Best Practices

Infoblox and Network Function Virtualization, Management and Orchestration (NFV MANO)

NFV MANO is the ETSI-defined framework for the Management and orchestration of all resources in the cloud data center. The framework is produced by the working group (WG) of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute Industry Specification Group (ETSI ISG NFV). The framework is generally referred to as NFV MANO.


The NFV MANO framework is used as a reference for Telecom Operators and ISPs around the world. Infoblox appliances deliver NFV for DNS, DHCP and IPAM. The flexible management interfaces of the Infoblox appliances allow for seamless integration in the MANO framework.


This document describes how Infoblox fits in the ETSI MANO NFV (Network Function Virtualization) reference model.


  • First, the different functional blocks of the MANO framework will be described as service delivery and a management and orchestration part.
  • Second, the functional components for service delivery are described.
  • Third, the functional components for management and orchestration are covered.
  • Fourth, the two ways Infoblox fits the model: a)for VNF service delivery plus management and  b)for overall cloud automation.


Framework Overview

NFV MANO combines traditional management referred to as FCAPS with Life Cycle Management (LCM).


The FCAPS abbreviation covers:

  • Fault Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Accounting Management
  • Performance Management
  • Security Management

Life Cycle Management (LCM) covers the orchestration:

  • Instantiate Virtual Network Function (VNF) (create a VNF using the VNF on-boarding artifacts).
  • Scale VNF (increase or reduce the capacity of the VNF).
  • Update and/or Upgrade VNF (support VNF software and/or configuration changes of various complexity).
  • Terminate VNF (release VNF-associated NFVI resources and return it to NFVI resource pool).

Within the NFV MANO framework, we can distinguish functional blocks used for service delivery and functional blocks used for management and orchestration (Figure 1).


MANO Fig 1.png

Figure 1 ETSI MANO Model


The red area in Figure 1 is used for service delivery. The Blue area in Figure 1 is used for Management and Orchestration.


Service Delivery

Within the red block, we see the VNF and the NFVI block. Both are defined as:


VNF – Virtual Network Function

An implementation of an NF that can be deployed on a Network Function Virtualisation Infrastructure (NFVI)


NFVI – NFV Infrastructure

The totality of all hardware and software components which build up the environment in which VNFs are deployed. The NFV-Infrastructure can span across several locations. The network providing connectivity between these locations is regarded to be part of the NFV- Infrastructure.


Management and Orchestration

Within the blue area, we see the area within the dotted line and the OSS/BSS + EM blocks to the left. The OSS/BSS and EM (Element Management) blocks are also common in the hardware world. All blocks in the dotted area to the right are specific to NFV.

Within the dotted area we find the VNFM, NFVO and VIM functional blocks that have these functions:


VNFM – VNF Manager

Lifecycle management (LCM) of VNF instances
Overall coordination and adaptation role for configuration and event reporting between NFVI and the EMS

NFVO – NFV Orchestrator
Network-wide orchestration and management of NFV (infrastructure and software) resources, and realizing NFV service topology on the NFVI.

VIM – Virtual Infrastructure Manager
Inventory of the allocation of virtual resources to physical resources
Organizing virtual links, networks, subnets, and ports
Manage compute, storage, networking, and hypervisors


Outside the dotted area, we find the Element Manager and the OSS/BSS. defines on page 28:

The Element Management is responsible for FCAPS management functionality for a VNF. This includes:
• Configuration for the network functions provided by the VNF.
• Fault management for the network functions provided by the VNF.
• Accounting for the usage of VNF functions.
• Collecting performance measurement results for the functions provided by the VNF.
• Security management for the VNF functions.
The EM may be aware of virtualization and collaborate with the VNF Manager to perform those functions that require exchanges of information regarding the NFVI Resources associated with the VNF.


The OSS/BSS are the combination of the operator's other operations and business support functions that are not otherwise explicitly captured in the present architectural framework but are expected to have information exchanges with functional blocks in the NFV-MANO  architectural framework. OSS/BSS functions may provide management and orchestration of legacy systems and may have full end to end visibility of services provided by legacy network functions in an operator's network


Where Does Infoblox Fit

Infoblox supports the NFV MANO reference model in various ways. First, the VNF and Element Management can be delivered with Infoblox appliances for DNS and DHCP service delivery. Second, the overall Cloud Automation for NVF can be supported with Infoblox IPAM and vDiscovery. Both will be discussed in the sections below.


  1. DNS DHCP VNF Service delivery and Element Management

Infoblox Grid Master (GM) is an Element Manager. Infoblox appliances configured as DNS or DHCP servers are VNFs (see Figure 2).




Figure 2 DNS/DHCP VNF Service Delivery and Element Management


The GM covers the FCAPS and Update and/or Upgrade VNF. This leaves Instantiation, scaling and termination Life Cycle Management to the NFVM (see Figure 3).



Figure 3 FCAPS and LCM


The LCM can be done by NFVM products from Nokia, Ericsson, HP and other vendors. Integration with those products can be done via HEAT Orchestration Templates (HOT) for Openstack based implementations. With VMWARE integration can also be easily done.


For instantiation and termination of any VNF the VNFM can benefit from the Infoblox HOT templates published on Github. These templates use the Ve-vnfm-em interface for instantiation, termination or scaling out of VNFs.


The virtual appliances can be licensed under the FLEX license model:


2. Cloud Automation

This section describes the Cloud Automation facilities that Infoblox can offer to the NFV infrastructure. So this section is not constrained to DNS and DHCP only but can cover any service deployed as NFV.


First, the IP address life cycle can be fully governed with Infoblox IPAM. The life cycle includes IPs allocated by Infoblox IPAM but also those IPs that are discovered by the powerful Infoblox vDiscovery engine.


The NFVO can use the Infoblox IPAM plug in to request an IP address required for VNF deployment. When a VNF is terminated, the NFVO can free up the IP address via the IPAM plugin.


Second, Infoblox vDiscovery automatically and dynamically discovers virtual machines based on the IP addresses assigned to them. The information can be used for the purposes of asset management, monitoring, and tracking. vDiscovery automatically tracks and correlates relationships between virtual machines and network infrastructure, displaying its findings in a single graphical view, and thereby improving network efficiency.


vDiscovery and the IPAM plugin both interface with the authoritative IPAM database maintained by the Grid Manager.


The link to the NFV MANO reference model for cloud management with vDiscovery and the IPAM plug-in are depicted in Figure 4.


MANO Fig 4.png

Figure 4 Cloud Automation






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