MEF, TM Forum pitch in on ONAP's Beijing software release

ONAP's Beijing software release leverages work with TM Forum and MEF. (Pixabay)

ONAP had a little help from some friends for its second software release, which is called Beijing. And TM Forum and MEF's collaboration is now seeing some tangible results.

ONAP's external API project was incorporated with the TM Forum and MEF's work around northbound API, according to Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking for the Linux Foundation. TM Forum Open APIs carrying MEF-defined payloads provide the northbound interfaces in the ONAP Beijing Release, which enables orders to be placed and fulfilled as well the monitoring of quality of service.

The Linux Foundation, MEF and TM Forum previously announced partnerships with each other in order to better coordinate their collective efforts for the good of the industry.  

TM Forum used its Catalyst proof-of-concept trials to provide feedback to ONAP. During last month's Digital Transformation World event, the Catalyst projects generated and resolved a number of issues and change requests for ONAP in time for the Beijing release. 

"One of the big stories here is this cooperation between standards organization and open source," Ken Dilbeck, vice president of collaboration R&D at TM Forum, said in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The TM Forum has been working with the MEF for some time now prior to the announcement of ONAP using TM Forum's APIs carrying a MEF service payload."

"Then the opportunity presented itself with ONAP because AT&T is a major user of MEF and a major user of TM Forum's open APIs," Dilbeck added. "Orange was in a similar position by participating in TM Forum Catalyst projects over the past two years."

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Dilbeck said the goal was to open up the lines of communications between standards development organizations (SDOs) and open source groups. For example, TM Forum worked with MEF to put provisions into its bylaws while also insuring that they had viable working relationships through memorandums of understanding.

"We believe that with the open source initiative we have to interact in much the same way with things like ONAP and ETSI's OSM," Dilbeck said. "The reality of service provider environment means we have to be able to support that, interact with it and help them define what is the best practice, what are the business scenarios to use for these things? We are focusing very much on the management layer and on the touch points between these major pieces of functionality that are emerging, such as with ONAP."

By marching in cadence, TM Forum, ONAP, and MEF are working to standardize APIs, support systems and operations across the telecom industry.

Beijing is deployment ready

In an interview with FierceTelecom, Joshipura said one of the main points of ONAP was that it's now a "deployment ready platform." Joshipura detailed the ONAP-related work that AT&T, Bell Canda, China Mobley, China Telecom, Orange, Verizon and Vodafone have done. While some of work is in the early stages, such as Verizon's proof-of-concept trial, AT&T, Bell Canda and Orange have ONAP deployed across various implementations.

ONAP was formed early last year after the Linux Foundation combined ECOMP, which was developed by AT&T, with OPEN-O. The Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN), which includes ONAP, now covers more than 65% of the world’s mobile subscribers.

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The notable news for the Beijing software release also included ONAP's official move into container-based implementations via the ONAP Operations Manager (OOM), which enables ONAP modules to be run on Kubernetes.

"Bell Canada put this into production last year when they used a pre-release version of OOM to implement that," Joshipura said. "So now OOM is available for everybody. It has a lot more efficiency. It's got the containers. It's got the packaging efficiency, the portability, more important, to run on any cloud below it. VMware, Amazon, Rackspace, it doesn't matter."

ONAP will draw a bead on microservices in its third software release, which is called Casablanca, scheduled for release later this year.

"The focus of Casablanca is going be on microservices as well as cross projects like OPNFV, and Kubernetes integration, so specifically around service mesh" Joshipura said. "But more importantly, what I'm excited about is all of the VNF ecosystem certification that the team's planning to do. So the OPNFV Verified Program will be extended to include VNF certification. That is kind of is driving the next level of deployment, is VNFs using ONAP."

Another key new addition in the Beijing release was the addition of Multi-Site State Coordination Service (MUSIC), which is an optional new solution for state management of ONAP components across geographically distributed sites.

"As ONAP gets deployed in multiple areas, database synchronization, policy synchronization, all of that is done through this project called MUSIC," Joshipura said.

ONAP also adopted ​CII (​Core Infrastructure Initiative)​ badging as part of its release requirements. CII, which is managed by The Linux Foundation, collaboratively works to improve the security and resilience of open source projects.