WHAT IS CORD?
CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) is a new design of a telco central office that replaces closed and proprietary hardware with software running on commodity servers, switches, and access devices.
The benefits of cord
It allows network operators to benefit from both the economies of scale (infrastructure constructed from a few commodities building blocks) and agility (the ability to rapidly deploy and elastically scale services) that commodity cloud providers enjoy today.
How CORD Works
A reference implementation of CORD combines commodity servers, white-box switches, and disaggregated access technologies with open source software to provide an extensible service delivery platform. This gives network operators the means to configure, control, and extend CORD to meet their operational and business objectives. And, as a general-purpose platform, CORD will be enable the delivery of a wide range of innovative services including fiber-to-the-home, trusted operator-provided services, and untrusted third-party services.
CORD Monitoring and Analytics
Applications require real-time deep observability, which requires packet-level and metadata information from physical and virtual CORD network elements – virtualized network functions (VNFs) running on the infrastructure, fabric white-box switches, and software virtual switches. This level of end-to-end observability in the central office becomes possible by monitoring both the infrastructure and individual services.
Enabling programmable network observability in CORD requires a monitoring service which fetches information from different CORD network elements and makes this information available to one or more analytics applications, running on top of CORD. This monitoring service is defined as A-CORD, or analytics for CORD.
The A-CORD Platform
A-CORD reference architecture is based on a 3-tier model, which includes programmable virtual probes, XOS monitoring-as-a-service, and analytics engines. Analytics engines continuously monitor and analyze probe data to derive control decisions, ultimately making the central office network more autonomous. = This enables programmable observability through “closed-loop-control.”
A-CORD spins-up virtual data collectors, dynamically associates data collectors with virtual probes, coordinates among data collectors, and maintains the health and availability of the CORD environment overall. It provides programmatic interfaces to control level of observability, and decouples analytics applications from underlying probes, thereby enabling true multi-vendor environments.
Ixia's Solution with CloudLens
- NETWORK VISIBILITY INTO A-CORD
- ENHANCING THE XOS MONITORING SERVICE
- XOS Analytics Application
Ixia provides a virtual programmable data collector with its virtual tapping (vTap) capabilities in CloudLens. This helps achieve breakthrough visibility and control of traffic flowing between CORD virtual services for greater security, compliance, and performance. CloudLens vTap collects subscriber packet data between cord CORD virtual services (e.g. vSG and vCDN), filters and publishes metadata or packet data to XOS analytics engines for further analysis.
The XOS Monitoring-as-a-Service provides a generic platform to support real time network observability for SDN fixed and mobile networks in a Telco Central Office. It de-couples analytics engines from underlying targets, providing a unified interface to program and observe programmable virtual probes. The monitoring service leverages the open source OpenStack Ceilometer framework, providing both notification-based and polling-based measurement collection mechanisms on its southbound side (interfacing to the underlying services and devices), and on the northbound side, providing query-based or publish/subscribe-based interfaces towards analytic applications.
CloudLens enhances the XOS Monitoring service with PacketStream, developed by Ixia for CORD structures. (PacketStream has been added as Ixia’s proof-of-concept implementation within CORD 2.0 environment.) PacketStream, in addition to currently defined S-Flow model, allows for XOS analytics applications to get both subscriber packet and enriched Netflow meta data, with details including subscriber device information, user geo-location, browser data and much more.
Analytics engines in A-CORD perform real-time and batch analytic computing of collected data. This includes anomaly, congestion, or resource overload detection, and would allow for predictive analytics through resource capacity planning and fault prediction. Ixia’s CloudLens XOS analytics application turns packets into insights, via deep packet inspection, application classification, geolocation, user device details, by using packet-level data from the CloudLens virtual programmable collector. This information could be used, for instance, to identify applications or users that generate excessive traffic or security threats. Armed with reliable and accurate information, central office administrators can isolate and remove unwanted behavior and improve service reliability, performance and security in general.
CloudLens enables visibility for CORD
Ixia CloudLens is the only complete visibility platform that enables programmable data collection and application analytics in CORD environments.
Ixia has a working “proof-of-concept,” implemented in A-CORD 2.0, incorporating the CloudLens programmable virtual data collector and Ixia’s own XOS analytics application, and enhancements to the Monitoring service (PacketStream) for publication of packet or metadata exchanged among CORD virtual network services.