has its own granularly configurable Role-based Access Control (RBAC) system. This gives cloud administrators ultimate flexibility to determine which service objects are available to which cloud service users.

The Network Virtualization module is of course fully integrated to this CMP architecture. The result is that:

  • Administrators get the power to define Virtual Network Features as service objects in the Service Catalog, and assign use of them to desired cloud users.
  • Cloud users get the power to configure, order, create, deploy and manage virtual network functions made available to them and attach them to any service object desired.

This is all done in a fully-automated fashion by workflows in the CloudController CMP.

 VNFs as-a-Service

  • Internal, External, Routed Virtual Networks
  • Security Groups
  • Load Balancer
  • Firewall
  • Floating IP

Cost Cutting

  • Better utilization of IT infrastructure
  • Automated deployments & self-service
  • Improved delivery speed
  • Reduced IT operations management costs

Ease of Implementation

  • Seamlessly integrated to the core CMP
  • Simple to install and set-up
  • Non-intrusive add-on to existing infrastructure management software

Multi-Level Account Hierarchy

  • Several levels of account type
  • Unlimited multi-tier Supply Chains
  • Unlimited user logins
  • Link with AD policies
  • Security flow-down, definable user roles

Management Control

  • Customizable Service Catalog items
  • User administration of subordinate levels
  • Service price lists per level and per item
  • Multi-tier White-labeled managed services


  • Broad choice of languages
  • Multi-tier order approval management
  • Multiple currencies per Supply Chain
  • Extensive payment and chargeback options
  • Reporting tools and data export options

A Lead Analyst from Info-Tech Research Group wrote about CloudController:

“This out-of-the-box platform contains nearly every capability that an enterprise or service provider would require to manage today’s cloud environments.”

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