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Open Source Software and the Network of Tomorrow

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This post originally appeared on the DARPA Hackfest blog

When I look at innovative developments in software defined radio (SDR), I can’t help but view those in a larger context of how networking overall is being redefined in software. For years, networking was one corner of technology that seemed to defy the oft-repeated adage that software is eating the world. With its patchwork of arcane and proprietary network elements, complex standardization processes, and hardware-centric operations, networking simply seemed resistant to the changes affecting computation and storage.

What a difference a few years make! In short timeframe, we have seen the advent not only of SDR but also of Software Defined Networking (SDN), which decouples the control plane and data plane, and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), which treats the capabilities that for years were built into monolithic hardware appliances as dynamic cloud applications. The hope is that this will allow operators to innovate much more quickly, and, in response to demand and subscriber usage, scale out and in. With 5G and the Internet of Things (IOT) on the horizon, most operators feel that cloud, SDN, NFV, and SDR frameworks will all be necessary to rolling out these services.

What I find even more extraordinary than the pace of innovation and change is how the breakneck pace is being driven: through open source resources. The operators have embraced open source software with gusto: no less venerable a company than AT&T has claimed that its network will be built on 80% open source components within 10 years. I’ve watched a very closed and competitive industry develop the sense of common community, a hallmark of the open source ethic. I’ve watched cutthroat competitors go out of their way to collaborate, both across company and geographic lines, and it’s been a great counterpoint to much of the larger political narratives around us.

I have seen great innovation begin to emerge from this collaboration: a start to bringing AI and machine learning to network ops and to building self-healing and self-scaling networks that automatically tune themselves to the user experience. On the other hand, the vast array of data and subscriber information means that security and privacy concerns become even more critical, and it’s unclear that traditional telecom expertise either within companies or with policy makers has prepared anyone for this impact. And as cool as these technologies are, the ongoing litany of abuses on social media platforms has taught us that depending on algorithms to run a platform on which millions of people rely has consequences.

What gives me hope is that doing this work in the open in fully transparent communities means that anyone can see the actual software being used and can comment on and change it. The network is being reimagined. Will that be for the eventual good of the consumer or not?

Heather Kirksey will be speaking at the DARPA Hackfest on Tuesday, November 14 at 18:45, at the NASA Ames Conference Center in Mountain View, Califronia.  

OPNFV Book Preview #4: “DevOps for NFV: OPNFV Infrastructure and Continuous Integration

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This post first appeared on Linux.com

By Amar Kapadia

In this article series, we have been discussing the Understanding OPNFV book. Previously, we talked about chapters 1-5 via an introduction to network functions virtualization (NFV), the role of OPNFV in network transformation, and how OPNFV integrates and enhances upstream projects. We continue our series with a look at chapters 6 and 7, that provide in-depth insight into the OPNFV DevOps toolchain, hardware labs, continuous integration (CI) pipeline and deployment tools (installers).

As mentioned previously, OPNFV integrates a number of upstream projects along with code contributions from the OPNFV community. To integrate and test these projects and contributions in an automated manner, the OPNFV project uses a variety of DevOps tools, hardware labs and a sophisticated CI pipeline. In fact, there is no better way for a telecom operator to absorb the principles of DevOps than by joining OPNFV.

Chapter 6 of the book starts by discussing each of the various software and cloud-based tools used by OPNFV for DevOps:

  • Collaboration: JIRA/Confluence
  • Source code management and code review: Git, Gerrit, and GitHub
  • CI/software automation: Jenkins
  • Artifact repository: Google cloud storage and Docker hub

Here is an excerpt from the book discussing Gerrit:

Code Reviews – Gerrit

Committing to master requires an approval process, and this process is managed through a tool called Gerrit. Gerrit is an open source web-based code review tool developed by Google. All changes pushed by contributors using a git push or git review command are reviewed in Gerrit by a set of reviewers, who view and inspect the patch. Reviewers also get to see the results of a continuous integration (CI) build and automated verify test run. Reviewers provide scores of +2, +1, -1 or -2. A +2 is a definite accept, while a -2 is a definite reject. A +1 or -1 may result in the change being accepted, rejected or sent back for changes.

