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Project Maestro Overview

A Telco Cloud Orchestrator That Will Help CSPs Accelerate Multi-Cloud Operational Agility

Project Maestro: telco cloud orchestration and automation, an overview.

With today’s announced technology preview of Project Maestro, VMware’s new solution for telco cloud orchestration and automation, VMware continues its leadership in enabling reliable, scalable, secure and efficient cloud networking for communications service providers (CSPs).

Let’s dive into this new solution and explore how it will deliver a new level of operational agility to telecommunications providers.

Market Drivers for Orchestration and Automation

The multi-network and multi-vendor ecosystem of cloud networking technologies is growing increasingly complicated by the day. To cope with this complexity, CSPs need greater interoperability, increased agile management, and flexible automation to support a leaner operational model.

These are the market conditions that led us to develop Project Maestro.

 Slow adoption of standards: Achieving effective automation requires E2E support of VNF/NS lifecycle management (service creation, onboarding, installation/configuration, start/stop, scaling, monitoring/diagnosis, reconfiguration, healing, update, and termination). In order to perform these activities, the orchestrator must interoperate with several other components of the NFV architecture (i.e., VIM, EMS, VNFM, SO, OSS/BSS). Adapting a vendor-neutral orchestration strategy is the only way to efficiently coordinate the various components of this architecture while protecting CSPs from vendor lock-in complexities.

CSPs have been deploying NFV in production since late 2012. However, mature standardized solutions (e.g., MANO) have not yet been widely applied. Many of the current deployments struggle with a lack of interoperability across multiple vendors, which paves the way to half-baked solutions that often introduce exorbitant service integration fees and cause delays in rollouts of cloud-based network services.

Next-generation network imperatives: 5G introduces a variety of new technologies and requirements, including “network slicing” where networks are virtually sliced-up to deliver a use case bound to a set of SLA requirements (e.g. mobile broadband, robotic manufacturing, AR/VR, autonomous-car, etc.). Network slicing will be a key component of future networks, but it’s only feasible where service and cloud domain orchestrators are available to provide the required level of abstraction across all layers of the service delivery architecture. Many of the new service use cases will also leverage edge computing which in turn requires the deployment of infrastructure closer to the network edge for lower latency and improved network performance. As a result, the design of network services must now span traditional data centers and an exponential number of edge data centers (1000x) with heterogeneous infrastructure (VM & container-based) stressing the need for orchestration and the dynamic management of network functions across formats and “clouds” with reliability at scale.

Introducing Project Maestro: VMware’s purpose-built telco cloud orchestrator

Project Maestro is a purpose-built software solution engineered to accelerate the time-to-market of modern network functions and services while igniting operational agility through lifecycle management automation across any network and any cloud. Maestro will streamline the CSP orchestration journey with native integration into VMware vCloud NFV and cloud products to enhance customer experience, minimize costs, and optimize NFVI resource utilization. Maestro combined with VMware HCX will also enable multi-cloud placement and ease workload portability from the network core to the edge, from private to public clouds.

Project Maestro will offer standards-driven generic VNF manager (G-VNFM) and NFV orchestration (NFVO) modular components to integrate any multi-vendor MANO architecture. VMware will further enhance interoperability by expanding partner VNF certifications to cover infrastructure and orchestration through the VMware Ready for NFV program. With simplified and certified interoperability, CSPs limit their risks while benefiting from the best available solutions.

Project Maestro for telco cloud orchestration


A quick look at Key Capabilities and benefits for communications service providers (CSP):

VMware is all about positioning our customers to be more responsive to their customers. To that end, Project Maestro will empower CSPs with a unique and rich profile of benefits and capabilities.

Project Maestro – Solution Overview



  • Accelerate services time-to-market from months to minutes with simplified provisioning, design and onboarding capabilities.
  • Gain operational efficiencies and avoid error-prone manual tasks through network functions and services lifecycles management automation.
  • Ensure service experience through workload mobility, dynamic scalability, closed-loop healing, and enhanced resiliency.
  • Improve service quality with VMware Smart Assurance integrated AI-driven workflows
  • Optimize cloud resources utilization through optimized VMware NFVO, G-VNFM, and VIM/NFVI integrations.
  • Avoid costly integration fees, maximize current VMware investments, innovate faster, reduce project complexity, and overall time-to-deploy using pre-built VMware integrations.
  • Get the most of your telco cloud by leveraging best-of-breed network functions and benefits from a healthy multi-vendor ecosystem.
  • Lower version validation and support fees with VMware Ready for NFV certification program.


