Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMblog Expert Interview: Algoblu Explains Network Element Virtualization and Three Types of Network Services Offered

interview algoblu edward qin 

Since its inception in 2012, Algoblu's mission was to build a flexible, programmable network that focuses on virtualizing network resources to achieve increased flexibility and scalability for telecom companies and enterprise customers.  Algoblu's existing corporate users span financial, insurance, retail, telecom operators, gaming, smart transportation, e-commerce, education, sports, manufacturing and many other industries, including a number of the world's top 500 companies.  They recently came to market with a new technology called Network Element Virtualization.  To learn more, VMblog reached out to Edward Qin, the Algoblu chief product officer.

VMblog:  What is Network Element Virtualization?

Edward Qin:  As the digital transformation advances, users' business and daily operations become more dependent on the network. The traditional proprietary hardware-driven network architecture and pre-planning-based construction model can no longer meet the requirements of high-speed data service development. There is an immediate need to advance the network to a cloud-based, open network architecture in terms of equipment form, configuration management, and capacity expansion and upgrade.

The x86 server virtualization technology led by VMware helped create a trillion dollar cloud computing market. We are using a similar concept for what we call Network Element Virtualization (NEV). In a nutshell, it virtualizes and orchestrates underlying network resources to help carriers offer more application-oriented customized services to both commercial and residential customers. Thanks to the new FPGA-based technology, the cost per bit decreases by more than four times and operation efficiency increases three times.

VMblog:  Can you tell us about the Algoblu solution based on NEV?

Qin:  We came to market with a complete solution from self-developed silicon to hardware devices, and from NEV products to NEV network services, which can achieve the elasticity and scalability that cannot be achieved by traditional networks. Benefits include improved bandwidth efficiency and network security, multi-cloud access, simplified network provisioning and troubleshooting. NEV sits between layer 1 and layer 2 in the OSI seven-layer model. It can virtualize the underlying network resources (e.g. fiber ports) into 100,000 individual atomic channels through the FPGA-based chip. The scheduler and orchestrator allocate a certain amount of atomic channels to form the sIF(Service Interface) per resource requirement. Algoblu defines a complete NEV protocol for both the control and forward plane. NEV can interop with conventional Ethernet. The implementation of the whole NEV protocol is completed by the self-developed chip, which ensures the high efficiency of the whole system. We have built our own backbone network with the CPE and PE devices empowered by the NEV chip. The PTS (Prime Telco Services) and business operation system manage the entire network and provision the services to customers.

VMblog:  What customers do you target with this new technology?

Qin:  Target customers are in cloud gaming, 4k/8K streaming, video conferencing, industrial IoT and other industries that require guaranteed network SLAs. We are already engaged with carriers in North American and Asia, giving them the flexibility to build a centralized controlled network to provide new services to their users. Our NEV technology is enabling telcos to pool network resources and place them into separate SLA levels that allow more customized service levels for customers.

VMblog:  What are the actual NEV services you provide today?

Qin:  We have built our own NEV backbone network and provide operation services. Currently, it offers three types of network services for users: NEV EPL/EPN Elastic Private Line/Elastic Private Network, NEV Application Broadband, and NEV Network Slicing.

  • NEV EPL/EPN Elastic Private Line/Network

It provides users with point-to-point private line or private line networking services, usually for L2 Ethernet networking. Product features include support for elastic bandwidth, access bandwidth from 2M to Nx 10G, support for burst traffic, real-time bandwidth adjustment and network-wide bandwidth pooling; support for elastic topology, user can customize the network topology at will; support for network-wide end-to-end data encryption; support for multi-services with different classes of QoS, each service is physically isolated; and support 95/5 percentile billing mode base on usage.

  • NEV Application Broadband

It offers isolated virtual private lines for different applications over regular home broadband, enabling the establishment of point-to-point private line connections from home devices (TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles, cell phones) to targets (video content provider servers, game servers, SaaS service provider servers, etc). It provides extremely high-quality connections with low latency (depending on physical distance), zero packet loss, and as low as 0.1ms jitter. The product features include providing access to specified applications on cloud thru virtual private lines through NEV technology, and allowing users to choose different QoS service guarantees based on different service attributes. It supports elastic bandwidth and burst traffic; the network side can be easily integrated with third-party cloud platforms and cloud service providers to continuously enrich the service portfolio. Users can subscribe to new services directly over existing home broadband.

  • NEV Network Slicing

It slices the network underlying carrier network into multiple separated and secured parts. The sliced network has independent resources and QoS guarantee, and the traffic is physically isolated. Network slicing service can help users build layer 2 or layer 3 private networks serving specific applications, such as enterprise multi-site private network, private network of supply chain partners, secure surveillance network, video conferencing network or direct connection network of cloud platform, etc. Product features include support for elastic bandwidth, access bandwidth from 2M to Nx 10G, support for burst traffic, real-time bandwidth adjustment; support for set different SLA service levels for each sliced network per different service characteristics; and support for physical isolation and full end-to-end link encryption.

VMblog:  As a conclusion, in one sentence, what is the top benefit that you would want to highlight if you had to choose one?

Qin:  We believe NEV is a shortcut to enable carriers to provide multi-tier services to meet customers' personalized requirements without changing the existing network infrastructure.  

VMblog:  Thank you for talking to us, Edward.  It certainly is a very interesting approach in the network virtualization market.


Published Thursday, April 01, 2021 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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