As we know, OpenStack is mainly known to be the largest pool of open source projects which collectively form the software platform for cloud computing infrastructure. This infrastructure is used widely in private cloud use cases by many enterprises. After an introduction of NFV by ETSI, OpenStack has emerged as a key infrastructure platform for NFV. In most of the NFV deployments, OpenStack is used at VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Manager) layer to give a standardised interface for managing, monitoring and assessing all resources within NFV infrastructure.
Various OpenStack projects, such as Tacker, Neutron, Nova, Astara, Congress, Mistral, Senlin) are capable of managing virtualised infrastructure components of NFV environment. As an example, Tacker is utilised to build a generic VNF Manager (VNFM) and NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) which helps in deployment and operation of VNFs within NFV infrastructure. Additionally, integration of OpenStack projects introduces various features to NFV infrastructure. Features include performance features like huge pages, CPU pinning, NUMA topology and SR-IOV; service function chaining, network slicing, scalability, high availability, resiliency and multi-site enablement.
Telecom service providers and enterprises have implemented their NFV environment with OpenStack, including AT&T, China Mobile, SK Telecom, Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, Comcast, Bloomberg.
Open Source Mano (OSM) for NFV
MANO layer is responsible for orchestration and complete lifecycle management of hardware resources and virtual network functions (VNFs). In other words, MANO layer coordinate NFV infrastructure (NFVI) resources and map them efficiently to various VNFs. There are various options available as three-dimensional software stack for MANO – but ETSI hosted OSM is largely preferred due to large activity at the community level, highly mature framework, production readiness, easy to initiate and constant feeding of use cases by members.
With the continuous community support and involvement for feature innovation, OSM has now evolved to bring CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) framework at MANO layer.
The latest release, 4, of OSM has brought a large set of features and enhancements to the OSM framework which has impacted functionality, user experience, and maturity which enables various enhancements for NFV MANO from a usability and interoperability perspective.
OSM has steadily adopted the cloud native principles and can be easily deployed in the cloud as installation is container-based and run with the help of a container orchestration engine. A new northbound interface is introduced which is aligned with ETSI NFV specification SOL005, and provides dedicated control of the OSM system. Monitoring and closed-loop capabilities have also been enhanced.
Why OpenStack + Open Source MANO for MANO layer in NFV?
Both OpenStack and OSM have a large community that have a rapid pace for innovating NFV, and higher contribution by all scale companies to enhance current features and develop new capabilities for core projects under it.
For NFV case, OpenStack standardised interfaces between NFV elements and infrastructure. OpenStack is used for commercial solutions offerings by companies such as Canonical/Ubuntu, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Juniper, Mirantis, Red Hat, Suse, VMware, and Wind River. A large percentage of VIM deployments are based on OpenStack due to the simplicity in handling and operating various projects targeted towards providing full potential storage, compute and networking for NFVi.
With the last two releases – 3 and 4 – OSM has evolved a lot to support integration for cloud-native approach by enabling CI/CD frameworks into orchestration layers. Cloud readiness involvement of OSM is the key benefit along with OpenStack which has proven architecture for private as well as public clouds. OSM deployment into NFV infrastructure has become very lean, where one can start with importing Docker containers into production. On the other hand, OpenStack is known for enabling simplicity to manage virtualised and containerised infrastructure. Organisations can realise full benefits out of integration as NFV MANO using OSM and OpenStack, due to learn and simple management and deployment.
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