Building and orchestrating network functions

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Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Cloud native network functions continue to draw immense attention from the telecom sector. From the beginning, virtualisation is trying to fulfill the promises of reducing CapEx and OpEx by decoupling Network Functions from the underlying infrastructure and ensuring flexibility and scalability. However, despite the huge traction it has gained, there are still obstacles to overcome before it can be part of day-to-day operations.

One of the important challenges associated with this transformation is implementing the process for management and orchestration of network functions. Telcos need to build virtualized network functions while maintaining a high quality of service and keeping up with a constantly evolving technology landscape. The 5G stage will likely last for the next 5-8 years before the transition to 6G, and so on. The switch to a new generation network is costly, and if the average revenue per user does not grow as fast as CapEx, telcos will not be able to maintain profitability.

To cut the costs and in the same time improve security and quality, companies can turn to open source initiatives such as Open Source MANO (OSM), Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN), OpenStack , etc.

In this whitepaper, we will:

  • Introduce how to build network functions
  • Examine how the MANO framework can contribute to better interoperability and support
  • Illustrate how a model-driven operations based open source solution can facilitate a production-ready network function