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          Product overview

          Software-defined networking (SDN) is a new networking architecture that implements unified and flexible traffic management by separating the control plane and the forwarding plane. It offers a platform for core network and application innovations.

          SDN delivers the following features:

          * Service-oriented—SDN can be easily integrated with computing functions. This feature facilitates resource management and maintenance. SDN aligns network goals with service goals.

          * Customizable—SDN networks support software developed by anyone, allowing for flexible network usage and operation.

          * Agile—Users can develop applications instead of waiting for the virtual converged framework (VCF) controller provider to deliver the applications. Users can load the applications based on service requirements and use the applications in real time.

          * Simple—A controller can manage all IT operations. SDN adopts automated configuration, simplifying network management and reducing problems caused by manual operations to enhance network availability.

          * Open standards-based and vendor-neutral—The OpenFlow and MG-BGP EVPN protocols are open standards that make SDN networks open markets that can accommodate various vendors.

          H3C VCF controller is an SDN control system. As the core of H3C SDN solutions, the VCF controller presents a software platform with the following features:

          * It allows data centers, public clouds, private clouds, and campus edges to deliver their network features.

          * It is open and provides application programming interfaces (APIs). The platform uses OpenFlow, NETCONF, OVSDB as the network control protocols to manage physical networks.

          * Similar to a network operating system, the VCF controller provides a platform for users to develop and run applications. It controls resources on the Overlay network and provides APIs for applications to ensure their forwarding requirements.

          Features and benefits

          Open architecture

          * Open OSGi architecture—The architecture supports function extension based on applications. The architecture implements a complete and dynamic component model. Applications or components can be remotely installed, started, stopped, updated, and uninstalled without requiring a reboot. The OSGi specification is developed by the members in an open process and made available to the public free of charge under the OSGi Specification License.

          * Multiple REST APIs—REST APIs use cache to reduce response time and allow different servers to process different requests, improving server scalability. Browsers can be used as clients to simplify software requirements. Compared to other HTTP-based mechanisms, REST is more independent from software, without requiring any other resource detecting mechanisms. REST presents better software compatibility.

          * Multiple native Open APIs—Programs run as the OSGi bundle of the VCF controller, delivering high-performance processing capabilities for events and data packets. Based on the lower layer of the network, Open APIs are powerful in that they allow users to customize and extend the controller as required.

          High availability

          In a single-controller environment, the failure of the controller can cause all its connected network devices to turn into unmanaged state. H3C VCF controllers can form a team that contains a maximum of 128 members. When one controller fails, another controller in the team takes over to prevent single points of failure and provide higher network availability. In addition, a team implements centralized configuration and monitoring for controllers in the team.

          High usability

          * Web-based management.

          * Network devices and access hosts are displayed graphically.

          * Detailed log information helps you trace user behaviors.

          * You can configure regions for a team on a complicated network to simplify network management.

          Overlay network

          * H3C VCF controllers can manage the VXLAN-based Overlay network. The controllers can manage forwarding devices such as the vSwitches in the server, ToR offload devices, and VXLAN gateways (hardware gateways and host gateways). The controllers provide APIs for upper-layer cloud computing systems to integrate the Overlay network into the converged cloud network.

          * The controllers support the OpenFlow-based and EVPN-based networking models.

          * The OpenFlow-based networking model features easy configuration and management and is suitable for small-scale networks.

          * The EVPN-based networking model implements complete separation of the management plane, control plane, and forwarding plane. It features easy management, high forwarding efficiency, and flexible scalability and is suitable for large-scale networks.

          * The controllers provide port management, policy management, subnet management, VXLAN tunnel construction, and address learning control for vSwitches in the server.

          * The controllers manage hardware TOR offload devices, hardware VXLAN gateways, host VXLAN gateways, and VXLAN tunnels.

          * The controllers provide APIs and OpenStack plug-ins for upper-layer cloud computing systems to integrate the Overlay network into the cloud, allowing users to perform all tasks on the cloud. The controllers are compatible with H3C CloudOS cloud management platform, VMware vCenter, and OpenStack.

          Service chains

          The service chain technology is used to guide data packets through security service nodes. It provides secure, customized network services for users. The security service nodes include physical service nodes and virtual service nodes. H3C provides firewall service nodes (FW/vFW), LB service nodes (LB/vLB), IPS service nodes (IPS/vIPS), WAF service nodes (WAF/vWAF), and VPN service nodes.

          The service chain technology enables the SDN controller to perform logical abstraction for the network and implement flexible service orchestration. Service packets are guided through service nodes in the specified order for processing.

          The VCF controller is built in with the service chain module. The service chain module can virtualize security devices into service chain resource pools to meet all types of security service application model requirements. The controller supports flexible orchestration for service chains. The service chain module provides northbound APIs that can be used by all cloud management systems, and provides southbound APIs for managing service nodes and deploying service chains.


          * OpenFlow 1.3

          * NETCONF standard (RFC6241)

          * OVSDB interface for Open vSwitch

          * Neutron interface for OpenStack

          Running environment

          OpenFlow network configuration requirement

          As a best practice, plan the OpenFlow network and configure the OpenFlow switch that will be connected to the VCF controller before you install an H3C VCF controller. OpenFlow switches refer to devices that support OpenFlow, including physical switches and vSwitches.

          The controller can access and manage the forwarding plane of the OpenFlow switches to control data packet forwarding. The OpenFlow protocol defines control packets between the controller and OpenFlow switches. The OpenFlow protocol has multiple versions. H3C VCF controllers support OpenFlow 1.3.

          Server requirements for H3C VCF controllers

          Hardware requirements


          Memory size

          Available disk space

          NIC speed

          x86-64 (Intel 64/AMD 64), 24 cores or above, 2.6 GHz or above

          64 GB or above

          512 GB or above

          10 Gbps

          Software requirements

          Operating system


          CentOS 7.3 1611

          · The operating system can access the Internet during VCF controller installation.

          · To install the VCF controller on a VM, use the recommended VM management software KVM 2.4.5-1 (or above), ESXi 5.0.0 (or above), or H3C CVK.

          Client requirements for H3C VCF controllers




          Web browser

          · Google Chrome 27 or later versions

          · Mozilla Firefox 31 or later versions

          · Internet Explorer 8 or later versions

          If the client uses Java 7, install the patch Java SE Runtime Environment 7u25 as a best practice. Do not install Java SE Runtime Environment 7u40.

          Ordering information



          Basic license package (SDN-M4-3)

          This license package is mandatory for a VCF controller to run correctly. It contains H3C VCFC Software+Overlay License+Service-Chain License+VNF Manager Standard Edition

          H3C VCF Controller Base Software License,


          This license only needs to purchase when expanding the capability of VCFC.

          Overlay hardware entity license, (LIS-VCF-OverlayHD-VAR), 1 node

          This license provides the right to control one hardware network element on the Overlay network. Please order the corresponding number of licenses according to the number of network hardware elements you need control on the Overlay.

          Virtualized service node license,

          (LIS-VCF-SC-VAR), 1 node

          This license provides the right to control one virtualized service node. Please order the corresponding number of licenses according to the number of virtualized service nodes you need.

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