There’s been so much flurry around NFV management and network orchestration (MANO) in 2016 that GigaSpaces’ Cloudify Project kind of flew under the radar.
Sixteen-year-old GigaSpaces originally created Cloudify as a product to provide an orchestration system in a cloud environment. “We couldn’t find something like that out there, so we decided to build it ourselves,” says Sivan Barzily, director of product for GigaSpaces.
Cloudify is open-sourced software, and its scope includes provisioning, configuring, and monitoring. It uses the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA), an emerging modeling language whose mission is to be able to model every aspect of an application.
“In the first release [of Cloudify] the way we modeled services and applications was through proprietary language,” says Barzily. “But we wanted to reach true openness. TOSCA can capture the entire operational know-how of the app and manage it in a live environment. Anyone who uses Cloudify doesn’t have to use anything that’s proprietary.”
In terms of where Cloudify fits into the ETSI NFV MANO architecture, it provides a network functions virtualization orchestrator (NFVO) and a virtual network functions manager (VNFM).
Earlier this year, GigaSpaces decided to take a big part of the Cloudify code base and create an open source community around it, which it named Aria. The open source project is aimed at the network provider that wants to build out its own VNFM and NFVO through a free and open source library of orchestration tools based on the Cloudify project.
“Anyone who wants to perform orchestration in a multi-cloud environment can use the code base we’ve contributed,” says Barzily.
Here are the organizations using Cloudify/Aria, according to Barzily:
- Open-O uses the code base for its NFVO.
- AT&T is using it as part of the Data Collection, Analytics, and Events (DCAE) of its new ECOMP project.
- VMware has integrated Cloudify into its MANO stack as NFVO and VNFM.
- Deutsche Telekom has been using it to orchestrate network functions on OpenStack.
- A team within OPNFV – led by Orange Labs – is using it for orchestration.
- Metaswitch is using Cloudify to orchestrate elements such as its virtual IP multimedia system (vIMS) and virtual session border controller (vSBC).
In addition to its Cloudify work, GigaSpaces has launched an on-demand NFV Lab for network engineers to trial VNF deployments and orchestration.
GigaSpaces launched the NFV Lab during the OpenStack Summit last month, and it is demonstrating it in collaboration with Metaswitch at the Metaswitch Forum event this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We decided to open an NFV lab where users can get their hands dirty with NFV,” says Barzily. “The lab is online. You install a VPN client and get an access token for a limited time.”