VNF Manager vs NFV Orchestrator (VNFM vs NFVO)

The Difference between VNFM and NFVO

VNFM vs NFVO

In ETSI NFV framework, NFV Management & Orchestration (NFV MANO) block consist of three building blocks; VIM, VNFM and NFVO. In this blog we will focus on the functional differences between VNF Manager (VNFM) and NFV Orchestrator (NFVO). If you want to know more about NFV architecture, you can read my previous blog Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

VNF Manager (VNFM)NFV Orchestrator (NFVO)
Virtual Network Functions ManagerNetwork Functions Virtualization Orchestrator
VNF Manager is used to controlling, managing and monitoring the VNFs lifecycle. It also controls Element Management System (EMS) or/and Network Management System (NMS).NFV Orchestrator is responsible for orchestration and management of NFV infrastructure, software resources, and realizing network services on NFVI.
It is in-charge for lifecycle management and onboarding of VNFs and Network Services those are managed by same or different VNF Managers (VNFM) and part of same or different NFVI.
It has two major functionalities:
1. Resource Orchestration
2. Service Orchestration
VNFM vs NFVO
Some of VNF Manager's key responsibilities are:
- Instantiation of VNFs
- Configuration of VNFs
- Start of VNFs
- Stop of VNFs
- Scaling in/out of VNFs
- Updating and/or upgrading VNFs
- Termination of VNFs
One of the function of NFVO is Service Orchestration that is used to manage the lifecycle of Network Services and VNFs. It provides the below functionalities:
- Onboarding of Network Services, VNFs
- Topology Management of Network Services (VNF Forwarding Graphs)
- Instantiation of Network Services and VNFs
- Scaling in/out VNFs and Network Services
- Termination of Network Services and VNFs
- Update and/or upgrading Network Services and VNFs
- Monitoring and Auto-healing of VNFs
If required multiple VNF Managers can be deployed in a Data Center. A VNF Manager may be deployed per VNF, or a single VNF Manager may be used for multiple VNFs. Another function of NFV Orchestrator is Resource Orchestration, which coordinates, authorizes, releases and engages NFVI resources among different or within same Data Center.

In this article, I tried to present my views on two major components of NFV MANO framework; VNF Manager and NFV Orchestrator, those have been proposed by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). There are many vendors focusing on these two components and providing their products and solutions. For example one of the leading vendor Nokia offers its VNF Manager as CBAM (CloudBand Application Manager) and NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) as CBND (CloudBand Network Director). If you want more information about NFV framework you can get in touch with me.

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