Global operators are actively embracing cloud native technologies and NFV, and as a result are enjoying the advantages of virtual network construction including automation & intelligent operational capability. In addition, NFV technology enables multi-vendor applications during network construction. NFV cloud integration is highly complex due to cross-vendor integration and the requirement to improve large-scale network integration efficiency, necessitating optimization of the integration procedure. This means operators focus, when constructing a telecom cloud network, moves from NFV platform innovation to innovation around NFV cloud integration.

1. ZTE’s NFV integration solution is based on the technology innovation.
To assist operators’ ZTE has developed an NFV integration solution based around data standardization, procedure normalization and tool automation. This solution is based on ZTE’s project experience and the technology innovation.

1) Data Standardization: Standard data is the theme running through NFV multi-vendor integration.
Delivering multi-vendor communications infrastructure automation is based on the integration data and interface standardization, which drives down costs and promotes delivery efficiency. Currently, the LLD (Low Level Design) data of different vendors satisfies the deployment and configuration requirements of their own products and they don’t fully consider other resulting in different data and a heavy workload during the interconnection. ZTE helps the operators initiate the establishment of integration data standardization and continuously promotes the standardization or templating of the configuration information and detailed planning of NFV hardware, software and network – contributing to data standardization.

2) Procedure Normalization: This is the basis of an ordered and highly efficient NFV integration.
Delivering an NFV integration project involves debugging of multiple components from multiple vendors, meaning a time consuming, heavy workload and potential problems on the route to a normalized and optimum design of the procedure to guarantee highly efficient NFV integration. ZTE extracts the ideas of procedure optimized design through the project experience:

> ZTE analyzes associated operations and draws parallel between low association integration operations;
> Before the hardware device delivery, ZTE completes all configuration required by the software integration
> ZTE completes pre-integration and verification in a lab environment, identifying and solving integration problems in advance
> ZTE performs pre-integration for the products in advance and ensure availability of the required resources to deliver the integration.
The above solutions promote the procedural efficiency reduce the difficulty & accompanying workload of the on-site integration.

3) Tool Automation: Automatic integration tools guarantee the efficiency and quality of NFV integration.
As already stated, the ZTE automated integration procedure guarantees the integration efficiency and quality. All mainstream operators utilise automatic integration tool frameworks, testing different vendors’ heterogeneous components and promoting the open source automatic tool framework. ZTE develops integration automation tools for NFV planning & design, installation and deployment and acceptance testing. ZTE developed the AIC tool platform to deliver integration delivery automation, decreasing human errors and greatly enhancing delivery efficiency. ZTE also cooperates with operators to promote the vendors’ automation tool interoperability across multiple projects and contributes to forging the unified E2E tool link of integration/test/delivery continuously.

2. Genuine knowledge comes from practice, ZTE actively cooperates with the operators to build NFV integration capability.
ZTE actively works with domestic & international operators’ on their network cloud integration and technology integration, and cooperates with multiple operators to promote pilot trials in the field of CI-CT test. ZTE introduced and verified a self-developed CI-CT plan based on their experience with multiple projects. The diagram in illustrates the application of ZTE developed AIC tool in the Openlab environment.

> Based on Jenkins framework, the system deploys the virtual layer automatically with AIC deployment tool, and completes the integration interconnection with different vendors’ distributed storage by using the plug-ins promoting the deployment & integration efficiency.
> Providing the LLD files generated by AIC planning & design tool saves manpower and delivers an error rate of 0.
> The AIC deployment tool and Jenkins framework means the on-site debugging is completed ahead of deployment and helps enable automatic interconnection and integration of distributed storage from different vendors, and enables the completion of the CI-CT plan in different resource pool configuration scenarios.

3. Continuous revolution contributes to the operators’ NFV integration innovation.
Currently, the development and popularity of NFV enabled networks means that the boundary between CT and IT is becoming more blurred. A new level of cooperation is appearing among traditional device vendors, Internet enterprises and telecom operators.

Keep in mind the principle of open source and win-win cooperation, cooperate with partners for technology innovation, and for planning & verification of the product integration solution. This is the basis for establishing the NFV commercial ecosystem.

In the future, ZTE will be at the heart of automatic network cloud integration, working together with mainstream partners based on NFV layered architecture. This will comply with the industry requirements of the 5G era, and continues the revolution, contributing to the operators’ NFV integration innovation.