OPNFV Gerrit

The chapter then describes the hardware labs used for automated integration and testing jobs. OPNFV has defined a standardized set of hardware, called a Pharos lab, consisting of 6 nodes and associated switches to automatically deploy OPNFV software by using the CI pipeline. The Pharos lab concept has been very successful with 16 labs distributed all around the world working seamlessly.

Chapter 6 continues by describing the CI pipeline in detail, where changes in upstream projects or community code contributions trigger integration jobs and specific time-durations (such as daily, weekly) trigger testing jobs. The CI pipeline diagram from the book is shown below:

Chapter 7 start by exploring the concept of OPNFV scenarios. Since OPNFV allows for multiple choices for different software layers, numerous permutations are possible. In addition to the different upstream projects described in the previous blog, OPNFV also allows for diversity in installers. The list of scenarios represents a subset of all possible permutations; effectively each scenario is a tested reference architecture. Examples of scenarios are:

  • OpenStack + ODL + L3 FD.io + High Availability (HA) using the Apex installer, or
  • OpenStack + OpenContrail + HA using the JOID installer

The OPNFV Danube release had 55 scenarios. However, if we ignore non-HA scenarios and the specific installer used, we are down to 21 distinct usable scenarios.

The chapter continues by providing an overview of the 4 major installers used in the Danube release: Apex, Compass, Fuel and JOID, and ends with a discussion of additional deployment related projects such as Daisy (a new installer), IPv6, Parser, ARMBand (to run OPNFV on ARM) and FastDataStacks (FD.io with OPNFV).

Want to learn more? You can check out the previous blog post that discussed the broader NFV transformation complexities  and how OPNFV solves an important piece of the puzzle, download the Understanding OPNFV ebook in PDF (in English or Chinese), or order a printed version on Amazon.

OPNFV Community Delivers Euphrates

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By Tapio Tallgren

Three years after its founding, OPNFV has carved out a solid niche in the industry as an NFV center of gravity, as an integrator of upstream projects, and as the standard software testing platform. OPNFV Euphrates, the project’s fifth platform release, demonstrates the hard work and industry collaboration of the vibrant OPNFV community that continues to advance open source NFV through containers, improved testing, new features, and deep community collaboration.

The journey towards container integration is one of the biggest changes coming to NFV, and Euphrates begins to take these steps for OPNFV. The way I tell NFV history is that it started by moving network elements to virtual machines (VMs). Then integration of the cloud infrastructure removed the need to know exactly where the VM was running, and enabled more automation. However, the network elements (Virtualized Network Functions or VNFs) have evolved to remove the dependencies on emulating hardware. Thus, the software can now run in containers, which are much lighter than VMs. This in turn enables new innovations that will change the actual software architecture since the overhead of a container is so small, each process can be broken out into its own container. The innovation opportunity that containers create for open source networking is profound.

Improved testing seems to be a recurring highlight of each OPNFV release and the integration and testing effort has made significant progress in providing an extensive set of tools to test the NFV cloud, VNFs, and complete network services. New projects—including Sample VNF, which provides testing of the VIM/NFVI layer with applications approximating real-life application workloads; and NFVBench, which provides an end-to-end dataplane benchmarking framework—have been introduced. Additionally, existing test projects have continued to evolve with new features, capabilities, and test cases.

OPNFV also continues to develop carrier grade features for the industry as shown by the new Calipso project which provides operational visibility into complex virtual networks. Euphrates also includes performance improvements, better security, and additional choice in the stack.

One of the most important attributes of OPNFV is integration and collaboration. To demonstrate how OPNFV collaborates with upstream projects, OPNFV has introduced the cross-community continuous integration initiative, or “XCI.” This takes the latest and greatest software releases from different upstream communities, tests them in the OPNFV setup, and provides feedback to the community—quickly. Thus, an OpenStack developer can find out if a patch she is about to create will make something break when integrated with the latest OpenDaylight release, running on a platform with the VPP virtual switch from the FD.io project, for example. (Learn more about the XCI initiative in this recent blog post from key members of the OPNFV community.)

