OPNFV Bridging Open Source Communities and Telcos

By March 20, 2015Blog

Mobile World CongressIt has been a whirlwind two months since I joined OPNFV in January. I recently spent three weeks on the road getting to know our community and seeing OPNFV in a broader market context, and it’s been a great experience. Our technical committee chair Chris Price wrote about our recent Meet-up and Hackfest and the only thing I’ll add to his great summary is that I was highly impressed by the passion and collaborative attitude I witnessed during those events. It’s not always an easy thing for a diverse group of people all working for different companies to come together and form a coherent community, but we are definitely on our way.

After the Prague Hackfest, I flew to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, which left absolutely no doubt that NFV is a big deal. Light Reading’s pre-show poll showed that NFV and SDN were considered by conference-goers as the most important topics there, and it was great to see all the demos of NFV capabilities on display at our members’ booths. It was highly educational to see how our member companiesare thinking about technology and how they’re putting the concepts into products. To everyone who gave me a tour of your booth – thanks! It was inspiring to see some cool use cases such as vIMS, vCPE and cloud RAN along with a unique example of dynamically allocating mobile capacity to either the suburbs or downtown depending on time and day and user density. It’s obvious that NFV will not only improve operational efficiency and agility, but enable end users to think differently about their network services as well.

OPNFV Group PhotoMobile World Congress was OPNFV’s first big marketing event. We hosted a great networking reception Tuesday night, with both members and prospective members out in abundance. I overheard all sorts of thoughtful conversations about NFV and open source, and it was fun interacting with everyone in a more social environment. We topped off the event with an interactive panel discussion on “Accelerating NFV Through Open Source Software Collaboration,” moderated by OPNFV marketing chair, Sandra Rivera. Despite the venue being over a kilometer from the entrance and the timeslot being on the last day before lunch, we had a standing room only crowd. It speaks to the industry’s interest in what we are trying to accomplish! See the video recording of the entire panel discussion.
The OPNFV Board also met face to face for the second time since formation. We had a number of spirited conversations around our first software release, strategy, and roadmap.  This is a passionate and engaged Board, and they take their stewardship of this organization very seriously. In fact, as I reflect on OPNFV at my two-month mark with the organization, what stands out most to me is that the community as a whole – the Board, the technical community leadership, the marketing committee, the contributors and committers – is dedicated to making OPNFV succeed. It’s a privilege to be part of this group and I encourage everyone who is not involved to join us. It’s truly an exciting time to be in the world of networking!

About the author of this post

Heather KirkseyHeather Kirksey
Heather Kirksey is the director of NFV leading initiatives around the OPNFV project.