Cisco Elastic Services Controller (ESC) is a Virtual Network Functions Manager (VNFM) and it performs lifecycle management of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). ESC provides agentless and multi vendor VNF management by provisioning the virtual services and monitoring their health and promotes agility, flexibility, and programmability in Network Function Virtualization (NFV) environments. It provides the flexibility to define rules for monitoring, and associate actions that are triggered based on the outcome of these rules. Based on the monitoring results, ESC performs scale in or scale out operations on the VNFs. In the event of a VM failure ESC also supports automatic VM recovery.
ESC fully integrates with Cisco and other third party applications. As a standalone product, the ESC can be deployed as a VNF Manager. ESC integrates with Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) to provide VNF management along with orchestration. ESC as a VNF Manager targets the virtual managed services and all service provider NFV deployments such as virtual packet core, virtual load balancers, virtual security services and so on. Complex services include multiple VMs that are orchestrated as a single service with dependencies between them.
Key Features of
Elastic Services Controller
Provides open and modular architecture, which allows multi-vendor OSS, NFVO, VNF and VIM support.
end-to-end dynamic provisioning and monitoring of virtualized services using a
single point of configuration.
- Provides customization across different phases of lifecycle 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, reboots or redeploys VMs based on the monitoring errors and threshold conditions detected as part of healing (also known as recovery).
Supports service agility by providing faster VNF deployment and lifecycle management.
Supports REST and NETCONF
/ YANG interfaces to provide better hierarchical configuration
and data modularity.
Cisco Elastic Services
Controller (ESC) is built as an open and modular architecture, that allows
multi-vendor support. It performs lifecycle management of the VNFs, that is,
onboarding the VNFs, deploying, monitoring, and making VNF level lifecycle decisions such as healing and scaling based on the KPI requirements. ESC
and its managed VNFs are deployed as VMs running within a Virtual
Infrastructure Manager (VIM). Currently, OpenStack and VMware vCenter are the
supported VIMs. The ESC core engine manages transactions, validations,
policies, workflows, and VM state machines. 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 can be configured
for High Availability. For details, see the
Elastic Services Controller Install and Upgrade Guide.
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 or NFV Orchestrator. ESC integrates with NSO using NETCONF/YANG northbound interface support. A configuration template, Virtual Network Function Descriptor (VNFD) file is used to describe the deployment parameters and operational behaviors of the VNFs. The VNFD file is used in the process of onboarding a VNF and managing the lifecycle of a VNF instance. The figure below represents the Cisco Elastic Services Controller architecture.
Figure 1. Cisco Elastic
Services Controller Architecture