Canonical is proud to announce the general availability of OSM release EIGHT images in it’s Charmed OSM distribution. As of Release SEVEN, OSM is able to orchestrate containerised network functions (CNFs) leveraging Kubernetes as the underlying infrastructure for next-generation 5G services. Release EIGHT follows the same direction and brings new features that allow for the orchestration of a broader range of network functions and production environments.
Open Source MANO (OSM) Release EIGHT is the result of great community work in a project that drives the most complete open source network function virtualisation (NFV) orchestrator in the market.
What’s new in OSM release EIGHT
As OSM matures into a production-ready solution, the focus of release EIGHT is to improve the orchestration experience for physical network functions (PNFs), virtual network functions (VNFs) and CNFs. New high availability features for the orchestration components increase the system’s robustness. A lot of improvements were also made on usability with the introduction of a new graphical user interface (GUI) and an improved VNF monitoring architecture.
OSM’s VNF configuration and abstraction (VCA) is now available in a highly available setup. This means that the core component that handles network function full lifecycle operations is more robust against unexpected failures; a critical feature for production environments. VCA is based on Juju and uses charms, the declarative operations package, to drive network function operations.
Charms are code that bring operational primitives into OSM. They are following the Kubernetes ‘operator pattern’ but work on both Kubernetes and traditional machine workloads. The VCA deploys and manages the lifecycle of charms. In case a charm cannot be colocated in a container with the workload it is driving, it can be deployed on Kubernetes or LXD clouds known by OSM and is referred to as a ‘proxy charm’. Release EIGHT allows the deployment of highly available proxy charms, to provide resiliency and redundancy at the workload operator level. The ability to deploy proxy charms on Kubernetes is also a new feature, as previously LXD was the only option available. Kubernetes proxy charms leverage the containerisation and self-healing features of K8s to dramatically reduce the time to deploy network services and ensure the healthy state of the charms.
Another exciting addition to OSM Release EIGHT is the next-generation user interface (NG-UI). This Angular-based single page application brings all the features of a modern UI, including customisation, debuggability and elasticity. NG-UI helps users build their 5G networks, provides them with a single pane of glass for their network services and operational primitives, and adds security through role-based access control (RBAC).
Other significant OSM Release EIGHT features include:
- A new VNF monitoring functionality based on Prometheus exporters.
- A new placement optimisation module (PLA) optimises the deployments of VNFs and CNFs based on compute and networking costs, latency and other technical criteria.
- Improved quota management allows setting limits for the infrastructure, packages and deployments
- A new OSS/BSS subscription API provides a standard interface for improved manageability of dynamic changes in the network
- Enhanced software-defined networking (SDN) controller support using the SDN Assist capability.
- VNF repositories to facilitate the distribution of VNFs to publish and get access to VNFs in a consistent manner
OSM and Kubernetes
Kubernetes has evolved into the standard substrate for OSM in two ways. Firstly, OSM components themselves are running as containerised applications and can be deployed on Kubernetes. Secondly, OSM can also deploy and orchestrate CNFs on top of Kubernetes clusters.
Using Kubernetes as a technology enabler allows OSM to fit into telco cloud-native architectures and gives access to a variety of applications from the Kubernetes ecosystem. OSM can be bootstrapped on a Kubernetes cluster on bare metal or virtual machines (VMs), provided by a virtual infrastructure manager (VIM), which is usually an Openstack cloud. OSM Kubernetes support enables telcos to manage and orchestrate their physical, virtual and containerised network functions through a single solution.