Telcos in a hurry to release Open Source MANO

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Oct 5, 2016

© Flickr/cc-licence/Scott McLoud

© Flickr/cc-licence/Scott McLoud

  • ETSI Open Source MANO group (OSM) announces Release ONE
  • Open source Management and Orchestration (MANO) software stack
  • Release comes less than six months after group’s first meeting
  • Offers enhanced interoperability with VNFs, VIMs and SDN controllers

The network virtualisation movement received another boos this week with the news that ETSI’s Open Source MANO (OSM) group has released its OSM Release ONE – described as an open source Management and Orchestration (MANO) software stack focused on helping accelerate the implementation of network virtualisation. Whilst the work is closely aligned with that of ETSI’s NFV group, the OSM activities have been operator-led and are seen as a shift in direction for virtualisation, with certain telcos not willing to cede too much ground to vendors and their sometimes differing interpretations of “open”.

“It’s a delight to see such a large number and diversity of contributors”, said Andy Reid, ETSI OSM vice chairman and Chief Researcher, Network Services, BT. “ETSI OSM is unique as it is an operators led group and has spent the early months working on cutting code, having great freedom to progress technical work”.

The OSM community aims to deliver a production-quality open source MANO stack that meets the requirements of commercial NFV networks. Release ONE (not sure why the need for capital letters, but we’ll play along) has been released less than six months since the inaugural meeting of the OSM community. Its supporters say it has been engineered, tested and documented to allow for rapid installation in operator labs worldwide that seek to create a scalable and interoperable open source MANO environment.

Release ONE enhances interoperability with other components (such as VNFs, VIMs and SDN controllers) and creates a plug-in framework to make platform maintenance and extensions easier to provide and support. Its native support for VIMs covers VMware, OpenStack and OpenVIM, whilst its support for SDN controllers covers OpenDaylight and FloodLight. It also claims to improve administrator and developer experience, in terms of usability and installation procedure, as well as enhancing the modelling of virtual network functions (VNFs) and network services. And speaking of modelling, the output of this work will be fed back into ETSI NFV standardisation.

“Communications Service Providers are embracing NFV to drive transformational change to their businesses,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, VP of solutions, Telco NFV Group at VMware. “Open frameworks such as OSM will help accelerate this transformation by providing an open standards-based approach to NFV that can lead to improving the velocity of service innovation and reliability.”

In order to ensure that OSM interoperates successfully with multiple types of VIMs and NFV infrastructures, the OSM group is building a dedicated network of remote labs offering different combinations of NFV infrastructure and VIMs, connected over a virtual network. The intention is that OSM instances running at ETSI can interact with the remote labs, enabling integration and inter-operability testing with all the VIMs and NFV infrastructures available.

“The pace of the group’s work has been amazing, and as one of the fastest growing NFV and SDN open source projects, OSM now proudly counts 46 members including many of the leading global operators” said Francisco-Javier Ramón, ETSI OSM Chair and Head of Network Virtualisation Initiative at Telefónica, Global CTO.

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