[e2e] j'accuse NFV

Djamel Sadok jamel at cin.ufpe.br
Wed Apr 29 04:05:26 PDT 2015

generic platforms can perform as well as dedicated ones using multi-core,
and other tweaks, etc. An NFV function is one that can be moved and applied
anywhere anytime in the network to transcode, firewall, traffic
prioritization at the radio access (RAN), aggregate flows, etc... Many
products already allow hot upgrade of switch/router software, a good NFV
use example. We need to make sure that NFV does not kill e2e semantics so
that we can continue developing applications without thinking about the
subnet details. But the subnet should be free to reorganize itself.

New business models may emerge where an ISP may on demand (a la Cloud)
subscribe to network functions just like any other service. If we reject
NFV then we also need to move away from SDN using the same arguments.


On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 6:34 AM, Jon Crowcroft <jon.crowcroft at cl.cam.ac.uk>

> Try as I might, I cannot really see Network Function Virtualization as much
> more than yet another telco landgrab on internet stuff. But somewhat more
> critically, I vew the idea of taking some of our precious middle bodily
> fluid flow processing functions, and moving them a) off the box built by a
> middlebox expert, and b) off the direct path, as actually
> counter-productive. Lets just take three boring run-of-the-arithmetic-mill
> such services:-
> load balancer - this is on the latency critical path before you get to any
> service - additional latency/hops/virtualization overhead is
> counter-indicated by any sane business model
> wan accelerator - especially for 2.9x-4.8xG wireless data networking
> services - these are kind of rather localized by definition, right? I mean
> they are dealing with impedance mis-matches in the interweb (tcp splice,
> etc - see
> https://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/icsi/publication_details?n=3730
> firewall (or ids) - so these sit on trust boundaries, so it seems like a
> reduction in security to move them anywhere (like above a hypervisor,
> unless people are running, say, seL4:-), plus they might also be protecting
> the infrastructure itself as well as customers, so it would seem
> counter-productive to increase their attach surface in any way
> So ok, not all virtualization involves moving stuff to a different location
> often. But it does also imply some resource pooling (i.e. more than 1
> instance of a Foo in the NFooV is running above the hyperv) - so this seems
> like you might be buying into a wealth of pain with elasticity, when you
> had just nailed down super-hard multiplexed allocation of cycles for
> forwarding or filtering or protocol adaptation or responsive redirection
> etc etc...
> I guess if you are in the business of proxies (web content caches etc) then
> it might make sense, but then it isn't really a Network Function that is
> being virtualized - its just you have some server blades running xen
> or vmware or clickos or mirageOS or whatever with an HTTPd on them
>  - err, so next, will we be running IP forwarding virtualized? oh, no,
> wait, thats just a, um VPN...
> so if the telco folks do manage to Virtualize all those annoying middle
> boxes Netwreck Functions, perhaps they could just cause them all to
> evaporate and restore the sublime end-to-end internet
> goodness....carrier-degrade, surely?
> j
> http://openmirage.org/
> http://cnp.neclab.eu/clickos/
> https://sel4.systems/
> etc
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