Looking ahead, planning is already underway for the next release—OPNFV Fraser (named for the Fraser river in British Columbia, Canada) and the projects that will be part of it are already signing up! And we’re holding our fourth OPNFV Plugfest in the early December to test and try to break the Euphrates release with different hardware setups, and to give the OPNFV project members a chance to plan the work ahead. I invite you to join us in Portland, Oregon.

As a further sign of OPNFV’s maturity, the OPNFV Compliance and Verification (CVP) is now under beta testing. CVP will help enhance interoperability, build the market for OPNFV-based infrastructure and applications designed to run on that infrastructure, while reducing adoption risks and testing costs for end users.

All of these improvements to the OPNFV platform have (and do require) required tremendous effort from across the community. Please see the section below to hear what Euphrates means to some of our core upstream communities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in OPNFV for contributing to the Euphrates release, and beyond!

Comments From Upstream Communities

FD.io
“In addition to participation in XCI efforts, OPNFV Euphrates leverages the latest enhancements from FD.io 17.04, and performs continuous integration against the upcoming 17.10 master branch. VPP supports IP multicasting, Enhanced NAT, security groups, IOAM, LISP, and scalable packet filtering, in addition to numerous other features,” said Ed Warnicke, FD.io Technical Steering Committee chair and distinguished consulting engineer in the Chief Technology and Architecture Office (CTAO) at Cisco Systems. “OPNFV Euphrates also takes advantage of FD.io’s strong performance gains in Layer 3 performance.”

Kubernetes
“It’s exciting to see Kubernetes and cloud native technology being adopted into the NFV space,” said Chris Aniszczyk, chief operating officer, Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “For example, OPNFV Euphrates introduces the notion of containerized VNFs which will enhance performance, while also supporting OPNFV’s evolving DevOps processes.”

OpenBaton
“With Euphrates, OPNFV makes an additional important step towards a more comprehensive reference platform for accelerating the adoption of NFV and SDN technologies,” said Giuseppe Carella, project manager, Open Baton and OPNFV Orchestra project project technical lead. “We are proud of having introduced the first OPNFV scenario integrating a full MANO stack provided by the Open Baton project, leveraging the JOID installer. Moreover, functest has been extended for validating such integration using vIMS VNF packages available on the Open Baton marketplace.”

OpenStack
“The strong collaboration between the OpenStack and OPNFV communities delivers greater agility, performance and value for carriers and service providers building next-generation open networking stacks,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation. “OPNFV’s Euphrates release supports containerized OpenStack via the Kolla project, and it gives users the improved performance and functionality found in OpenStack’s 15th release, Ocata. Euphrates is proof that when open source communities work together, users win.”

OpenDaylight
“OpenDaylight continues to integrate closely with OPNFV,” said Phil Robb, vice president of Operations, Networking & Orchestration, The Linux Foundation, and executive director, OpenDaylight. “As an upstream contributor to OPNFV Euphrates, ODL Carbon and Nitrogen bring enhanced stability, performance, security and network programmability features to the open source networking stack.”

XCI: How OPNFV Slashed Upstream Integration from Months to Days

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By Fatih Degirmenci, Yolanda Robla Mota, Markos Chandras

The OPNFV Community will soon issue its fifth release, OPNFV Euphrates. Over the past four releases, the community has introduced different components from upstream projects, integrated them to compose different flavors of the stack, and put them through extensive testing to help establish a reference platform for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). While doing this work, the OPNFV community strictly followed its founding principle: Upstream First. Bugs found or features identified as missing are implemented directly into upstream code; OPNFV has carried very little in its own source code repositories, reflecting the project’s true upstream nature. This was achieved by the use of stable release components from the upstream communities. In addition to the technical aspects of the work, OPNFV established good relationships with these upstream communities, such as OpenStack, OpenDaylight, FD.io, and others. 

