OSM Stays in Its MANO Lane
ETSI Open Source MANO issued its third release on Monday at the SDN NFV Congress in The Hague, but despite some new features, there's still plenty of work to do to make it production ready, according to Heavy Reading Senior Analyst James Crawshaw.
Crawshaw said that Open Source MANO Community (OSM) needs work in areas such as VNF packaging and onboarding, service modeling and automated, policy-driven service assurance -- but he also said "it does seem as though they are making steady progress."
In a white paper, OSM outlined the features of the new release, including service assurance and monitoring, role-based access control and specific orchestrator modules for services and resources.
"Release 3 adds some hygiene factors like role-based access," Crawshaw said. "It also adds some service assurance capability for monitoring VNFs and infrastructure. The architecture diagram is more detailed in this latest white paper. 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."
Until earlier this year, AT&T's ECOMP, China-backed OPEN-O and OSM were seen as competing models in the MANO sector, but that wasn't necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison. AT&T put ECOMP into open source with the Linux Foundation , which subsequently merged it with OPEN-O in a unifying move that was largely hailed across the industry. (See Linux Foundation Welds OPEN-O, ECOMP Into ONAP and ONAP Takes Center Stage at ONS.)
The resulting Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) is taking a modular approach to end-to-end network orchestration by collaborating with service providers and vendors on policy-driven software automation of VNFs. ONAP's first software release, which is called Amsterdam, is scheduled for next month.
With Release 3, OSM has stayed in its MANO lane, but there's still plenty of room for cooperation between OSM and ONAP.
"In an ideal world, ONAP would adopt the same information models (as OSM) and that would make on-boarding easier, saving operators time and lowering the barriers to entry for startup VNF vendors," Crawshaw said. "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.
"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 Linux Foundation's Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration, said that while OSM's approach is focused on MANO, that's just one piece of ONAP. He added that he's willing to work with the OSM community.
"We're definitely open to any ideas that would help bring the communities together so that end users benefit," he said. "I think given the release schedules, given the planning cycles and things like that, we'll definitely work with the (OSM) team and community to figure out the best way to bring them together.
"My goal is to make sure that standards and other open source projects that add value should have at least a dialogue on figuring out what to do to interoperate, integrate, etc."
While ONAP is touting its service provider members, which include AT&T, Orange, Comcast, China Mobile, China Telecom and Vodafone, Crawshaw said OSM could use more network operator participation.
"Although OSM continues to add many community members, you get a greater sense of commitment from the authors of the whitepaper," he said. "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."
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation
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