NFVI Monitoring


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 NFVI Monitoring technology 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 Figure 1, this technology can be implemented in two ways:

  • 1.  A software instance on a hypervisor monitoring the entire NFVI layer (resources and network)
  • 2.  A VNF running on a virtual machine to monitor specific VNFs

Implementation example based on NFV reference architecture

Figure 1: Implementation example based on NFV reference architecture

Qosmos NFVI Monitoring technology can be deployed to monitor both the external traffic on the virtualization platform’s physical interfaces, as well as VM-to-VM communications. As shown in Figure 2, it offers standard APIs to support real-time online and offline views to higher-level analytics and management functions. Monitoring can be performed continuously or on-demand, depending on needs and data storage capabilities.

Interfaces to other systemsFigure 2: Interfaces to other systems



  • Data model optimized for correlating network counters (response time, QoE, etc.) with infrastructure elements (VMs, containers, domains)
  • Offers a high-degree of information granularity for advanced troubleshooting of faults and performance issues
  • Focuses on relevant data: monitoring can be turned on and off to investigate issues only when needed
  • Provides a view into shadow IT related applications and traffic
  • A single monitoring approach for hybrid environments where network services run across both physical and virtual functions
  • Visibility up to Layer 7 with industry-leading DPI libraries for accurate traffic classification
  • Follows NFV standards for future proofing
  • Runs on commodity hardware


“Without effective monitoring, the NFVI platform cannot be expected to run mission-critical networks. Virtual probes integrated with the NFVI are an important part of the solution.”

Gabriel Brown, Principal Analyst, Heavy Reading

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