OPNFV Developer Spotlight: Bin Hu

By February 24, 2016Blog

The OPNFV community is comprised of a diverse set of active developers who are passionate about transforming the industry through open source NFV. This new blog series highlights the people who are collaborating in the trenches to build a de facto standard open source platform for NFV.

Bin Hu

Bin is currently a PMTS with AT&T focused on the company’s standardization strategy and activities in web domain and a core member of AT&T’s D2 Open Source Strategy team. He’s also a key advocate and participant in the OPNFV technical community.

What projects in OPNFV are you working on? Any new developments to share?
I am leading the IPv6-enabled OPNFV project, which is a meta-distribution of the platform with de-facto provisioning and configuration of IPv6, upon which additional components and functional blocks and/or tools can be built and integrated. We analyzed the gaps of IPv6 use case requirements vs the features currently supported in OpenStack and OpenDaylight, and extended the current capabilities of the Neutron Router and ODL L3 Router to a Service VM that acts as an IPv6 vRouter managed by the OPNFV platform. This Service VM is capable of (1) advertising IPv6 Router Advertisements (RA) to the VMs on the internal network; and (2) IPv6 Forwarding (i.e., North-South traffic). This novel use case expands IPv6 vRouter capability to any VM and allows for any third-party solution (e.g. IPv6 vRouter VNF) as an alternative to a Neutron Router or ODL Router. Thus, it allows flexible service design, provisioning and deployment on the OPNFV platform, and more importantly, it enables open innovation.

Anything specific you’re working on or looking forward to with Brahmaputra?
The IPv6 feature described above will be part of the Brahmaputra release.

Where do you see OPNFV in five years?
In five years, I would see that OPNFV will have achieved our 2020 Vision of network virtualization, and guess what? It is an OPNFV-based platform that makes it real. Whenever and wherever people talk about network function virtualization, OPNFV will be a no-brainer.

What is the biggest strength of the OPNFV community?
The biggest strength of the OPNFV community is its sense of community. In particular, the determination towards making a difference in the industry makes us grow strong and healthy within this community. We argue, and we debate, but only for the best of community because we care about delivering the best-in-class technology and a robust platform that enables new services and open innovation. We know that each stakeholder can win only when the community wins. So a strong, inclusive and healthy community is the key to everyone’s success.

How do you envision NFV and SDN working together?
NFV and SDN are two pillars of open innovation. They are complementary, and they are mutually beneficial but not dependent on each other. For example, NFV can be deployed without SDN and vice-versa. On one hand, NFV focuses on the platform, which leads to improved business agility and reduced time-to-market, and thus reduced TCO (CapEx and OpEx). On the other hand, SDN creates network abstractions to allow application-aware behaviour, and increased flexibility of service development and delivery, which leads to improved market penetration and expanded customer base, thus more revenue. We can see that NFV aligns closely with SDN objectives to use software, virtualization and IT orchestration and management techniques. Working together creates more opportunity for open innovation.

What is the biggest challenge facing networking today and how will NFV resolve it?
The biggest challenge of networking is how to improve its agility, how to reduce its time-to-market, and how to reduce TCO for network operators. NFV provides the answer, and OPNFV provides the real-world solution by making NFV and SDN work together and align closely with SDN objectives to use software, virtualization and IT orchestration and management techniques to allow for open innovation in telco space.

What types of customers/end users are mostly likely to implement NFV in the near future?
Network operators and service providers in both telco and IT are implementing NFV now.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?
Get your feet wet, break it and make it work.

What technology could you not live without?
I really wish I could live without any technology like 20 years ago. I am old-fashioned. I really like my family sitting around fireplace, chatting, eating, reading a real book and relaxing instead of watching an iPad or kindle or instant messaging at the dinner table.

What does your workspace look like?
Messy. Oh, the good thing (or bad thing) is I am next to the kitchen. So don’t watch me if I accidentally turn on video in conference calls J How messy? Just imagine.

What part of the world do you live in? 
I live in a small town named Los Altos in Silicon Valley. Los Altos means “the heights” or “foothill” in Spanish. It was an agricultural paradise once known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”. It was famous for its apricot orchards in the Valley, and summer cottages for those living in San Francisco to spend summer here in the past. In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, along with others including Ronald Wayne, built the first 50 Apple I’s in Jobs’ garage in Los Altos. Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne founded Apple Computer, Inc on April 1, 1976. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg rented a home in Los Altos where he and other early Facebook employees developed the then-nascent company.

By 2020 developers will rule the world. True or false?
Perhaps gadgets and robots – just kidding.