ONAP is Settling the Telecom World’s VHS vs. Beta Moment, Accelerating the Realization of Full NFV Benefits

February 20, 2018 Al Balasco

With the industry’s embrace of the ONAP standard, the telecom community is poised to move full speed ahead in exploiting NFV to its fullest potential. In the span of just a few months, momentum for ONAP has built at a dizzying pace. More than 60 operators have committed to ONAP at the time of this posting. In an industry known for its measured technology changes, the convergence on this standard to a real tipping point has been remarkable. And it’s for a good reason. After years of fragmentation of MANO options, with solutions largely built on vendor proprietary options, or multi-vendor, largely manual, VNF life cycle management approaches, ONAP changes the game. As a vendor-neutral, comprehensive, and open-sourced solution, it is positioned to deliver on the promise of fully elastic, automated telecom operations:


  • “Zero touch” management and corresponding opex savings
  • CapEx savings through optimal, on-demand, hardware utilization
  • Agility and innovation enabling services to be deployed, tested, tweaked, and scaled to meet end user needs quickly and cost effectively


Having played the field as the nascent domain of VNF management and orchestration (MANO) evolved, Radisys is well positioned to support our application partners and communications service provider (CSP) users with services to help move quickly in planning, certifying, integrating, and deploying a fully automated ONAP compliant framework.


Moreover, with more than two and a half years of experience in supporting ONAP and its predecessor, AT&T’s Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) architecture with our virtual Media Resource Function (MRF), Radisys offers one of the first market-proven network elements that has been deployed on a large scale in carrier networks around the world. Due to our early MRF adoption of ONAP – and more importantly our verified performance as a fully automated ONAP VNF – along with our market-leading MRF footprint serving a variety of HD audio and video applications, we have already been publicly showcased by two of the industry’s leading operators, AT&T at last year’s OPNFV event in Beijing and more recently by Orange.


While ONAP deployment in production is still in its infancy, we expect 2018 to be a year of CSP readiness and 2019 to be the year that production ramps up. Of course, the availability of specific vendor VNFs and nuances of individual operator deployment requirements will affect individual project timescales. However, one of the benefits of selecting ONAP-ready network elements today is that they can be implemented to support new services in a virtual environment in parallel with preparing for ONAP readiness. In other words, designing in a future-proof VNF is possible today.

About the Author

Al Balasco

Al Balasco is the Head of Media, Core and Applications Business. Prior to his current role, he was the Sr. Director of Product Management for the Media Server business. Before joining Radisys in October 2010, Al was the Director of Product Management in Avaya Inc.’s Unified Communications business unit where he was responsible for the delivery of a variety of collaboration solutions and partnerships. Prior to Avaya, Mr. Balasco was the Vice President of Product Management at Spectel and was instrumental in defining the company’s VOIP conferencing and collaboration strategy. He also served as Director of Marketing for Sonexis Inc. and Director of Product Management at Brooktrout Software. Mr. Balasco has over 25 years of product management, business development and marketing experience in the telecommunications industry and has an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

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