OSM's New NFV MANO Release Sticks to a Focused Approach

Carol Wilson

ETSI Open Source MANO is poised to issue the third release of its NFV management software on Monday at the SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague, adding features such as role-based access control, technology-agnostic service assurance and monitoring and specific orchestrator modules for services and resources.

Open Source MANO Community (OSM) is one of the two main open source groups dedicated to management, administration and network operation of network functions virtualization. But as this release makes clear, it is limiting the scope of its work, in contrast to the other group, the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) , says Heavy Reading Senior Analyst James Crawshaw.

"It is interesting from the press release that they are positioning OSM as a component for NFV orchestration and not an all-singing, all-dancing next-generation OSS on the scale of ONAP," he comments. "Although ONAP is modular, the scope of the project is much larger than OSM. OSM's attraction is that if you have already mapped out a plan for OSS transformation you don't need to bin it and start afresh with ONAP; you can just add OSM as a complementary component for NFV management."

The latest round of features skews toward the practical, he notes.

"Release 3 adds some hygiene factors like role-based access," Crawshaw says, referencing a new capability to let users from different service providers access OSM to an appropriate level. "It also adds some service assurance capability for monitoring VNFs and infrastructure."

Want to know more about NFV and open source strategies? Check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.

OSM also is announcing new members, adding 15 companies to bring its total membership to 81. Most of the new members appear to be software companies, and none are network operators.

OSM's latest software release is detailed in a white paper you can read here.

"Although OSM continues to add many community members, you get a greater sense of commitment from the authors of the white paper," Crawshaw notes. "Telefónica and RIFT.io still figure strongly, with three authors each. Canonical also has three authors this time. Intel and VMware still have one each and there is a new contributor -- Sandvine. It would be good to see some telco authors listed aside from Telefónica."

The white paper provides more details on the OSM architecture, Crawshaw says, as well as a range of new modules.

"The architecture diagram is more detailed in this latest white paper," he comments. "It shows a new module for continuous integration and continuous development [CI/CD] using Jenkins. The monitoring module, which is described as experimental, can correlate telemetry [CPU utilization, read latency, etc.] related to the VMs and VNFs to the relevant network services. This means that if a VM fails and triggers an alarm, you don't get a duplicate alarm on the VNFs running on that VM, and so you don't waste the time of the folk managing the VNFs. Only the NFVi team need respond."

There is still work ahead, he adds, and that work could be made simpler for operators if there was some agreement between OSM and ONAP on basic things such as information models.

"There is still plenty of work to do to make OSM production ready in areas such as VNF packaging and onboarding, service modeling, and automated, policy-driven service assurance," Crawshaw comments. "However, it does seem as though they are making steady progress. They are also feeding back to the ETSI NFV standards setters valuable insights to improve the information models for NFV. In an ideal world, ONAP would adopt the same information models and that would make on-boarding easier, saving operators time and lowering the barriers to entry for start-up VNF vendors."

OSM will be discussing the new software release at a workshop next week at the SDN-NFV event. The organization also has scheduled its first onboarding hackfest, to be held during the ETSI NFV Plugtests event in January 2018 and says its members will bring their OSM implementations to the Plugtests.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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