The goal of network functions virtualization (NFV), in general, is to introduce more agility into telco networks by enabling automation. But many vendors built VNF Managers (VNFMs) that are proprietary to their VNFs. “With every new VNF, there was a need to deploy a VNFM and usually to learn a new language with that VNF manager,” says Ron Haberman, general manager of Nokia’s CloudBand product unit.
The new templating system aims to solve that problem.
“It allows operators to run a single generic VNFM that can onboard VNFs from anybody, not just Nokia, but also our competitors,” says Haberman.
Nokia built its templating system upon ETSI NFV specifications, and the system uses OpenStack tools. The template is also based on open languages, including OpenStack HOT, Ansible, Mistral, and the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA).
Nokia’s CloudBand Application Manager derives from the combination of Nokia’s former Cloud Application Manager (CAM) product, together with Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand.
A slew of telco vendors wants to help service providers de-risk their NFV implementations. Many of these vendors have created NFV one-stop-shops, or they’re acting as NFV systems integrators. Nokia is one of the vendors doing end-to-end NFV for service providers.
In addition to its CloudBand Application Manager for the VNFM layer of the stack, the company offers its CloudBand Network Director for management and network orchestration (MANO). And Nokia’s CloudBand infrastructure software works at the VIM level of the ETSI NFV framework.