Building on previous experience working on integrating and testing different components of the stack, Euphrates brings applied learnings in Continuous Delivery (CD) and DevOps principles and practices into the fray, via the Cross Community Continuous Integration (XCI) initiative.  Read below for a quick summary about what it is, where we are now, what we are releasing as part of Euphrates, and a sneak peek into the future.

Upstream Development Model
The current development and release model employed by OPNFV provides value to OPNFV community itself and the upstream communities it works with, but is limited and dependant on using stable versions of upstream components. This essentially limits the speed at which new development and bugfixes can be contributed to upstream projects. This results in losing the essence of CI (finding issues, providing fast and tailored feedback) and means that the developers who contribute to upstream projects might not see results for several months, after everyone has moved on to the next item in their roadmap. The notion of constantly playing “catch up” with upstream projects is not sustainable.

In order for OPNFV to achieve true CI, we need to ensure that upstream communities implement a CD approach. One way to make this happen is to enable patch-level testing and consuming of components from master branches of upstream communities–allowing for more timely feedback when it matters most. The XCI initiative establishes new feedback loops across communities and with supporting tooling makes it possible to:

  • shorten the time it takes to introduce new features
  • make it easier to identify and fix bugs
  • ease the effort to develop, integrate, and test the reference platform
  • establish additional feedback loops within OPNFV, towards the users and between the communities OPNFV works with
  • provide additional testing from a production-like environment
  • increase real-time visibility

Apart from providing feedback to upstream communities, we strive to frequently provide working software to our users, allowing them to be part of the feedback loop. This ensures that while OPNFV pushes upstream communities to CD, the platform itself also moves in the same direction.

Helping Developers Develop by Supporting Source-Based Deployments
One of the most important aspects of XCI is to ensure developers do what they do best: develop. XCI achieves this by supporting source-based deployments. This means that developers can patch the source on their workstations and get their patch deployed quickly, cutting the feedback time from months to hours (or even minutes). The approach employed by XCI to enable source-based deployments ensures that nothing comes between developers and the source code who can even override whatever is provided by XCI to ensure the deployment fits their needs. Additionally, users also benefit as they can adjust what they get from XCI to further fit their needs. This is also important for patch-level testing and feedback.

Choice
What we summarized until now are firsts for OPNFV and perhaps firsts for the entire open source ecosystem; bringing multiple open source components together from master. But we have a few other firsts provided by XCI as part of the Euphrates release, such as:

  • multiple deployment flavors ranging from all-in-one to full blown HA deployment
  • multi-distro support: Ubuntu, Centos, and openSUSE
  • extended CI pipelines for all projects that choose to take part in XCI

This is another focus area of XCI: giving choice. We believe that if we offer choices to developers and users, they will leverage these options to invent new things or use them in new and different ways. XCI empowers the community by removing barriers and constraints and providing freedom of choice.

XCI utilizes tools such as Bifrost and OpenStack Ansible directly from upstream and what is done by XCI is to use these tools in a way that enables CI.

Join the Party
Are we done yet? Of course not. We are working on bringing even more components together and are reaching out to additional communities, such as ONAP and Kubernetes.

If you would like to be part of this, check the documentation and try using the XCI Sandbox to bring up a mini OPNFV cluster on your laptop. You can find XCI developers on #opnfv-pharos channel on Freenode and while you are there, join us to make things even better.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has participated in the development of XCI, reviewed our patches, listened to our ideas, provided hardware resources, motivated us in different ways, and, most importantly, encouraged us. What we have now is just the beginning and we are on our way to change things.

Heading to Open Source Summit Europe? Don’t miss Fatih’s presentation, “Bringing Open Source Communities Together: Cross-Community CI,” Monday, October 23, 14:20 – 15:00.

Learn more about XCI by reading the Solutions Brief or watching the video, and signing up for this XCI-based webinar on November 29th.

