Charmed OSM and Managed Apps let telecom operators accelerate adoption of NFV. This is needed because the way we consume data has changed. We want data at a cheaper price with faster speeds and in larger quantities. To meet the challenge, telecom operators are changing the underlying network infrastructure that delivers data. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) are enabling this by lowering costs and improving infrastructure flexibility. But how can telecom operators make sure their deployment of NFV is successful? How can they deploy faster and with less risk?
Last week Canonical announced Managed Apps – a managed service that lets enterprises have their apps deployed and operated by Canonical. One of the ten apps that Managed Apps launched with, was Open Source MANO (OSM) – the NFV management and orchestration stack. Let’s look at what OSM is, how Managed Apps for Charmed OSM works and why you should use it. For a detailed understanding, sign up to this webinar on the benefits of Managed Apps.
What is Charmed OSM?
Telecom operators are migrating how they process data in a network from hardware-based to software-based services. Instead of using specialised hardware like firewalls or routers they are running their workloads in a cloud. Network services are easier to deploy, change and upgrade as they are “softwarised”. Importantly, the workload is now defined in software, instead of being defined by the specialised hardware.
Managing the software-based network services requires a software stack, and it is these management functions that OSM provides. It covers features like:
- Lifecycle management: software installation, updates, upgrades and scaling workloads out
- Configuration management: setting initial configuration parameters and changing them post-deployment as the service is used
- Operations: not limited to backup, monitor, debug, add users, groups, policies, manage certificates/keys
- Software integration: for example, integrating logging, monitoring and alerting applications with the rest of the network services. Or adding software that assists in data backups
Charmed OSM uses Juju charms to fully automate its installation process and simplify post-deployment operations. Juju also simplifies integration with other critical network and cloud infrastructure like OpenStack and Kubernetes.
What does Managed Apps for Charmed OSM include?
For a detailed look into what Managed Apps offer sign-up to this webinar on the benefits of Managed Apps. In brief, Managed Apps and Charmed OSM let telecom operators benefit from the cutting-edge NFV management and orchestration that the app provides, but relying on Canonical to do the background app management. This includes updating, bug-fixing, securing, actively monitoring, scaling the app as demand grows, and ensuring high availability.
- Updating and bug-fixing: After making the initial investment, operators want to stay at the cutting edge of NFV technology. However, updating in a production environment is challenging and this can also mean upstream bugs are introduced. Canonical provides a safe way to update applications, letting organisations decide when it is performed – e.g. during downtime. If any upstream bugs causes issues with the cloud, Canonical’s engineers are ready to solve the issues
- Active monitoring and high availability: Operators need a stable network – this is requirement number 1 for any telecom provider. Managed Apps have experienced Canonical engineers monitoring OSM 24/7 so any performance or capacity issues can be troubleshot immediately. Managed OSM improves network resilience as it is highly available – built with redundant pods that can be relied on if anything breaks
- Scaling the app as demand grows: VNFs (virtual network functions) increases flexibility. Naturally, this should extend to OSM, and Managed Apps for Charmed OSM allows operation at any scale with on-request node scaling.
Why use Managed Apps for Charmed OSM?
Managed Apps for Charmed OSM accelerate the use of NFV and OSM because telecom operators can focus on VNF workloads instead of day-to-day OSM operations. With many telecom operators running trials and proof of concepts with NFV in general and OSM specifically, anyone that understands how OSM works should be at the strategic and commercial edge of the business. With Managed Apps, Canonical does the background work so your teams can maintain focus and be forward-looking.
While organisations have the infrastructure to deploy, maintain and assist technologies already in use, they are typically less familiar and able to assist with NFV technologies. Canonical, as a founding member of OSM, is in a unique position to provide the support in deploying and operating OSM.
Finally, Managed Apps comes with the stability assurance that telecom operators need. They are covered by an SLA for uptime, and Canonical’s managed services are MSPAlliance CloudVerify certified* – which is equivalent to SOC 2 Type2, ISO 27001 / ISO 27002, and GDPR compliance. Managed Apps comes with an integrated logging, monitoring and alerting stack so that telecom operators do not lose visibility over their mission-critical operations.
Telecom providers are changing how their networks are run to adjust to the changes in consumer data needs. To allow VNFs to run, NFV is required and OSM allows users to deploy and manage VNFs. As telecom providers build their NFV capabilities, Canonical will support them by managing OSM. This removes one source of complexity and lets telecom providers focus on how they can meet changing consumer demands.
*Final certification due April 2020.
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