Study Assesses NFV MANO Vendor Offerings

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  May 05, 2017

Netcracker Technology made a big impression in the network functions virtualization management and orchestration arena market research recently published by Current Analysis.

The good news is that analyst David Snow named Netcracker the overall leader in this arena and noted the comprehensiveness of its solution. The bad news is that he called the company’s telco IT portfolio and Agile (News - Alert) Virtualization Platform “dautingly complex.”

Here’s what else Snow had to say: “Netcracker’s NFVO and VNFM, located in the Hybrid Operations Management suite, are among the most functionally sophisticated of compared vendors. Nevertheless, it is the operational wrap and the onboarding of a very high number of third-party VNFs, Netcracker’s ‘next generation’ Partner Ecosystem, and orchestration at VNFM level and above which fuels the company’s leading position.”

NEC’s Netcracker has outfitted multiple live MANO deployments at the NFVO level, including integrations with carrier OSSs and strong BSS integration features, said Snow, principal analyst for IP services infrastructure at Current Analysis. He added that although Netcracker’s AVP and services offering may be a match for larger communications service providers, it may be overwhelming for smaller carriers.

The Current Analysis paper, titled “NFV MANO: Competitive Dynamics and Solution Assessments”, also looked at offerings in this space from ADVA, AMDOCS, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Gigaspaces, HPE, Huawei, Nokia, Oracle (News - Alert),, and ZTE.

It called the ADVA Ensemble Orchestrator a solid offering with strong security and VNF licensing support. AMDOCS was noted for being among the first to emphasize the importance of continuous real-time fulfillment and assurance of NFV-based services using its Sensei technology. Ciena’s Blue Planet, Snow noted, is a solid performer among all the aspects Current Analysis considered.

Meanwhile, Cisco (News - Alert), which Snow noted has put together its strategy on this front using a combination of its own and acquired technology, hasn’t disclosed much about its work in this realm with service providers. He said Ericsson’s Cloud Manager “is well placed to bring the best of both worlds into its NFV MANO offering and help carriers bridge the divide.”  And it suggested that Huawei’s (News - Alert) NFV MANO Policy and Analytics solution “benefits from a wider orchestration perspective than most.”

Gigaspaces’ Cloudify Telecom Edition, a pure play orchestration solution based on the ARIA TOSCA project, has seen strong uptake and is considered a “very strong” contender in this product category, according to Current Analysis. HPE was noted for being early to introduce support for multivendor VNF credentials for its NFV Director NFVO and VNFM. And Nokia (News - Alert) is praised for its work to ease the VNF onboarding process for both VNF vendors and carriers by addressing things like multivendor validation.

As for Oracle, Current Analysis says its network service orchestrator (OC NSO) delivers all expected functionality and that it is showing steady traction as a multivendor VNF platform. The pure play NFV platform from, Current Analysis says, supports NFVO and VNFM functions but both are tied to a hyperscale multi-VIM approach. And it says that ZTE’s offering has only recently become visible to the wider market, much like that of Chinese vendor Huawei.

ReportsnReports suggests that orchestration platform investments will surpass $1.6 billion by the end of 2020. And that, it adds, will represent almost 10 percent of service provider NFV and SDN spending. The research firm believes that overall CSP spending on NFV and SDN will reach more than $18 billion by the end of 2020.

Edited by Alicia Young