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Since the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the world’s leading communications service providers (CSPs) launched the ETSI ISG for Network Function Virtualization (NFV) in early 2013, vendors and CSPs alike have been working to make NFV a reality. As part of the update to our annual NFV report series, we are publishing three reports. The recently published report on NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and the Virtualized Infrastructure Managers (VIMs) is available for download. This report will cover the management and orchestration (MANO) necessary to deploy these functions, as well as the topic of service assurance. And the upcoming third report will cover Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and NFV use cases.
The momentum in 2018 for NFV and NFV MANO continues, with significant developments across multiple fronts. As CSPs slowly transition their infrastructure, they are all realizing that NFV adoption not only involves technology but business processes and culture too. And the portion of NFV that ties in closely with business processes, the traditional BSS/OSS systems, is NFV MANO.
Over the past year, we’ve seen significant momentum behind Linux Foundation ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform). More carriers have announced support for it, and many vendors are signed up to be part of the ecosystem, though some may be taking a wait-and-see approach to figure out the real-world traction before investing more than just marketing resources. Regardless, Verizon’s support of ONAP, as well as Bell Canada’s deployment of ONAP modules, lends weight to ONAP, beyond the original deployments from AT&T and China Mobile. There is still significant work required to develop ONAP before it’s clear whether the technology is commercially deployable in environments outside of AT&T where ONAP was incubated and spent its formative years. And it remains to be seen what happens with ETSI’s OSM (Open Source MANO), which effectively competes with ONAP, though there are discussions around collaboration.
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