Three companies are working together to help telecoms and carriers decrease the time required to create and deploy new networking services.These services based on virtualized network functions (VNFs) allow network operators to give customers the services they need faster and at a lower cost, increasing competitiveness and the opportunity to generate new revenues in a cloud-first world.
Cloudify is a business unit of GigaSpaces, providing open source orchestration software for cloud applications and VNFs used by carriers and enterprises.
A hackathon is being held at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on March 1. The three companies -Cloudify, VMware and Intel-are presenting a tutorial on the use of a new VNF Onboarding Wizard developed by Cloudify. The wizard provides an easy to use, web-based interface for onboarding a VNF. The VNF Onboarding Wizard generates a template adhering to the TOSCA specification (Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications), abstracting away from the VNF provider the need to understand the inner workings of the emerging open standard used by telecoms for VNFs. The VNF Onboarding Wizard provides a simple mechanism for VNF providers to generate a TOSCA compatible template.
There is no industry standard for deploying a VNF onto a particular Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). This has been the case for clouds using VMware vCloud Director or OpenStack as a VIM. As a result, the onboarding process has been labor-intensive, requiring an in-depth knowledge of both the chosen Management and Operations (MANO) software and the VIM architecture. This lack of standards and developer abstraction has made the cost, time to market, agility and accuracy of new VNF deployments unattractive from a business standpoint.
Recently, TOSCA blueprints have emerged as the forerunner in the emerging standards for VNF definition, supported by the MANO layer provided by the open source Cloudify project, which is TOSCA compliant. Cloudify significantly reduces time and risk to onboard new VNFs, and hence bring new services to market.
Cloudify is working with the ONAP Project (formerly the Open-O project) to implement Common TOSCA and a VNF SDK to develop a new proposal for a standard VNF definition in TOSCA that addresses the specific VNF attributes and develops a new definition for network telemetry. This framework uses project ARIA for driving the TOSCA parser and validation.
New Open Services Portal for VNF On-Boarding Demonstrated at MWC
Also at Mobile World Congress, Cloudify is demonstrating a new open services portal together with VMware that showcases how carriers can launch and maintain the lifecycle of new VNFs easily through a customizable portal framework. The services portal provides a means to deliver VNFs after they have been onboarded through a multi-tenant catalogue service. The new framework also demonstrates how operators can easily create customized views for different user profiles, and tie in monitoring and telemetry in a single pane of glass user interface.
"Cloudify continues our strong commitment to unlock the NFV, and specifically, VNF onboarding challenge through open source and open standards. The collaboration with VMware and Intel, alongside our work with the Open-O community, creates a platform for collaboration among organizations with aligned interests," said Nati Shalom, founder and CTO of Cloudify. "This collaboration with Intel and VMware would not be possible without open source and an open standard to back it up."
"Open standards at the network infrastructure layer can drive innovation and new value further up the stack," said Gabriele Di Piazza, vice president products and solutions, Telco NFV at VMware. "VMware is committed to open standards, and TOSCA is an ideal choice for VNF deployment and management because it's already widely accepted in the telecom industry. Collaborating with Cloudify in using TOSCA to drive an open NFV standard is an ideal way to increase VNF adoption."