Cisco Elastic Services
Controller (ESC) is a Virtual Network Functions Manager (VNFM), performing life
cycle management of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). ESC provides agentless
and multi vendor VNF management by provisioning the virtual services, and
monitoring their health and load. ESC provides the flexibility to define rules
for monitoring, and associate actions to be triggered based on the outcome of
these rules. Based on the monitoring results, ESC performs scale in or scale
out on the VNFs. It also supports automatic VM recovery when a VM fails.
ESC fully integrates
with Cisco and other third party applications. As a standalone product, the
Elastic Services Controller can be deployed as a VNF Manager. ESC integrates
with Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) to provide VNF management along
with orchestration. Elastic Services Controller (ESC) as a VNF Manager targets
the virtually managed services and all service provider NFV deployments such as
virtual video, WiFi, authentication and others.
Complex services include multiple VMs that are orchestrated as a single
service with dependencies between them. These multiple VMs are managed as a
single entity, for example, Virtually Managed Services (vMS) 1.0.
ESC Terminology Usage
The following terms are used throughout the document:
Virtual Machine (VM)—A virtual machine (VM) is an operating system
OS or application installed on a software which imitates dedicated hardware.
The end user has the same experience on a virtual machine as they would have on
Virtual Network Function (VNF)—A VNF consists of a single or a
group of VMs with different softwares and processes that can be deployed on a
Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI).
Virtual Network Function Manager (VNFM)—Manages the life cycle of
Network Function Virtualization Orchestrator (NFVO)—An ETSI NFV
MANO standard term. The orchestrator communicates with ESC APIs to perform all
the VNFM functions.
Service—A Service consists of single or multiple VNFs.
Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM)—The Virtualized
Infrastructure Manager adds a management layer for the data center hardware.
Its northbound APIs are consumed by other layers to manage the physical and
virtual resources for instantiation, termination, scale in and out procedures,
and fault & performance alarms.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)— Measures performance management.
KPIs specify what, how and when parameters are measured. KPI incorporates
information about source, definitions, measures, calculations for specific
Service Providers (SPs)—Helps SPs reduce cost of operating the
networks by providing effective and optimal resource usage.
Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs)—Helps meet the needs of single-
and small-to-medium businesses to administer and control network functions.
Cisco Elastic Services Controller automates provisioning, configuring and
monitoring of network functions. Small-to-medium businesses can benefit by
leveraging some of the basic services such as DNS, DHCP and NTP.
Key Features of
Elastic Services Controller
Provides open and
modular architecture, which allows multi-vendor OSS, VNF and VIM support.
end-to-end dynamic provisioning and monitoring of virtualized services using a
single point of configuration.
across different phases of life cycle management; while monitoring the VM,
service advertisement, and custom actions.
monitoring with an integrated Monitoring Actions (MONA) engine. The monitoring engine provides simple and complex rules, to decide scale in and scale out of
Provides scale in and scale out options based on the load of the network.
Deploys or removes VMs based on the monitoring errors and threshold conditions detected as part of healing (also called as recovery).
agility by providing faster VNF deployment and life cycle management.
Supports REST and NETCONF
/ YANG interfaces to provide better hierarchical configuration
and data modularity.
Elastic Services Controller (ESC) provides open and modular architecture, which allows OSS, and multi-vendor support. ESC performs life cycle management of the VNFs, that is, VNF onboarding, configuring the VNFs, monitoring them, and making VNF level life cycle decisions such as healing and scaling based on the KPI requirements. Elastic Services Controller (ESC) and its managed VNFs are deployed as VMs running within a Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). Currently, OpenStack is supported. The ESC core engine manages transactions, validations, policies, workflows, VM state machines and rollbacks.
The monitoring and actions service engine in ESC performs monitoring based on several monitoring methods. Events are triggered based on the monitoring actions. The monitoring engine also supports custom monitoring plugins.
ESC interacts with the top orchestration layer using the REST and NETCONF/YANG NB APIs. The orchestration layer can be a Cisco NSO or any third party OSS. Confd enables integration
with NSO by adding NETCONF/YANG north bound interface support. A configuration template, Virtual Network Function Descriptor (VNFD) file is used to describe the deployment parameters and operational behaviors of the VNFs. This VNFD is used in the process of onboarding a VNF and managing the life cycle of a VNF instance. Figure 1 represents the Elastic Services Controller architecture.
As part of the
Cisco Orchestration Suite, ESC is packaged with Cisco Network Service
Orchestrator (NSO), and available within Cisco Solutions such as Virtually
Managed Services (vMS) and Cisco Cloud Services (CCS).
As a standalone
product, ESC is available as a VNFM bundled with Cisco VNFs such as VPN,
vRouter, vSecurity and many others.