The NFV Challenge

As operators transition to NFV, monitoring solutions need to adapt to this new environment. The traditional approach using taps, splitters and physical probes does not provide the required visibility into a virtualized infrastructure. Physical probes cannot access the logical interfaces between internal VM-to-VM communication to monitor functions hosted on the same server, or in some cases between VMs located on different servers connected via virtual overlay networks. Moreover, new virtualization techniques, such as containers that rely heavily on distributing traffic between many lightweight, even transient, virtualized resources only exacerbate the visibility problem.

Qosmos Probe Solution

The Qosmos Probe has been specifically developed to provide visibility into virtualized infrastructure. At the heart of this technology is Qosmos ixEngine, the market leading deep packet inspection engine providing detailed real-time IP traffic classification and metadata extraction. As shown in the figure below, the probe can be integrated in two ways:

1. Software instance on a hypervisor monitoring the entire NFVI layer (resources and network)

2. VNF running on a virtual machine to monitor specific VNFs

Implementation example based on NFV reference architecture

The Qosmos Probe can be deployed to monitor both the external traffic on the virtualization platform’s physical interfaces, as well as VM-to-VM communications. Monitoring can be performed continuously or on-demand, depending on needs and data storage capabilities.


Examples of Traffic Data for Creating KPIs

  • VM and container names
  • DNS resolution
  • Volume per minute, IP address, VM, domain name, etc.
  • Subscriber information (e.g. IMSI, IMEI, MSISDN, etc.)


  • High-degree of information granularity for advanced troubleshooting of faults and performance issues
  • Fully customizable extraction of traffic information and KPIs
  • Optimized and dynamic configuration: monitoring can be turned on and off to investigate issues only when needed
  • A single monitoring approach for hybrid environments where network services run across both physical and virtual functions
  • Data model optimized for correlating network counters (response time, QoE, etc.) with infrastructure elements (VMs, containers, domains)
  • Follows NFV standards for future proofing
  • Runs on commodity hardware



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