Design and implement a virtualized software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN):
For this project, you can design and implement a virtualized SD-WAN with centralized management and control. The key components would include:
Designing the SD-WAN network architecture with multiple branch offices connected back to a centralized data center. This would include choosing the SD-WAN gateway devices, routing protocols, underlay/overlay network design etc.
Setting up the centralized SD-WAN controller to provision and manage the gateway devices. Popular open-source options include Cisco vManage, VeloCloud, Nuage Networks etc. Enterprise options include VMware NSX or Cisco Viptela.
Virtualizing key network functions on industry-standard servers. These could include functions like firewall, intrusion detection/prevention, WAN optimization, caching etc. Popular virtual network function platforms include CiscoNFV, Juniper Contrail, Nokia Nuage Networks etc.
Implementing centralized traffic steering policies, application recognition, path control and monitoring through the SD-WAN controller.
Conducting performance and failover testing between different WAN links to showcase the benefits of SD-WAN like traffic steering, optimum path selection etc.
Documenting the entire design, implementation and test results. This could serve as a reference architecture for virtualizing branch networks.
Design and deploy virtual CPE infrastructure:
In this project, you can design and deploy a virtual customer premises equipment (CPE) infrastructure to bring NFV to the customer edge. This involves:
Logically segmenting customer edge infrastructure into virtual network functions like virtual firewall, VPN termination, load balancing, intrusion detection etc.
Choosing appropriate NFV infrastructure platforms suitable for an enterprise customer edge – this could include uCPE devices, general-purpose servers, virtual or container-based network function platforms etc.
Designing the management, orchestration and service chaining of various virtual network functions to deliver complete customer edge networking services. This includes aspects like VNF catalog, VNF deployment templates, service ordering portal etc.
Deploying the solution across multiple customer sites and demonstrate centralized management of virtual CPE infrastructure and network services.
Testing various use-cases for reliability, performance and upgrading/modifying network functions on the fly.
Documenting design choices, deployment workflow, test results and lessons learned from virtualizing customer edge networks.
Build a lab environment to test NFV reference architectures:
A hands-on lab project allows demonstrating NFV concepts using real equipment. The key aspects would include:
Procuring NFV infrastructure hardware like general-purpose servers, SDN switches with OpenFlow, virtual GPU/accelerator cards etc. Popular vendors include Cisco, Juniper, Dell etc.
Installing and configuring NFV software platforms to deploy virtual network functions. This includes OpenStack, VMware, Linux Container projects etc.
Setting up network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) resources like compute, storage, networking.
Onboarding popular network functions as virtual appliances. These could include functions from Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet, F5, Palo Alto, Citrix etc.
Integrating with open-source orchestrators and VNF managers like ONAP, OSM, Cloudify, OpenBaton etc. for automated lifecycle management.
Deploying and testing popular NFV reference architectures from ETSI like firewall as a service, unified threat management as a service etc.
Analyzing performance, scalability and management capabilities of the virtualized network functions.
Documenting step-by-step lab setup guide, integration details and test results. This helps evaluate NFV technologies in a hands-on manner.
The above project examples involve end-to-end planning, design, implementation and testing of NFV solutions to solve real-world networkproblems. A successful capstone project clearly demonstrates the key NFV concepts and benefits through measurable outcomes. Proper documentation of project details, challenges faced and lessons learned is also important. With its ability to optimize network resources, NFV is revolutionizing how networks are built and managed. A well-executed NFV capstone can provide valuable industry experience for showcasing skills to potential employers.