Who is doing what to build the Open Network Platform this week

Layer123's SDN-NFV conference has provided a useful target and backdrop for the latest round of OpenSource network management and orchestration releases. What do they all mean?

OSM

OSM – the ETSI-based Open Source Mano group backed by the likes of Telefonica, BT and Verizon, published Release Three of its specifications. 

OSM says that Release Three is now functionally complete to support Operator RFx processes, and to be a key component for internal lab and external field trials as well as interoperability and scalability tests.

The paper adds: “It allows for rapid installation in VNF vendor, system integrator and operator environments worldwide. OSM Release THREE substantially enhances interoperability with other components (VNFs, VIMs, SDN controllers, monitoring tools) and provides a plug-in framework to make platform maintenance and extensions significantly easier to provide and support.”

So what’s new compared to prior releases?

OSM says Release Three improves usability and installation procedures as well as the modelling of virtualised network functions (VNFs) and network services. It also provides extremely flexible VNF configuration and advanced networking management as well as improved security capabilities, with advanced access controls. There is also a further fleshing out of the MANO architecture as it conforms to ETSI NFV models.

MEF and ONAP

Meanwhile these two organisations announced their joint collaboration to accelerate the rollout orchestrated services across automated, virtualised, and interconnected networks.  The two groups says they will “leverage the resources of their more than 250 combined member companies to speed open source-based SDN/NFV and LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) innovation”.

MEF and ONAP will jointly facilitate development of an LifeCycle Services Orchestration Framework and the creation of standardised open LSO APIs designed to automate the entire lifecycle for services orchestrated across multiple provider networks and multiple network technology domains.

Although ONAP and OSM are often thought of as two ways of achieving the same tasks, and there is indeed some crossover, the key differential here is that ONAP is looking towards a more complete OSS for next gen networks – “software automation of virtual network functions” combined with a service orchestration model. ONAP “looks at how you take service orchestration, management and policies, and the entire OSS BSS layer, and automate it in a closed loop and make sure it plugs into the existing systems“.

More narrowly,  OSM is keeping to the mandate of defining a framework for NFV MANO – and then putting that into ETSI and making available as OpenSource.

TM FORUM and MEF

The third announcement in this area this week came from the TM Forum, which said that four of its OpenAPIs had been included in MEF’s LSO (see above) Sonata SDK for multi-operator service orchestration.

Both the ONAP-MEF tie-up and MEF’s adoption of TMF’s APIs can be seen as signs that the industry is still piecing together the functional elements required to support the open, network-as-a-platform business model upon which it is pinning its future hopes.

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