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Network Function Virtualization: Make the cloud work for you


Virtual Managed Services is Cisco's software platform that uses virtualization, automation, analytics and cloud to help you respond to new markets faster using Network Function Virtualization (NFV).

For service providers, NFV enables product development, validation and deployment processes that are faster and more repeatable, leveraging on software development discipline and agility.  With new service developed on NFV, reaching large and small business customers with new services is easier than ever.  And you can cut operational and customer acquisition costs and keep your strong brand presence. Cisco Virtual Managed Services help you make this real now. The platform has the building blocks you need to:

  • Scale and deploy services rapidly. New services can be provisioned in minutes rather than weeks, and service capacity can be dynamically adjusted based on your customers' needs.
  • Be more agile without adding cost and complexity. New capabilities can be integrated into your business quickly with software, compared to installing application-specific hardware.
  • Extend services to smaller businesses. Small businesses or remote office locations often use outdated security or connectivity services. With our service, they can leverage your platform for reliable enterprise-class services.

What Does This Mean to You as a Developer?

It means that Cisco is providing a robust and flexible business services platform (VMS) for building loosely-coupled services that can work together to provide new business functions faster and with less development effort.  VMS is based on a MANO-standard NFV-O platform made up by Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) and ESC (Elastic Services Controller).

In addition to NFV-O, VMS service development platform provides the following services you extend and use:

  • A core set of mature and open-source technologies. This includes:
    • Apache Cassandra - A linear performance-curve scaling NOSQL database for storing and retrieving system and service data.
    • Apache Kafka (And Zookeeper) - An efficient message bus for inter-service asynchronous communication.
    • Redis - An open-source, BSD-Licensed data cache used to improve the performance of databases and message brokers.
    • HashiCorp Consul - A robust and lightweight service daemon used to store the locations of services on machines and ports. It allows for fast lookup from one location where other services like Cassandra and Kafka reside, simplifying environmental setup.
    • HAProxy - A lightweight 'High Availability' Proxy that allows for a single end-point target that will then dispach requests to microservices running on one to many different servers or Virtual Machines.
    • A core set of 'Microservices', which make up are the backbone of a VMS deployment. They provide all functionality through REST-API patterns. This means it is possible for different user clients to make decoupled calls to various functions of VMS. The core Microservices are comprised of:
      • Identity Management (IDM) - The security guardian. This microservice handles authentication, token assignment and revocation, and authorization mapping.
      • Administration - A service that enables you configure and integrate offers in the VMS Platform.
      • Consume - A service that enables you to browse, price and order service offers.
      • Manage - A service that enables you to create, manage tenants and user roles.
      • Monitor - A service that enables you to monitor service instance, site, device status and metrics.
      • Orchestration – A service that maps service interface API payloads to NETCONF/YANG structured required by NSO - To be described.
      • Notification – A service that provides outbound notifications to BSS and OSS systems so they can receive asynchronous notifications of events that are occurring, such provisioning complete or a requested operation failed.

With the introduction of service development capability, VMS will allow partners, service providers and other developers to utilize its platform and orchestration capabilities to build additional services and deployed them for customers.

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