 

OPNFV Intern Spotlight: Shrenik Jain

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We kicked off our intern program last summer and are pleased to have  welcomed an amazing group of young talent! They work directly with the community and receive hands-on development experience in NFV. Each intern works closely with an active OPNFV developer as their mentor on a project that suited interest and community need. This blog series aims to showcase these interns and the projects they work on, the mentors who are helping with their professional development, and their experience working in an open source community to help  accelerate NFV.

About Shrenik (in his own words):
I am  currently in my final year pursuing a dual degree – Bachelor of Technology and Master of Science in Computer Science and Research from the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. Presently, I am working on Cloud Economics and Resource Allocation problems in Federated Cloud environments. Aside from my studies, I am a big foodie and I like to try out different cuisines.

How did you hear about OPNFV and what got you interested in this internship?
I heard about OPNFV from college mates who had previously worked in OPNFV as interns.
Since I had already worked on docker as part of my research work, I was comfortable with open source and have been able to familiarize myself more with OPNFV and the community.

Can you talk about your experience working on an open source project? Any previous experiences you can share or key learnings from working on OPNFV so far?
I had a wonderful learning experience while working on the StorPerf project. I learned about new technologies, specifically Arm support being one of the most significant new technologies being added to StorPerf.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your internship?
The best thing I have learned is more effective communication within the community towards a proposal or a solution, and how to effectively keep on contributing to surpass the barriers of location and time zones.

Who is  your mentor and what’s the experience been like?
My mentor is Mark Beierl. He is an amazing mentor who is adept at his work and also very passionate. He has been very helpful and flexible during the entire duration of my internship. even when I bugged him a lot with silly questions.

What’s your advice to other aspiring open source folks out there?
My advice to them would be if you are thinking about open source, the right time to start is now. Don’t hesitate in asking for help. People in open source are amazing and they will welcome you with open arms.

What gets you jazzed to work with open source? (e.g., listening to music, drinking coffee, chatting in IRC, etc.)?
Coffee and chatting on IRC. There are a lot of interesting things to try with IRC (an IRC bouncer being a very simple one).

Being in open source allows you to work from anywhere in the world and interact with lots of different people. What have you found most surprising about the open source developer community?
The unambiguous communication within people spread in all parts of the world with a lot of politeness and respect for each other is very inspiring. The way everyone is welcome to contribute and the fact that people are always ready to help in case of any stuck ups keeps moving you forward.

What do you want to do next? What is your dream job?
I am still trying to figure this one out. But I would go for a job where I am happy with the work I do.

Virtual Central Office: Laying the Foundations From the Community

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By: Hanen Garcia Gamardo, Technical Product Marketing Manager, Telco Solutions, Red Hat

Today’s challenge for communication service providers (CSPs) for delivering services as close as possible to customers cannot be overcome without leveraging capabilities at the edge of the network. On the path towards the edge, tens of thousands of central offices stand on operator’s networks across the world. The last frontier between customers and services, redesign of central offices (CO) has become a key competitive advantage for network and cable operators on their digital transformation journey, especially in the preamble of virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) for 5G, virtualized Content Delivery Networks (vCDN) for 4K, and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technologies.

A few months ago, I wrote about the Virtual Central Office (VCO) project and the rewarding experience of putting together a demonstration of pure community effort for the OPNFV summit in Beijing. Since then, the demo has been shown at other industry events such as the CableLabs Summer conference, Cisco Live, Huawei Connect and the Red Hat Telco Road Tour; the demo videos on YouTube and TelecomTV have received 1,500+ views, and it has been the subject of over a dozen meetings with CSPs across the globe.

The success of the VCO proof of concept (PoC) has come as a direct result of the interest conveyed by the telecommunications industry. Leveraging two of the most important open source projects into a single architecture to realize a Virtual Central Office: OpenDaylight as a common SDN controller for both the virtual network overlay and the physical network underlay; and OpenStack as a common platform, for both the NFV Infrastructure and the VIM, to ensure an orchestrator agnostic framework. In the latest OPNFV solution brief, you can read how Open Source Project Spins Up A Virtual Central Office to know all details of  VCO PoC.

