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Open Source Drives Innovation in Another Multi-Billion Dollar Market: World’s Largest Carriers, Vendors to Bring Virtualization

By September 30, 2014January 18th, 2017Blog

Guest post from Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation today is announcing a new Collaborative Project, Open Platform for NFV, or OPNFV. It involves nearly 40 companies and has largely been driven by end users like AT&T, China Mobile, NTT DOCOMO, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, among others. Together this community aims to build a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform to accelerate Network Function Virtualization.

NFV is part of the industry’s transition to networks that are increasingly defined and run by software. It represents an unprecedented opportunity for carriers and enterprises in different sectors (telecom, financial services and more) to deliver new services and solutions to their customers much faster. Reports also indicate the market for NFV will grow rapidly over the next five years, which gives cloud service providers more opportunity than ever to play an important role in telecom. As the networking market undergoes this massive transition, open source software and collaborative development give companies the essential building blocks for that future.

This trend towards software dominance is not just happening in networking but throughout the technology industry. Software is defining the cloud, the mobile experience, storage, networking, and more. In fact, software is growing so much that it simply can’t be built by any one company any more. Open source and collaborative development are proven models for building better, cheaper software faster. It’s natural that companies and individuals are looking to organizations like Linux Foundation and communities like Linux to help them address this trend with best practices established by some of the world’s leading developers.

In fact, OPNFV is similar to Linux distributions in that it will work with “upstream” open source projects like OpenDaylight, OpenStack, Open vSwitch and the Linux kernel to integrate and test existing code. The result will be the best possible reference platform for NFV. We expect contributions to this project to come in many forms, ranging from code development to performance testing resources and documentation. We also expect, like Linux, that OPNFV will provide a platform on top of which a wide variety of offerings will be made available.

OPNFV joins other Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects like OpenDaylight (networking), AllSeen Alliance (Internet of Things), OpenBEL (life sciences) and Yocto Project (embedded development). It’s clear that open source and collaborative development are pervasive across industries and are the core ingredients for a future defined by software.

I hope you’ll join me in Dusseldorf Oct 13-15, where I’ll be talking more about this during my keynotes at both LinuxCon/CloudOpen Europe and SDN and OpenFlow World Congress.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation

This article was originally published on the Linux Foundation Blog.