IG1141 Procurement and Onboarding of Virtualization Packages R16.5.1

Onboarding automation has been cited by multiple service providers, such as AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, Verizon and others, as an unexpectedly difficult challenge and a major business priority for pragmatic resolution.

This document highlighted the challenges of onboarding automation due to:

  • Different viewpoints of service providers’ operations lifecycle and vendor technology lifecycle.
  • Lack of standardized taxonomy and onboarding scope to clearly define the responsibilities and automate the handoffs between suppliers and buyers.
  • Lack of standardized VNF/IT services model, resulted in fragmented market and open source implementations.
  • Immature service providers’ internal OSS/BSS transformation to respond effectively to the virtualization impact.

It also proposed a model-driven approach to streamline onboarding of virtual functions, this solution approach will include the following design artifacts to be detailed in future releases:

  • A well-enabled packaging metamodel which provides a template to capture a rich set of metadata about a Virtual Function (i.e. any software function/application, not just Virtual Network Functions), and its behaviors (configurations and controls) that can be used to automate downstream processes. In a TM Forum Catalyst contribution, this metamodel includes operational concepts from TM Forum’s Frameworx, virtualization concepts from ETSI NFV and DevOps concepts from OASIS TOSCA for a unified description of the domain.
  • Well-enabled packaging metadata and its structure, as a proposal to TOSCA template extensions which captures both technical information (metadata) provided by supplier and operation information needed to integrate the virtual function into service provider’s environment.
  • Profiles/schema for model transformations, such as transformation from Frameworx metamodel to OASIS/TOSCA to IETF/YANG
  • Dynamic APIs, the schema follows the Dynamic API pattern to reduce Package complexity by abstracting dozens of discrete interfaces with a consistent pattern for API specification. It allows developers to reason over the set of APIs in a Package and across Packages allowing the use of common methods making them easier to integrate, automate and maintain.

We believe a standards-based model-driven approach is essential to scale with the growing demand for interoperability and to evolve as technology advancement and innovation happens. The IG1141 advocates a future-forward architecture approach that supports the transformation journey of the service providers and specifically to address the challenges of onboarding automation.


Maturity level: Level 4 – Forum Approved
Strategic program: More Agile & Virtualized
Document type: Standard
Release: 16.5
Project: ZOOM (Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations & Management) Project
Member evaluation start date: 12/9/2016
Member evaluation end date: 1/6/2017
Approval vote date: 5/24/2017
Standard: Best Practices
Security: non-member
Status: TM Forum Approved
IPR mode: RAND
Date Modified: 6/20/2017
Document version: 1.0.2