It has been a long journey for the community members of the VCO project between the first interactions and the latest version of the reference architecture recently published by OPNFV and OpenDaylight to promote the distribution and adoption of open source SDN and NFV platforms driven by the industry and the community at large. The whitepaper Building a Virtual Central Office (VCO) with open source communities and components explains the industry trends leading the need for the VCO reference architecture, its requirements, detailed use cases and available technologies.

What’s next?

In Beijing, we demonstrated how the VCO architecture can be used to realize residential and enterprise use cases. Rich of all the lessons learned from this experience and with the same energy as before, the community has already started preparations for the next iteration of demonstration aiming to show the VCO mobile use case including vRAN.

To learn more about the VCO project, listen to my colleague Azhar Sayeed, chief architect for the telco group at Red Hat, talk about the project’s PoC in this video on Telecom TV. And check out the OPNFV / OpenDaylight whitepaper to learn more about the reference architecture.

OPNFV Book Preview #3: All Roads Lead to OPNFV

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This post first appeared on Linux.com

By Amar Kapadia

Previously in our discussion of the Understanding OPNFV book, we provided an introduction to network functions virtualization (NFV) and explored the role of OPNFV in network transformation. We continue our series with a look at chapters 4 and 5, which provide a comprehensive description of the various open source NFV projects integrated by OPNFV and the carrier grade features contributed back to these upstream projects by the community. In this article, we cover these two topics briefly and provide some related excerpts from the Understanding OPNFV book.

For those less familiar with OPNFV, according to the OPNFV website:

Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across various open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks.

OPNFV is the only open source project that integrates, deploys, and tests a wide range of open source NFV projects on a continuous basis. If you believe that open source is the future of NFV, then OPNFV is a project you definitely want familiarize yourself with.

The list of projects integrated by OPNFV includes the following categories:

  • NFV infrastructure (NFVI)
    • Hardware
    • Virtual compute
    • Virtual storage
    • Virtual networking and dataplane acceleration
  • Virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM)
  • SDN Controller
  • Management and network orchestration (MANO)

More details on the various projects in each category are outlined in the book. For example, here is an excerpt on the OpenDaylight project:

OpenDaylight

Like OPNFV, OpenDaylight (ODL), is also a Linux Foundation project. It is a full blown modular SDN controller that caters to multiple use cases such as NFV, IoT, and enterprise applications. It supports numerous southbound interfaces to manage virtual and physical switches (OpenFlow, Netconf and other protocols). For the northbound interface to OpenStack or other orchestration layers, ODL uses YANG (a standard modeling language) models to describe the network, various functions, and the final state. The ODL community is large, with Brocade, Cisco, Ericsson, HPE, Intel, and Red Hat being just a few of the companies supporting the initiative.

In addition to integrating upstream projects, the OPNFV community plays a critical role by identifying carrier grade feature gaps, developing code to fill those gaps and contributing the code back to respective upstream projects. The book discusses 24 OPNFV feature development projects and groups them into the following four categories:

  • Service assurance and availability
  • Easing integration of upstream projects
  • Deployment and lifecycle management
  • Documentation and security

The book describes each of the 24 projects. For  example:

One of the more important feature development projects is OPNFV Doctor that provides an  NFV service assurance framework. As with other feature development projects, the OPNFV Doctor project develops and contributes service assurance features directly to the upstream projects, in this case OpenStack Congress, Nova, Neutron, and Cinder.

Want to learn more? You can check out the previous blog post that discussed the broader NFV transformation complexities  and how OPNFV solves an important piece of the puzzle, download the Understanding OPNFV ebook in PDF (in English or Chinese), or order a printed version on Amazon.

OPNFV Co-Hosts The Linux Foundation’s Inaugural Open Source Networking Days

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This post first appeared on Linuxfoundation.org

By: Arpit Joshipura

One of my primary goals at The Linux Foundation is to foster innovation across the entire open source networking ecosystem. This involves coordinating across multiple open source projects and initiatives and identifying key areas for collaboration to create an open source networking stack.

