OPNFV Summit Preview: Q&A with Susan James of Ericsson

By June 10, 2016Blog

Susan JamesSusan James, head of Product Line NFV Infrastructure, Business Unit Cloud & IP, Ericsson, will deliver a keynote at the OPNFV Summit  titled “Making OPNFV the Platform for Industry Growth”

Tell us about your involvement in the OPNFV project and where you’re currently integrating open source networking solutions.

For the Colorado release, Ericsson is leading five projects within OPNFV and we are also contributing to 15 more projects. Being an active member from the beginning, we started out heavily invested in the infrastructure-type projects and building the community. We have also been very involved in the testing and SDN- related feature projects.

Two of the projects we’re leading in OPNFV are: Service Function Chaining (SFC) and SDN  Distributed Routing and VPN (SDN VPN), which are both focused on adding advanced networking features to the OPNFV platform. The SFC project is about creating a reference solution for Service Function Chaining based on the SFC implementation in OpenDaylight. The SDN VPN project is about adding E2E orchestration of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) using the OpenStack Neutron Stadium project called BGPVPN, which provides an extension of the Neutron API for managing VPNs and corresponding extensions to Heat. In OPNFV, we are combining this with the OpenDaylight VPN Service, which is one of the backends BGPVPN supports.

What is your perspective on the evolving relationships among standards, open source, and vendors? What could each of these do better?

It’s taking shape, much thanks to initiatives like OPNFV. As with previous standardization activities, it is about working together; vendors, operators and interested parties working to establish a market and ensure that this can be done in multi-vendor environments. In addition to standards, we are taking advantage of working with open source as well so we get the best of both worlds. We will see more open source and community work in the future, and getting to actual implementation rather than discussing on paper is key for progression.

What new technology or trend in the networking space are you most curious about and why?

The new trend we see coming full speed for next year is about hardware evolution and acceleration such as SmartNIC, especially for Telco NFV deployment. It would be interesting to see OPNFV share some common vision on this and kick off some related activities.

What do you see as hurdles to broad industry adoption of NFV?

Confidence. I think that we have solved a number of the key issues that have been what I would call hygiene factors. Now it is about understanding not only what this means from a technology transformation perspective, but also what this means from an operations perspective. This is why we see the focus shifting towards MANO and how that transformation will take place as automation will be key to the success of the journey. Interoperability will continue to be a focus as this is not something that comes for free. It requires all parties to continue to work together to make this happen.

Please give us a preview of what you’ll be sharing on-stage at OPNFV Summit.

Virtualization is now starting to happen and I will be talking about what various service providers see as the main drivers for it. One driver is certainly improved automation capabilities. I will discuss some reflections and experiences from early NFV deployments. Furthermore, I will talk about the role of OPNFV going forward as networks evolve towards 5G and IoT.