Real-Time Applications Pose Challenges in NFV Architectures

As IT providers move to reap the benefits of virtualized environments, the challenges of virtualizing real-time environments become more apparent. Service providers trying to achieve the agility, flexibility, and cost-savings of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) architectures are realizing that real-time communications applications, such as the IP media processing performed by the Media Resource Function, require special accommodation in the virtualized network.

Our recent whitepaper Media Processing in NFV Architectures is an informative read, explaining how real-time IP media processing requires hard real-time response with low delay and jitter.  The network element must provide predictable latency and response times and jitter management that adapts in real time to varying network conditions. It must also provide adaptive performance in real time to dynamically changing workloads and call scenarios. If the environment cannot provide the requisite level of quality of service, the real-time application will not be successfully commercialized.

Service providers are realizing that it’s not enough to consider quality of service characteristics just in the virtual network element. Instead, characteristics such as latency and jitter must be considered in the aggregate—horizontally, across the entire solution stack. Included in the requirements are a highly optimized virtual machine (VM) and hypervisor, accompanied with the associated I/O optimization. Likewise, workload sharing must protect the real-time processing response. The MRF must not be affected by other non– or soft–real-time applications running alongside the MRF. In short, the underlying virtualized infrastructure needs to provide the elasticity and scalability for the hard real-time requirements of the MRF.

The Radisys virtualized Media Resource Function (vMRF) has been extensively tuned to be deployed as a high-performance, best-of-breed media processing VNF on either VMware or KVM. The Radisys vMRF implementation for VMware has been extensively optimized for VMware and other hypervisor technologies and takes full advantage of Vsphere’s real-time performance enhancements. Integrating well with Open-Stack defined Management and Orchestration (MANO) capabilities, the vMRF produces high-quality, reliable performance within an NFV architecture—even under high load.

If what you need is optimized IMS performance in an NFV deployment, a ready-to-deploy Radisys virtualized MRF with  VMware’s vSphere provides a robust, reliable, high-performance virtualized media processing solution.

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