back to article Do you speak NFV? Time to go back to school and learn

Administrators have some growing up to do before they're ready to properly implement Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), as it not only has to be automated and integrated into extant management systems, it needs to be a lot more lightweight than most administrator believe is possible. NFV is the ability to stand up, tear …

  1. Alistair

    This is something I'm looking at

    as well -

    Too many app teams insist that their code "needs more ram" in every case where there is an issue - the result being that we now have ridiculous expectations on our virtualization environment. Next iteration, same issues, and we'll have to cope with the resulting misguided stack requirements. Surprisingly I've found that the 4 VMs in my laptop can produce unexpectedly correct guidance on performances of server deployed apps. Usually indicating that the JVMs are spending more time in thread recovery after bad code executes.

    I've a new firewall/router/vpn "block of plastic" - its not much larger than 4" square and 2" deep. I've yet to put all the bits on the SD card that will be it's boot disk, but it has 1G of ram and should have more than enough cpu to do what we need in the house. (and I have teenagers) - I'm looking from this to the resources I'm using in the work world and really starting to think that corporate IT is going to go through another three or four iterations before they start getting the idea that "spinning up a new box" is *really* freaking overkill for 99.9% of what they are doing.

    The problem a lot of corporate environments are going to have with this is that siloing has put the networking team on the other side of a set of walls from the systems admin team and again a set of walls separating the DC operations folks, and to boot, the security teams. These walls are the single biggest barrier to getting some *really* decent automation and virtualization into play these days. As well, one may have to completely pave over old processes, standards, and implemented process controls that will no longer apply, or may not be usable in the automation/virtualization world.

    (We need an icon for "in dire need of a professional massage therapist" -- a group of juvenile relatives assisted me in destroying my back this weekend: gotta love the kids)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long

    Before the term "Spin up" becomes obsolete? In my home environment the only things that spin are storage and a test box, and the test box is soon to be updated.

  3. ecarlseen

    We've been doing roll-your-own NFV for years now.

    It will actually be nice to have some commercial offerings to handle stuff we've been rolling on our own for quite some time now. And I can certainly confirm what the author is saying about capacities and performance - we've routed / filtered / policed / QoS tagged some respectable amounts of traffic (many gigabits per second). We do this on some decent hardware (modern Xeons, multiple 10 GbE interfaces, VMWare, etc.), but the CPU / RAM requirements are tiny. I don't think we ever even push these virtual devices above 5% CPU, ever, even when routing system backup traffic.

    In my personal lab I've had no trouble routing multiple gigabits per second of traffic on crappy old Intel Atom CPUs running Linux or OpenBSD. Again, no matter how hard I slam them I doubt CPU utilization ever hits double digits (well under 1% at this moment).

  4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    The one thing..

    The one thing that will really drive up CPU usage is IDS (intrusion detection system) or IPS (intrusion protection system.) For snort for example, it needs at least 1GB of RAM and really gives the CPU a workout once you have much traffic going through it.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: The one thing..

      It's not like anything else is really using the CPU...

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