Openet seeks to promote open NFV with free version of its VNF manager

Irish BSS company Openet will be making its VNF Lifecycle Manager software available for free from March 2016 in a bid to promote openness and standardization of NFV.

While there are already initiatives in place designed to encourage a community approach to NFV and thus avoid the perils of competing proprietary solutions, such as OPNFV, Opennet clearly thinks there’s more to be done. The release of a ‘community edition’ of Openet VNF Lifecycle Manager is, according to Openet, intended to “enable the adoption of vendor-interchangeable and interoperable Virtual Network Functions and help operators to realise the benefits that open NFV can deliver.”

“NFV needs to be open, but in reality we see some VNF vendors insisting on delivering a bespoke VNF Manager, citing specific performance or complexity issues,” said Michael O’Sullivan, GVP Engineering for Openet. “The resulting integration effort not only demands that operators provide complex VNF on-boarding processes, but also introduces the danger of vendor lock-in. This will not help with the adoption of NFV, and will impact the flexibility and overall competitiveness of operators.

“In order to become more agile telecoms operators need NFV to be fully open. By making its software available free of charge on a community model, Openet is helping to remove a major pain point in managing diverse VNFs. This will accelerate cost effective NFV ecosystem build-outs and bring new services and products online faster and in a more robust manner. We will provide this software free of charge to operators, system integrators and VNF vendors. It’s important that all companies involved in the development and implementation of an open and interoperable ecosystem work together to enable NFV to advance.”

Openet is, of course, a commercial enterprise so it presumably anticipates at least an indirect benefit to itself from this move, even if it’s only by accelerating the adoption of NFV. But this does set an interesting precedent for companies to back up their rhetoric with material action and it will be interesting to see if others follow suit.

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