5G projects building strong use cases for Open Source MANO NFV

February 2019

By Gianpietro Lavado, Solutions Architect, Whitestack

Whitestack’s Gianpietro Lavado reports from the first OSM 5G day held in Spain..

As you may already know, network function virtualization proposes an architecture that allows operators to virtualize network functions in a high-performing, elastic and automated way.  Most of the early use cases are related to mobile networks in a move towards 5G and most implementations aim to have OpenStack as a virtualization infrastructure manager (VIM), complemented with NFV orchestration platforms like the open source projects Open Source MANO (OSM) and Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP.)

What makes the OSM project unique is how such a diverse ecosystem is pulling together to reach common goals.  Today, the OSM community is not only comprised of global service providers, leading IT/cloud players and VNF providers, but also many 5G research projects that are injecting more life, code and validation of the readiness of this particular NFV MANO implementation.

The latest OSM community gathering was hosted by CTTC in Castelldefels, a beautiful city near Barcelona, Spain. This edition also gave birth to a new event within the scope of the OSM 5th Hackfest 5G day, where 5G research projects have the opportunity to share their work with the larger community.

As Vanessa Little, OSM’s TSC Chair, mentioned during her welcome presentation, these 5G projects, all of them using OSM for implementing NFV MANO orchestration, are very important for its community, driving more innovation and bringing new users and collaboration opportunities.

OSM’s first 5G day accomplished the goals of raising awareness of these projects and fostering collaboration opportunities that are beneficial not only for them and the OSM project, but, as a consequence, for NFV MANO and 5G.

Here’s a look at the projects presented at 5G day:

  • Metro-Haul: aims to design and build an smart optical metro infrastructure able to support traffic originating from heterogeneous 5G access networks, addressing the anticipated capacity increase and its specific characteristics (mobility, low latency, low jitter, etc.) This project gave birth to the WAN Infrastructure Management (WIM) features at OSM release 5.
  • Matilda: designs and implements a holistic 5G end-to-end services operational framework, tackling the life cycle of design, development and orchestration of 5G-ready applications and network services over virtual and physical infrastructure, following a unified programmability model and a set of control abstractions.

  • 5GTango: aims to incorporate flexible programmability of 5G networks by collaborating with different open-source initiatives to accelerate the NFV uptake in industry.  In the context of OSM, this project has contributed with a VIM emulator, advanced NFV packages formats, network slicing and many automation efforts.

  • 5GCity: designs, develops, deploys and demonstrates, in operational conditions, a distributed cloud and radio platform for municipalities and infrastructure owners acting as 5G neutral hosts.
  • 5G-Media: A project looking to consolidate and/or build an orchestration and DevOps platform for network media services and applications running on 5G networks.

  • 5G-Transformer: a project that seeks to bring network slicing into mobile transport networks by provisioning and managing slices tailored to the needs of verticals, enabling them to meet their specific service requirements.

As you can see, these projects are making important progress in demonstrating real-life use cases of 5G over NFV, accelerating the development of associated platforms and technologies at the same time, thus providing a clear indicator that we are moving forward as an industry towards successful 5G implementations.

For more information about OSM’s growing community, including OSM distributions, compatible VIMs, tested VNFs, training providers and a extended list of research projects, take a look at the OSM ecosystem.