The VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program has delivered another advancement to save the time and effort of our partners and customers: a new CSAR self-certification process.
At the same time, the program has reached a milestone that demonstrates its effectiveness and wide appeal: The program has now certified more than 300 network functions.
And since the new CSAR creation process reduces the time it takes to onboard network functions with VMware Telco Cloud Automation, we expect that the number of certified network functions will continue to rapidly expand, empowering customers to select the network functions that best meet their unique needs.
The CSAR Creation Process
The principal objectives of the certification program are zero-touch deployment and configuration, and the CSAR creation process aligns with those objectives. During the CSAR creation process, the VMware certification team works with a partner to manually onboard a CNF in the certification lab before automating the deployment through VMware Telco Cloud Automation, our vendor-agnostic orchestration and management tool.
To help partners get their network functions certified quickly, a series of network function onboarding videos have been produced to help partners create their own baseline CSAR. Once a baseline CSAR is created to simplify the overall process, the baseline CSAR can then be tailored to each customer’s unique requirements.
Cadence and Continuity
VMware is working closely with its partners to streamline the certification process and align the pipeline and timeline with customer requirements.
The release cadence of a containerized solution using Kubernetes should typically be aligned with the release cadence of Kubernetes and the end of life of its older releases. The aggressive evolution of the Kubernetes releases, feature deprecation, and quick market consumption means that containerized network functions tend to have a faster release cadence than their virtualized counterparts.
These days, the majority of 5G solutions are containerized. To help partners validate and certify their releases in a seamless manner, the VMware certification team has developed a Continuous Onboarding and Validation process.
Continuous Onboarding and Validation
The Continuous Onboarding and Validation portal is a cloud service available for VMware partners to self-certify their solutions. The self-certification process helps them align their release cadence with the certification process, ensuring that their solutions will onboard and interoperate with the different releases of VMware Telco Cloud Platform.
Partners who have already been using the Continuous Onboarding and Validation process for Ready for Telco Cloud certification have shared incredibly positive feedback — they have been able to certify their updated CSARs in a few days by quickly verifying the automated onboarding and interoperability of their new software versions with VMware Telco Cloud Platform.
“Accedian was able to get our Skylight service assurance CNFs onboarded on the VMware Telco Cloud in a matter of days. The process to certify our sensor agents using the VMware certification methodology was straightforward with easy-to-follow assets and excellent support from VMware. Working as a trusted partner with VMware helps us ensure we’re delivering best-in-class service to our joint customers.”Tom Foottit, VP Product Management, Accedian
Empowering Partners with Baseline CSARs
How does a baseline CSAR help? A baseline CSAR can reduce a customer’s onboarding effort by as much as 70 percent. But understanding how a CSAR is built and how it’s tuned is the key to adapting the baseline CSAR to your customer’s needs. To help vendors build and maintain their CSARs and then tailor them to different customer environments, the Ready for Telco Cloud program presents partners with an onboarding guide and a CSAR design video series, which are available at VMware Technology Partner Hub under the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program documentation.
VMware can provide access to a VMware Telco Cloud Platform lab prior to certification to help partners create or adapt their CSARs. This lab, however, is unsuitable for testing modifications for a customer because the lab will differ from the customer’s topology.
Scope of Certification
The scope of the certification is to demonstrate that the solution can be seamlessly onboarded to VMware Telco Cloud Platform and that it interoperates properly with the underlaying infrastructure and the CaaS layer. A certified network function does not guarantee its production readiness because a functional validation still needs to be performed by the network function’s vendor.
Getting Started with Self-Certification
To put yourself on the fast track to getting started with self-certification, check out the documentation and videos that are available to partners through the Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program. The self-certification process is detailed in the Continuous Onboarding and Validation guide available at VMware Partners Hub.
Enrolling in a Ready for Telco Cloud certification requires an active TAP membership. After you obtain membership in the TAP program, you will need a My VMware account, which you can create at https://my.vmware.com. Then, to access the Continuous Onboarding and Validation portal, go to the VMware Integration Validation (VIVa) portal at https://cert.vmware.com, where you can create and view certification sessions. You can, for example, create a session to enroll in a new certification on one of the versions of VMware Telco Cloud Platform.
When you open a new certification request, a questionnaire will be used to collect the information needed to create the right lab setup and size for the certification process. After the request is validated and approved by VMware, the certification process can start. Certification through the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program is always supported by our technical team.
If you’re already enrolled in the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program but want to find out more about CSAR self-certification, check out the documentation and videos at
Check Out the New Ready for Telco Cloud Certifications in VMware Marketplace
Collaboration is key to the cloud-native future of 5G. The 5G ecosystem needs to be large, with a multiplicity of vendors, and the transition to cloud-native technology needs to be smooth. Simplicity, automation, and interoperability will pave the way. As part of the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud certification process, VMware has been collaborating with partners to ensure a smooth transition to a diverse, expansive cloud-native ecosystem. As part of these collaborations, several solutions have recently been certified. Go to VMware Marketplace to see how these solutions can bring your 5G plans to fruition: Recently Added Telco Solutions on VMware Marketplace