NFV Solutions

This is a continuation from my previous blog on NFV overview. In this blog, I will cover popular NFV solutions in the market. This is not an exhaustive list, these are the NFV solutions that I am aware of. Following are the ones that I will cover:

  • Cisco Evolved services platform(ESP)
  • Alcatel-Lucent Cloudband
  • CloudNFV
  • Overture’s Ensemble OSA

Cisco Evolved services platform(ESP)

Following picture describes the building blocks of Cisco’s Evolved services platform.


  • Orchestration engine is responsible for managing Virtual Network function(VNF) lifecycle. Orchestration engine talks to virtual infrastructure using cloud management software like Openstack.
  • Orchestration engine has access to Virtual function catalog which could be Cisco provided VNF or could be third-party VNF. Orchestration engine is also responsible for creating NF graphs to manage interactions between VNFs.
  • Orchestration engine interacts with Service profiles to get the policy related information.
  • Service broker is the front-end for business logic related to the service and it translates that into technical requirements for the orchestration engine.

Following picture shows how the different blocks of Cisco’ ESP matches with the ETSI NFV architecture block diagram with the different interfaces between the blocks.


Alcatel-Lucent Cloudband

Following block diagram from Cloudband describes the different blocks of the Cloudband NFV solution.


  • Cloudband node is a turnkey POD type of cloud hardware that includes compute, storage and network.
  • Cloudband management system is the orchestration software that manages the NFV lifecycle.
  • Cloudband solution uses Nuage’s Network virtualization solution to manage the Networking piece of VNF connections.
  • Cloudband solution uses sophisticated algorithms to decide on the optimum physical placement of the virtual elements.
  • NFV applications could either be from Alcatel-Lucent or from third-party.


CloudNFV is an Open platform for developing NFV applications. This was a POC project started by 6 companies 6Wind, CIMI, Dell, Enterprise web, Qosmos, Overture and submitted to ETSI.

Following block diagram shows different blocks of CloudNFV solution.


  •  Business logic resides in the OSS and it converts the business logic into Active contract that describes the service policy.
  • Orchestration engine converts Service contract into VNF deployed on virtual infrastructure.
  • Different blocks of the solution are provided by CloudNFV participating companies.

Overture’s Ensemble OSA

Following 2 block diagrams from Overture explains their system architecture.



  • Overture’s NFV solution works across both physical and virtual infrastructure.
  • Ensemble service orchestrator(ESO) talks to cloud controller to manage virtual infrastructure and to Ensemble network controller(ENC) to manage Overture’s carrier ethernet physical devices. I see a similarity between ENC and Opendaylight controller.
  • Overture Networks is targeting NFV solutions for carrier ethernet space.


Pictures used in the above blog are from the references.


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