Preventing Chaos in Virtualized Networks: Management and Orchestration

cloudVirtualization is arguably the biggest buzzword in telcos today and rightly so. The lure of agility and the ability overhaul network components in a matter in hours is not only powerful but extremely lucrative.

However with a heterogeneous network of applications and resources, intelligent management is needed to control the NFV environment and ultimately prevent chaos. Orchestration and management is not a new concept, but with huge leaps in NFV, SDN and other areas of virtualization means that it has never been so important.

Creating an interoperable Management and Orchestration framework (MANO) that dovetails with legacy BSS and OSS is no doubt the key enabler for NFV to be successfully deployed.

What is the role of ETSI?

The ETSI NFV ISG, the leading forum currently specifying MANO requirements for NFV, published the first major release of NFV ISG documents in January this year. This has been the catalyst for a significant effort around the world to ready NFV technologies for deployment.

As the main aim of NFV MANO is to manage the high number of different network components, the ETSI NFV ISG has taken a leaf out of the open source book by putting all draft documents in progress in an open area along with a feedback mechanism. This enables the wider industry (for example open source communities and other bodies) to see the work in progress and to take it into account in their ongoing work. This will speed up overall industry progress as the wider industry does not have to wait for final publication.

We will look forward to hearing what Don Clarke, Principal Architect, Network Technologies at CableLabs and key member of the NFV ISG leadership team, has to say on the latest ETSI work on MANO this October at BBWF.

How does it relate to OPNFV?

The OPNFV (Open Platform for NFV) open source Project aims to create a carrier-grade, integrated platform that enables new products and services to be available to the industry more quickly. OPNFV will work closely with the ETSI and others to press for consistent implementation of open standards.

Open Source communities have been ramping up their NFV efforts and a notable event in June was the first release (Arno) from the OPNFV community. OPNFV was initiated by the same individuals that founded the NFV ISG and the two forums are being coordinated through common membership and regular interactions between the respective leaderships. Arno bundles the key open source MANO components of OpenStack and OpenDaylight with other key components with a simple install process. Other open source components will be supported in future releases.

Speakers from OPNFV as well as OpenDaylight with Chris Price, OPNFV Technical Steering Committee Chair and Marc Cohn, Board Member, OpenDaylight and Chair of the Market Education Committee, ONF will be joining us at BBWF to detail how their organisations are contributing stimulus to NFV innovation.

What about SDN?          

Of course SDN is an intrinsic part of the MANO story and SDN controllers such as OpenDaylight, ONOS and others will play an important role particularly in managing the application programmable interfaces (APIs) communications between the SDN Controller and the applications and switches/routers, respectively.

So how do APIs fit in?

The NFV MANO architecture must be integrated with open application program interfaces (APIs) that dovetail with existing systems. The NFV MANO layer has templates for standard VNFs, users choose to invoke NFVI resources to deploy their platform or element.  The MANO day at BBWF will also be looking at the development of next generation virtualized open APIs, and considers the different possibilities for northbound APIs to control applications via an SDN controller.

MANO at Broadband World Forum

Check out the brochure for the detailed MANO agenda at Broadband World Forum, where operators will take an in-depth look at the evolution of MANO architectures and to gain a full understanding of this revolutionary technology.

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