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Resource Designer Overview


Configuration Designer, Resource Designer, and Network Services Designer (collectively known as Designer Tools) are a suite of GUI-based tools that enable network designers to support virtualized network functions (VNFs) and network services in Contrail Service Orchestration (CSO).

Resource Designer provides an intuitive GUI-based workflow that guides users with the Service Provider (SP) Administrator role as they provide the required information to create a VNF package. Resource Designer also validates the VNF package before it is published to Network Service Designer. Network Service Designer uses VNF packages to design customized network services that are published to the network services catalog, which contains a list of usable network services.

Service provider administrators access the network services catalog to assign a set of network services to their customers using Administration Portal. Finally, tenant users access the network services assigned to them using Customer Portal to manage their sites and services. Figure 1 shows the Resource Designer workflow.

Figure 1: Resource Designer Workflow
Resource Designer

Users with the SP Administrator role can use Resource Designer to create and onboard a VNF package that can be used for defining network services. A VNF package is a set of metadata or templates designed for a specific vendor’s VNF. Each VNF has its own combination of resources and performance characteristics. Having access to different levels of VNF packages can help you to design specific service-level agreements (SLAs) for your services. You can assign resources to VNFs using the vendor’s data sheets as a basis.

A typical VNF package might include:

  • VNF base configuration template, which is a configuration template that can be created in Configuration Designer:

    • To ensure correct startup and ongoing manageability of the VNF

    • For management IP address, SNMP, and system log configuration of the VNF

  • VNF descriptor (VNFD), which is a deployment template that describes a VNF in terms of its deployment and operational behavior requirements. VNFD is mainly used during the instantiation of a VNF and for lifecycle management of the VNF instance, and it includes the following properties:

    • Connection points—Represents the management interface, left interface, and right interface. Connections points are used to connect the virtual links.

    • Virtual links—Represents the management network link, left network link, and right network. Virtual links provide connectivity between VDUs.

    • Virtual deployment units (VDUs) and a topology showing how the VDUs are connected.

      VDUs are basic part of VNFs and are used to host the network function.

    • Allocated CPU and memory

    • Required storage

    • Names and types of VNF images

    • Deployment flavors—A differentiated option such as Gold, Silver, or Bronze with an appropriate SLA metric.

    • VNF auto-scale policies

  • VNF Manager plug-in, which is a plug-in type and name. For example, a VNF Manager for VNF lifecycle management.

  • Supported function chains, which are sequences of network functions, such as firewall, NAT, or WAN optimization, that the VNF packages offers.

Some VNFs, like vSRX, support multiple functions and service chains. For example, vSRX can be deployed in the context of multiple functions such as firewalls, carrier-grade NAT, IDP, UTM, malware, and others.