Telefónica has released an open source MANO platform designed to help develop virtualized network functions that interoperate in a vendor-neutral manner.
The OpenMANO NFV orchestration stack is designed to implement the Management and Orchestration reference architecture (NFV MANO) as laid out in ETSI's NFV ISG standard. Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) currently uses the software in its NFV Reference Lab for easily creating and deploying complex networking configurations and validating them with more than 30 virtual network functions (VNFs).
The software is designed to help partners and network equipment vendors easily test and develop VNFs with vendor-neutral orchestration. The goal is to promote interoperability and foster a more open ecosystem to allow providers to adapt and expand network services more easily.
Telefónica has been working on developing virtual network functions since 2009, and developed OpenMANO for internal use when it realized manual interconnection of VNFs was impractical, says Francisco-Javier Ramón Salguero, head of network virtualization initiative at the Telefónica Global CTO unit.
Telefónica is publishing the software as open source in response to demand from vendors for access when building their own VNFs, Ramón says.
"That is why we decided to liberate it as open source. We would be creating a common tool, a common languge for building services in a way that would be vendor neutral."
OpenMANO provides VNFs with the tools to describe their network needs in a vendor-neutral manner. For example, a virtual router demands high performance, and OpenMANO gives that router tools for describing those needs automatically, rather than requiring a network operator to manually type in hundreds of instructions. "We provide a simple data model," Ramón says.
OpenMANO automates deployment, ensuring VNFs are always deployed as the vendor requested, with all needed resources.
And OpenMANO operates without network operator involvement. The network operator doesn't need to know what's going on. "It's simply embedded in the descriptor so we don't need to know that information," Ramón says.
OpenMANO allows operators to build multi-vendor environments, and maps VNFs to each other in the most efficient manner possible, Ramón says.
Telefónica demonstrated OpenMANO at Mobile World Congress last month.
OpenMANO comprises three software modules:
Openmano, which Telefónica describes as the "key component." It's a reference implementation of a Network Functions Virtualization Orchestrator (NFV-O), "which allows the creation of complex virtual network scenarios," according to a statement from Telefónica. It provides access to NFV services through a northbound REST-based interface. (See Telefónica Releases OpenMANO NFV Orchestration Stack.)
Openvim, a reference implementation of an NFV Virtualized Infrastructure Manager, which provides computing and networking capabilities and deploys virtual machines, interfacing with compute nodes in the NFV infrastructure and OpenFlow controler.
And the Openmano-GUI, a web GUI to interact with the Openmano API. The software also provides a command line interface.
OpenMANO is available under an Apache 2 license on GitHub.
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