We are working across the entire ecosystem with industry-leading partners — from developers to service providers to vendors — to unify various open source components and create solutions that will accelerate network transformation. As part of this journey, I am pleased to introduce Open Source Networking Days (OSN Days), a series of free events that are hosted and organized by local user groups and The Linux Foundation members, with support from our projects, including DPDK, FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight, OPNFV, PNDA, and others.

OSN Days are a fantastic opportunity for network developers and users to learn how ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight  and other open source initiatives are changing NFV/SDN orchestration and networking solutions. Cities on the tour include: Paris, Milan, Stockholm, London, Tel Aviv, and Japan. Register today for an upcoming OSN Day in your region.

The day-long events will start with a plenary session where attendees will hear from site hosts and The Linux Foundation speakers on the state of the industry and the collaboration and touch points between projects that make up the open source networking stack. Presenters will also explore how business opportunities like 5G and IoT are enabled by network transformation.  In the afternoon, events may feature technical sessions, tutorials, demonstrations, and workshops that empower attendees to participate, contribute, and deepen their knowledge of open source networking.

Our first OSN Day kicks off October 9 in Paris, followed by stops in Milan (October 12), Stockholm (October 13), London (October 16), Tel Aviv (October 19), and Japan (October 19). Thanks to our incredible site hosts and sponsors: Amdocs, ATOS, Cloudify, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, NEC, Orange, Red Hat, SUSE, and Vodafone, along with our high-caliber roster of speakers, for helping to make these OSN Days a reality!

More details about the events, including site-specific agendas, registration info, and details on hotel and travel, can be found here: https://sites.google.com/linuxfoundation.org/osndays/home. If you have any questions, or would like to host an event yourself in the future, please email OSNDays@linuxfoundation.org.

OPNFV Intern Spotlight: Aakash Kt

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We have a thriving intern program and are pleased to welcome even more talented students to the OPNFV community! OPNFV interns work directly with the community and receive hands-on development experience in NFV. Each intern works closely with an active OPNFV developer as their mentor on a project that suited interest and community need. This blog series aims to showcase these interns and the projects they work on, the mentors who are helping with their professional development, and their experience working in an open source community to help  accelerate NFV.

If you are interested in becoming an OPNFV intern, please email internship@opnfv.org .

About Aakash (in his own words):
I am an undergraduate student at IIIT-H (International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India), pursuing a major in Computer Science. My research interest mostly lies in Computer Vision, and I am an undergraduate researcher at the CVIT lab at my university.

I am very much interested in NFV, especially OPNFV, since it is disrupting the networking world.

How did you hear about OPNFV and what got you interested in this internship?
I first heard about OPNFV from one of my university seniors. When I looked into this in more detail, I found it quite interesting. The idea of NFV is something unique, and something that has a lot of benefits. Wanting to be a part of this revolution, and learning all about it, was the thing that interested me most – in addition to the fact that I will get to work with such an amazing community!

Can you talk about your experience working on an open source project? Any previous experiences you can share or key learnings from working on OPNFV so far?
This is my first experience working in open source! I am grateful that my first dabble in open source is here with OPNFV. The vibe of the community and the interactions, and everyday opportunities for learning is hard to ignore. My experience here has been superb!

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your internship?
Apart from all the technical knowledge gained, I think the most important thing that I learned so far is how to work with a global team. My communication skills and ability to deliver my thought process and intentions clearly have vastly improved.

Who is your mentor and what’s the experience been like?
My mentor was Mr. Narinder Gupta and my experience with him has been phenomenal! His ability to look at a problem and analyse it in the right way is something that I admire. Interacting with him has taught me a lot, both in terms of technical knowledge and in terms of social skills.

What’s your advice to other aspiring open source folks out there?
Things may seem overwhelming at first, and it may seem like there are a lot of people talking about a lot of stuff which you have no clue about, but go on and be bold! Don’t be scared; ask questions if you do not know something. This is a  crucial step. Things will eventually fall into place, and then you, too, will talk about things you thought you never understood!

