(Photo: Gerardo Garcia de Blas, Telefónica technological specialist, and Francisco-Javier Ramón, head of network virtualization, showing off the multivendor demo at Mobile World Congress.)
Telefónica has spent a year in the lab playing with network functions virtualization (NFV), linking some proprietary, homegrown parts of the stack to vendors’ wares. Now it wants to make that code available on open source terms.
The carrier’s virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) and NFV orchestrator are going to be uploaded soon to a Github repository called OpenMano, says Francisco-Javier Ramón, Telefónica’s head of network virtualization.
“Since this Monday, we have the green light from our legal department,” Ramón tells SDxCentral. Telefónica wants to prepare a bit of documentation before uploading the code, he says. That might happen by the end of March. (You’re free to check out the OpenMano repository now, but as of press time, there ain’t much in it.)
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Telefónica is among the carriers that first got NFV rolling within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Eager to help the technology progress, Telefónica built its own VIM and orchestrator, both of which are major functions in the NFV architecture defined by the ETSI Industry Specifications Group (ISG).
Both technologies were made available in Telefónica’s NFV reference lab, which Ramón heads. There, vendors could test the viability of NFV by running their virtual network functions (VNFs) with Telefónica’s VIM and orchestrator.
More than 15 vendors have been working with the software for a year, meaning a good representation of the industry has put the VIM and orchestrator through their paces, Ramón says.
So it’s easy for Telefónica, which doesn’t want to have to build its own NFV framework, to offer the code openly as a way to spur NFV development. Moreover, the VIM and orchestrator are now tested and well seasoned, making them ready for the real world.
The code is also being shared with the OpenStack Foundation in the hopes that the cloud management platform can eventually absorb these functions. A large percentage of the code has already been accepted for OpenStack’s Juno or Kilo releases, Ramón says.
NFV in Action
Telefónica’s VIM was part of an end-to-end NFV demonstration shown this week at Mobile World Congress. NFV orchestration from Cyan was used in place of Telefónica’s. Other vendors participating included Brocade (providing virtual router and physical switch), Intel (processors and network interface cards), and Red Hat (Linux operating system).
The demo is meant to show how VNFs, the VIM, and the NFV orchestrator work together in a complete NFV implementation. It’s based around the sharing of information models among the three layers. A VNF sends a request to the orchestrator which triggers the VIM to create the necessary virtual machines.
The demo reflects the multivendor environment that NFV’s organizers wanted to foster — avoiding vendor lock-in by making NFV the sum of interchangeable parts. “When they were doing RFIs, they realized each piece is so complicated that they split them up when it came to RFPs,” says Recep Ozdag, Cyan’s director of marketing.
Telefónica plans to submit the demo for approval as an official proof-of-concept by the ETSI ISG, Ozdag says.
MWC Disclosure: Craig Matsumoto was rejected for a Mobile World Congress press pass. He is attending MWC 2015 on a pass supplied by Brocade and plans to use the Ericsson stand as an ersatz press room.
The original version of this story left out Francisco-Javier Ramón’s surname. We regret the error.