What is MANO and why do you need it?

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

What is MANO and why do you need it?

MANO is a confusing topic.  What is it, why is it needed, and how do I get one? 

First, let’s talk about what MANO is. MANO (short for management and orchestration) essentially manages all cloud-based software network functions (VNFs) in a NFV architecture. In NFV, an application or service will call on these VNFs to help execute.  The management of these software functions such as the online/offline nature, scaling, redundancy, and configuration of the VNFs is MANO.

Why is it needed? Take for example, an area Dialogic knows well: the Media Server. A communications application will need to call on the media server if it needs, for example to do voice/video stream mixing (say for a video conference) or echo cancellation (if connected to the PSTN) or transcoding (say for a WebRTC to IP call), or for call recording (for contact center recording requirements).  The media server interacts with other parts of the network such as the Application Server and is a part of a bigger need going on in the network.  In an NFV architecture, this is really no different other than there is no physical hardware system assigned to run the Media Server functions.  In an NFV environment, access to the media server VNFs and making sure they scale up and down, and connect to the right applications at the right time all needs to be managed.  The MANO function does this. 

As expected, considering the control that MANO has, there are many players jockeying for this position.  Large NEMs are included here and Dialogic is working with many of them, having gone public with Oracle thus far.  But there are also industry projects working on this, such as OPNFV, which is working on a reference implementation.  Dialogic has also successfully tested with OPNFV Arno.

Yes, it’s a confusing area at first, which is normal for any technical innovation. But it is not so overwhelming that it can’t be overcome.  We’re here to help. Read this white paper to learn more about the MANO layer in NFV, and some of our cloud-ready solutions.

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