What gets you jazzed to work with open source? (e.g., listening to music, drinking coffee, chatting in IRC, etc.)?
I’d say listening to music.

Being in open source allows you to work from anywhere in the world and interact with lots of different people. What have you found most surprising about the open source developer community?
The helpful nature of everyone around, and the extent to which they offer help, is something I found extremely surprising. In a good way, of course!

What do you want to do next? What is your dream job?
Well, what I want to do next with respect to OPNFV is to keep contributing! On the dream job front, I have not yet decided that far ahead, but I am inclined towards research.

Book Preview, part 2: OPNFV’s Role in Network Transformation

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This post first appeared on LinuxFoundation.org

By Amar Kapadia

The Understanding OPNFV book takes an in-depth look at network functions virtualization (NFV) and provides a comprehensive overview of The Linux Foundation’s OPNFV project. In this article, we provide some excerpts from the book and discuss some organizational elements required to make your NFV transformation successful. These best practices stress how both technical and non-technical elements are required, with non-technical often being more critical.

According to the project’s website:

Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across various open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks.

As the demand for more robust and agile networks increases, organizations are looking to technologies such as NFV to bring the scale and flexibility of cloud architecture to networking. OPNFV is the only platform that builds and integrates elements — including functional support for Management and Orchestration (MANO) — across multiple end-to-end open networking stacks that meet the needs of end users to enable accelerated NFV.

What is OPNFV?

OPNFV is not a traditional software development project. Instead, OPNFV integrates a number of upstream projects and tests them. Of course, there is a software development component as well, but those contributions are to fill carrier-grade feature gaps in upstream projects. The project is organized around the following three pillars:

  • Integration: OPNFV integrates a variety of open source projects to address specific NFV requirements.
  • Testing: OPNFV tests the entire stack across a variety of NFV-specific parameters.
  • New features: For each upstream open source project, OPNFV serves as the vehicle for NFV requirements. By actively working upstream and providing a single voice for NFV requirements, OPNFV steers these open source projects to better serve the needs of NFV.

OPNFV is an integration project whose work involves testing, CI/CD, documentation, and more. If you are looking to deploy NFV across telco or enterprise networks using open source projects, consideration of OPNFV isa wise first step that could save significant time and effort when setting up and running integrated testing of open source components.

How to Benefit from NFV

When starting your NFV transformation journey, there are both technology changes and organizational changes to consider. Here are three new technology changes that organizations need to embrace to get the full benefit of NFV:

  • Model-driven architectures
  • DevOps
  • Cloud native virtual network functions (VNF)

Model-driven architectures convert manual infrastructure definitions and processes to code, allowing full automation of network service and VNF deployment, and subsequent day-2 monitoring and lifecycle management.

DevOps introduces continuous integration (CI), continuous testing, continuous deployment (CD), and continuous monitoring of VNFs.

Additionally, cloud native VNFs allow for faster development and the use of cloud architectures where reliable, scalable services can be built on powerful and economic, but sometimes unreliable industry standard hardware.

In this book, we also outline what organizational changes need to be put in place to effect the above three technology changes.

In planning your NFV transformation, you should consider the following best practices, based on the experience of other telecom operators. The concepts are explained in detail in the book.

  1. Clearly articulate goals.
  2. Build skills organically
  3. Agile instead of big bang
  4. Pace your journey
  5. Find use case
  6. Find executive sponsor
  7. Use dedicated teams
  8. Spread the knowledge

Why Consider OPNFV?

As you can see, NFV transformation is about process, organization structure, and skill set acquisition as much or more than it is about the technology. And, OPNFV is an unparalleled community with deep exposure to these aspects in addition to technology. OPNFV helps not only with technology, but also more broadly with the non-technical aspects of NFV transformation.

Intrigued? You can learn more in the previous blog that introduced NFV concepts, download the Understanding OPNFV ebook in PDF (in English or Chinese), or order a printed version on Amazon.