Today, Virtual Network Function (VNF) Onboarding is an expensive, complex and time-consuming effort, meaning that the promise of NFV is yet to be fully realized. Intel works very closely with its Network Builders ecosystem and Communication Service Providers to help overcome the obstacles posed by the VNF Onboarding process today. This page includes collateral based on that work.
For some service providers, Onboarding may include a multitude of activities including VNF Instantiation, basic VNF Life Cycle Management, performance characterization, flavor verification and in some cases end-to-end testing in a service context before the VNF can be cataloged and made available for consumption. Onboarding of a VNF can be a challenging task, especially for complex VNFs that have multiple interacting components, like Virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and Virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS).
VNF Onboarding becomes even more complicated as different vendors of a particular type of VNF (or even different versions of the same VNF) may require different steps for Onboarding. This lack of a standard way to instantiate, configure, and operationalize multi-vendor VNFs has hindered the speed at which service providers can incorporate new VNFs into their environment. In addition, Orchestration environments have their customized Onboarding requirements, making it difficult for VNF vendors to produce reusable VNF packages.
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