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ONAP is an Open Network Automation Platform that is a comprehensive platform for orchestration, management, and automation of network and edge computing services for various network operators, cloud service providers, etc. It is an initiative created by the combination of the ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and policy) and Open-O (Open – Orchestrator) projects into ONAP. It is hosted by the Linux Foundation. The goal of this project is to develop a widely used platform for orchestrating and automating physical and virtual network elements with lifecycle management. It will enable Software, network, IT, and cloud providers as well as developers to rapidly automate new services. ONAP allows various end-users to connect products and services through the infrastructure. It allows various end-users to connect products and services through the infrastructure. The deployment of various VNF’s (Virtualized Network Functions) and scaling of the network is in a fully automated manner. 

ONAP is the result of many new software subsystems combined together. These subsystems are classified as Design-time framework and Run-time framework designs. 

ONAP Subsystems

  • Active & Available inventory (AAI)
  • Controllers 
  • Dashboard 
  • Data collection, Analytics, and Events  
  • Carrier-grade scalability 
  • Closed-loop Automation
  • One common portal to manage all components

ONAP provides a commonly agreed architecture with well-defined functional blocks and clear interfaces. This interpretation offers main benefits as:

  • Rapid innovation and competitive alignment
  • The survival of the strong functions of the ecosystem, ensuring that they are not constraint by lagging functions.
  • The use of certain functions is independent of the rest of the automation platform. 

How ONAP works?

ONAP is the result of many software subsystems combined, these subsystems are broadly divided into two major architectural framework parts: the Design-time framework and the Run-time framework.  Design time framework defines, designs, and programs the platform whereas the Run-time framework is to execute the programmed logic defined in the design phase. It also contains Service Design and Creation (SDC) is the ONAP design tool. It is the visual model and is used for designing. It manages all the content of a catalog. This tool provides a complete view of specific catalog items, with all workflows. SDC manages two levels of assets: Resources and services.  A resource is a combination of one or multiple Virtual Function Components (VFC’s). It contains all the necessary information to add, update, manage, and delete the resources. There are three types of resources: Infrastructure, Network, and Application.  The infrastructure contains the cloud resources, Network contains network connectivity functions and elements. The application contains the features and capabilities of the software. 

The various features of ONAP include: 

  • It will be easy to add features and easily update
  • It can be deployed easily and whenever required
  • It provides a common portal to manage and view all resources
  • It can dynamically introduce full-service lifecycle management and orchestration
  • It is completely a policy-driven Architecture
  • It provides closed-loop Automation 

ONAP Frameworks

ONAP architecture with its microservices-based platform components

ONAP Frameworks are divided into two major categories:

  • Design time Framework
  • Run time Framework

Design time Framework: This Framework is a complete development environment with various tools, techniques. It has various repositories for defining and describing multiple resources, different services, and products.  This framework design has an option of reusing models which will improve its efficiency and could be easily available. It has a catalog-driven graphical design that can define and configure various VNFs (Virtualized Network Functions) and services. We can also design various services and VNFs with this framework. With the help of this validation, it includes various policy designs and implementation. It also has various SDKs defined which can help in packaging and validations. 

Run time Framework: This Framework runs (executes) various rules and different policies which are distributed by the design and creation environment. It has various controllers that can manage different physical and virtual networks. This covers a number of use cases for communication service providers (CSPs) and also for various industries. 

ONAP is available as Microservices and has Docker containers. These containers can be deployed on the Kubernetes cluster. The orchestration and life-cycle management of various end-to-end services are managed by ONAP Operations Manager (OOM) which is responsible for managing various ONAP components. Different vendors and operators must work closer together so that they overcome all the issues and processes. The ONAP project was created with the intention of producing an open-source reference implementation of the network Automation platform. ONAP focuses on the automation of various networking resources so that it can provide a particular service or it can serve a specific purpose for the application. It enables various new and innovative approaches so that it can solve the implementation of various functions defined. 

ONAP will be beneficial for many industries which are undergoing transformations similar to the telecom industry. It will not only be beneficial for telecom but also for various industries also. In this, resources will be virtualized, programmed, and orchestrated in real-time operations and they are provided in the new business models. For the development of all these proposed benefits, 5G technology is a key enabler. The digital ecosystem around the 5G technology can benefit from extended use of the ONAP with various commodities across various operations environments. The various key uses can be found in the IoT, connected transportations, and various immersive technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and also various mission-critical use cases. 

ONAP End-to-End 5G service

ONAP will help in 5G network optimization

Communication service providers will require constant 5G performance checks, for this, they require to regularly optimize the network performance. The network optimization ONAP features include High Volume Performance Management, Bulk Analytics, Homing, Scaling & Healing, and Edge Automation. 

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