  • Pluggable architecture that integrates seamlessly any Telco Cloud ETSI MANO-compliant environment
  • Build services with a combined G-VNFM and NFVO complete feature-set.
  • Deliver on-demand new network functions and services at scale across multiple clouds.
  • Leverage repeatability across network functions and services.
  • Onboard VM-based and cloud-native network functions through TOSCA templates.
  • Model network services based on multi-vendor network functions.
  • Automate network functions and services lifecycle management (day 0 to most complex day 2 operations).
  • Gather 360° awareness of the Telco Cloud from infrastructure to instantiated functions and services (i.e. inventories, FM/PM data)
  • Apply new/existing workflows and policies for automated closed-loop actions
  • Achieve end-to-end telco cloud service assurance with prebuilt VIM and Smart Assurance integrations


Digging Into the Details: Driving Orchestration and Multi-Cloud Operational Agility with Project Maestro

Cloud-first software approach

Project Maestro will natively integrate with vCloud NFV and other VMware cloud technologies to transform an integration-intensive project into an efficient product deployment, eliminating the risks of error-prone configurations, simplifying future upgrades, and reducing overall project cost. The close integrations between VMware orchestration and its infrastructure will also enable faster access to VMware innovations, auto-discovery capabilities, continuous synchronization, and they will abstract multi-VIM management complexity.

Design, onboard, orchestrate and automate with multi-cloud agility

Save time by leveraging existing network functions and services available from implementation catalogs or acquire new ones from VMware certified partners. TOSCA-compliant VNFD/NSD, aligned with ETSI MANO SOL001/004, can be tailored through a low-code visual composer and scripts. Once the design and onboarding are completed, the network functions or services can be instantiated seamlessly in a few steps across any tenants and clouds through multi-VIM integrations.

Integrated lifecycle management automation

Automation capabilities will be driven by decisioning and policy engines that execute closed-loop policies described in VNFD and NSD plus custom rules for tailored decisions. These policies will apply to the entire lifecycle management of network functions and services (day 0; day 1; day 2) for leaner operational processes. They will also remove complicated, tedious, and repetitive tasks while optimizing overall resource utilization through dynamic scaling and workload portability.

Enhanced service experience

Achieve real-time awareness across every layer of the telco cloud for monitoring and closed-loop operations. This holistic awareness will be enabled through a unique fault and performance data collection framework that gathers information across all layers of the MANO framework, including VIMs, VNF/EMS, and OSS. Project Maestro will support any auto-operation model, triggering actions from NFVO, VNFM, or EMS. Furthermore, Project Maestro will automate the distribution of VNF and service workloads across clouds and availability zones for enhanced quality and complete resilience.

Unified network function management

Project Maestro’s G-VNFM offers a unified network function ecosystem, supporting the design and integration of any TOSCA-compliant network functions. Maestro will orchestrate workloads seamlessly from VM and container-based infrastructures for a future-proof service-delivery foundation. Maestro will also allow partners certification of network function new versions and updates for ensured interoperability.

Hybrid and multi-cloud workload placements

The ability to connect and manage workloads across a broad set of VIMs is a complicated and expensive activity. Project Maestro natively integrates with VMware HCX, vCloud Director, vCloud NFV OpenStack Edition, and VMware Kubernetes portfolio, allowing turnkey and consistent workload management for any network function across any cloud, resulting in unique multi-cloud operational agility and optimized resources allocation.

Intent-based and dynamic multi-cloud placements


Our pledge: A thriving, open, multi-vendor ecosystem

Let’s talk about one last critical attribute of Project Maestro and VMware’s approach to CSPs: interoperability. Despite the shift towards industry standardization, many vendors still create unnecessary lock-in by restricting orchestration to their specific ecosystem. Not VMware: Project Maestro will take a different tack, giving CSPs flexibility by supporting the latest ETSI-MANO guidelines. Maestro’s integrated G-VNFM and NFVO will be used as combined or standalone modules interfacing any SOL-compliant components of the MANO framework (OSS, BSS, EMS/VNFM, VIM, etc.).

Project Maestro Optimized Integrations & Interoperability


Pairing Maestro’s VNF designer tool with the VMware Ready for NFV program further extends interoperability and encourages innovation by facilitating access to new infrastructure capabilities and supporting VNF certification for ensured operation and management across vendors.


Standard Interfaces

  • Vi-Vnfm: VMware Integrated OpenStack, VMware vCloud NFV, VMC and Kubernetes
  •  Ve-Vnfm-vnf: ETSI NFV IFA008/SOL002; VNF and NS descriptors compliant with IFA011/SOL001; VNF and NSD package format of IFA014/SOL004
  • Ve-Vnfm-em: 3rd party EMS per ETSI NFV IFA008/SOL002
  • Or-Vnfm: ETSI NFV IFA007/SOL003
  • Os-Ma-nfvo: ETSI NFV IFA013/SOL005 and TM Forum

Open Architecture

  • Modular NFVO / G-VNFM architecture
  • Pre-built integrations with VMware NFV and cloud technologies
  • Integration with 3rd party OSS, VIM, VNF, SDN-C and S-VNFM


VMware is a founding member of Open Source MANO (OSM) and actively contributes code to both OSM and ONAP projects. Project Maestro will leverage multiple key components from these initiatives. It will natively feature a modular, programmable, and model-driven approach to ensure integration with industry-leading SDN-C and S-VNFM components.

Join the telco cloud operational revolution!

Project Maestro inherits VMware’s pedigree of cloud management and automation expertise. It streamlines the CSP’s telco cloud transformation journey and accelerates time-to-market of any service while ensuring interoperability for a dynamic multi-vendor NFV ecosystem.

Learn more about Project Maestro, the new telco cloud orchestrator for CSPs brought to you by VMware:

* There is no commitment or obligation that technology preview features will become generally available.

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