By Prashanth Raghavendran, Fujitsu and Udi Schwager, Wind River
Testing and validating multivendor interoperability of 5G RAN components with SMO for Open RAN
The O-RAN Plugfest is a platform for testing and validating the 5G RAN interoperability of various vendors’ hardware and software components within the Open RAN ecosystem. Plugfest is an annual global event organized by the O-RAN Alliance to further the development of open and intelligent 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) architectures.
The goal is to ensure that different vendors’ equipment can seamlessly work together to give operators the confidence to build and deploy flexible and interoperable Open RAN solutions. The event involves a series of tests and scenarios that evaluate compliance with specifications and standards developed by the O-RAN Alliance. These tests cover performance, RAN interoperability, scalability, and security. During the 2023 O-RAN Plugfest, Fujitsu tested their Virtuora® Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) Open RAN offering with Wind River.
O-RAN O2 orchestration use cases successfully demonstrated by Wind River and Fujitsu
Wind River and Fujitsu successfully demonstrated two O-RAN orchestration use cases using the O2 interface: O-Cloud Registration and Initialization and O-Cloud Inventory Update.
The O-RAN O-Cloud Registration and Initialization use case allows an O-Cloud to register with the O-RAN Management Plane (OMP) and initialize its services. The O-RAN O-Cloud Inventory Update use case is a simple, but essential use case that allows O-Clouds to keep their inventory information up to date with the OMP.
The combined use of O-Cloud Registration and Initialization with the O-Cloud Inventory Update helps demonstrate the overall performance and reliability of Open RAN. These two use cases ensure that the orchestrator has the most accurate information regarding the resources available in the RAN, enabling it to make better decisions about allocating those resources.
Wind River and Fujitsu conducted an interoperability test with the homing use case. The test successfully demonstrated the homing function and multivendor interoperability using the defined O-RAN O2 specification, the Fujitsu Virtuora Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) Offering and Wind River Studio.
Tests included two Wind River Studio Cloud Platforms (O-Clouds), one supporting a low-latency OS and the other supporting a standard OS. The team used the Virtuora SMO to successfully deploy an application requiring a low-latency OS on the O-Cloud to meet the latency requirements. The team also deployed an application with no specific OS requirements on the O-Cloud with a standard OS.
The test highlighted the ability of the Virtuora SMO to deploy applications in the Wind River Studio Cloud Platform that matched the application’s latency needs. It also showed that Virtuora SMO can retrieve inventory information from registered clouds and display it accurately in the Virtuora SMO Open RAN topology. The topology update allows Virtuora SMO to identify the latency capabilities of each cloud.
Overall, the test was a success and showed the potential of the homing use case to improve the performance and reliability of Open RAN networks. In addition to successfully demonstrating the homing function, the successful tests also showed multivendor RAN interoperability using the defined O-RAN O2 specifications.
The Plugfest team also made a number of observations about how to enhance RAN interoperability and standardization in the O-RAN ecosystem. They recommend that developers expose standard capabilities to the Open RAN SMO and assign separate attributes to certificates and tokens in REST messages. These recommendations align with the need for standardized capabilities, which will allow for easier integration and understanding of security measures across different systems.
Interoperability testing shows great promise for optimizing Open RAN performance and reliability
The 2023 O-RAN Plugfest showed many Open RAN solutions, which successfully demonstrated:
- Multivendor interoperability
- How standardized capabilities enable security controls across different systems
- Maturing O-RAN technology
- Potential partners with O-RAN expertise
- A wide range of stakeholders with big ideas for new solutions and use cases
The findings and observations from the Fujitsu and Wind River Plugfest team are helping to accelerate O-RAN technology progress, making it easier for operators to deploy Open RAN solutions that meet their needs.
Learn more about the vital role that SMO plays in Open RAN performance, flexibility, and innovation.