7. ONAP Management Requirements

The ONAP platform is the part of the larger Network Function Virtualization/Software Defined Network (NFV/SDN) ecosystem that is responsible for the efficient control, operation and management of Virtual Network Function (VNF) capabilities and functions. It specifies standardized abstractions and interfaces that enable efficient interoperation of the NVF/SDN ecosystem components. It enables product/service independent capabilities for design, creation and runtime lifecycle management (includes all aspects of installation, change management, assurance, and retirement) of resources in NFV/SDN environment (see ECOMP white paper ). These capabilities are provided using two major architectural frameworks: (1) a Design Time Framework to design, define and program the platform (uniform onboarding), and (2) a Runtime Execution Framework to execute the logic programmed in the design environment (uniform delivery and runtime lifecycle management). The platform delivers an integrated information model based on the VNF package to express the characteristics and behavior of these resources in the Design Time Framework. The information model is utilized by Runtime Execution Framework to manage the runtime lifecycle of the VNFs. The management processes are orchestrated across various modules of ONAP to instantiate, configure, scale, monitor, and reconfigure the VNFs using a set of standard APIs provided by the VNF developers.

Although the guidelines and requirements specified in this document were originally driven by the need to standardize and automate the management of the virtualized environments (with VNFs) operated by Service Providers, we believe that most of the requirements are equally applicable to the operation of the physical network functions (PNFs), those network functions provided by traditional physical network elements (e.g. whitebox switches) or customized peripherals (e.g. a video rendering engine for augmented reality). The primary area of difference will be in how the network function is orchestrated into place – VNFs can be much more dynamically created & placed by ONAP to support varying geographic, availability and scalability needs, whereas the PNFs have to be deployed a priori in specific locations based on planning and engineering – their availability and scalability will be determined by the capabilities offered by the PNFs.

PNF is a vendor-provided Network Function(s) implemented using a bundled set of hardware and software while VNFs utilize cloud resources to provide Network Functions through virtualized software modules. PNF can be supplied by a vendor as a Black BOX (provides no knowledge of its internal characteristics, logic, and software design/architecture) or as a White Box (provides detailed knowledge and access of its internal components and logic) or as a Grey Box (provides limited knowledge and access to its internal components).

  • Requirements that equally apply to both VNFs and PNFs are defined as “The xNF MUST/SHOULD/…”
  • Requirements that only apply to VNFs are defined as “The VNF MUST/SHOULD/…”
  • Requirements that only apply to PNFs are defined as “The PNF MUST/SHOULD/…”