Category

Blog

XCI: How OPNFV Slashed Upstream Integration from Months to Days

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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

By | Blog

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.

Book Preview: Understanding OPNFV

By | Blog

This post originally appeared on Linux.com

By Amar Kapadia

If telecom operators or enterprises were to build their networks from scratch today, they would likely build them as software-defined resources, similar to Google or Facebook’s infrastructure. That’s the premise of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

NFV is a once in a generation disruption that will completely transform how networks are built and operated. And, OPNFV is a leading open source NFV project that aims to accelerate the adoption of this technology.

Are you a telecom operator or connected enterprise employee wondering which open source projects might help you with your NFV transformation initiatives? Or a technology vendor attempting to position your products and services in the new NFV world? Or perhaps an engineer, network operator or business leader wanting to progress your career using open source projects (case in point, in 2013 Rackspace stated that network engineers with OpenStack skills made, on average, 13 percent more salary than their counterparts)?  If any of this applies to you, the Understanding OPNFV book is a perfect resource for you.

OPNFV BookIn 11 easy-to-read chapters and over 144 pages, this book (written by Nick Chase from Mirantis and me) covers an entire range of topics from an overview of NFV, NFV transformation, all aspects of the OPNFV project, to VNF onboarding. After reading this book, you will have an excellent high-level understanding of what OPNFV is and how it can help you or your organization. This book is not specifically meant for developers, though it may be useful for background information. If you are a developer looking to get involved in a specific OPNFV project as a contributor, then wiki.opnfv.org is still the best resource for you.

In this blog series, we will give you a flavor of portions of the book — in terms of what’s there and what you might learn.

Let’s start with the first chapter. Chapter 1, no surprise, provides an introduction to NFV. It gives a super-brief overview of NFV in terms of business drivers (the need for differentiated services, cost pressures and need for agility), what NFV is and what benefits you can expect from NFV.

Briefly, NFV enables complex network functions to be performed on compute nodes in data centers. A network function performed on a compute node is called a Virtualized Network Function (VNF). So that VNFs can behave as a network, NFV also adds the mechanisms to determine how they can be chained together to provide control over traffic within a network.

Although most people think of it in terms of telecommunications, NFV encompasses a broad set of use cases, from Role Based Access Control (RBAC) based on application or traffic type, to Content Delivery Networks (CDN) that manage content at the edges of the network (where it is often needed), to the more obvious telecom-related use cases such as Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and IP Multimedia System (IMS).

Additionally, some of the main benefits include increased revenue, improved customer experience, reduced operational expenditure (OPEX), reduced capital expenditures (CAPEX) and freed-up resources for new projects. This section also provides results of a concrete NFV total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) analysis. Treatment of these topics is brief since we assume you will have some NFV background; however, if you are new to NFV, not to worry — the introductory material is adequate to understand the rest of the book.

The chapter concludes with a summary of NFV requirements — security, performance, interoperability, ease-of-operations and some specific requirements such as service assurance and service function chaining. No NFV architecture or technology can be truly successful without meeting these requirements.

After reading this chapter, you will have a good overview of why NFV is important, what NFV is, and what is technically required to make NFV successful. We will look at following chapters in upcoming blog posts.

This book has proven to be our most popular giveaway at industry events and a Chinese version is now under development! But you can download the eBook in PDF right now, or order a printed version on Amazon.

Communications Service Providers increasingly using OPNFV for NFV Deployments

By | Blog

By Sandra Rivera, Vice President and General Manager, Network Platforms Group at Intel Corporation, and OPNFV Marketing Committee Chair

During the recent OPNFV Summit in Beijing, we announced the results of our third Heavy Reading survey, aimed at gauging value of OPNFV as well as the state of NFV deployments among global communications service providers (CSPs). The highlights of the findings are provided in slides, which were presented by Heavy Reading analyst Roz Roseboro in a session during the event, but we would like to provide some additional insight into what we’re seeing this year as the industry evolves.  

Digging deeper into the survey data  was telling: While the importance of OPNFV to CSPs overall has increased over the past year, it’s become even more important for those organizations with NFV already in production70% of those surveyed, in fact. And most of those with NFV in production (86%), are actively following OPNFV, with many (64%) contributing to the project. Note: more than half of all contributors work at companies with NFV in production. Importantly, nearly a third of CSPs with NFV in production have plans to adopt an OPNFV stack as part of their NFV architecture. This tells us is that the work we’re doing is valuable and is being used in commercial solutions across the globe.

Evidence of this is also seen in a shifting interest in NFV technologies (particularly open sourced) that goes beyond software and into hardware. The Open Compute Project (OCP), which aims to apply the benefits of open source to hardware, ranked as the most  important upstream project to the OPNFV community (in addition to OpenStack and SDN controllers). This signifies a turning point; it’s an indication that NFV is getting closer to deployment as CSPs acknowledge the importance of open source hardware designs to the success of NFV implementation. This also means that the efforts we’ve made in the OPNFV community to work more closely with OCP over the past year, are paying off. In fact, OPNFV was successfully deployed on OCP hardware for the first time during our Colorado Plugfest last December held at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Labs. To that end, OCP has a strong role in the full end-to-end open source network stack, which was discussed at the Big Communications Event in Austin as part of our OPNFV workshop earlier this year.  

The survey data also reaffirms another key aspect of OPNFV: DevOps. It’s still in the early stages, but DevOps will play a critical role in the success of NFV and this is recognized by 80% of the CSPs we surveyed, with several are either already evaluating various toolchains or working on automation and testing infrastructure. The numbers of those currently building Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) pipelines, or pushing out daily automated patches is lower, but recognition of the importance of DevOps and the role it will play to create a truly integrated pipeline for NFV is encouraging.

All in all, we see the steady adoption of NFV across CSP networks.  Our community is making meaningful strides as an integral player in accelerating the deployment and commercialization of NFV solutions in the market, enabled by the innovation and commitment of our growing community and our upstream integration partners. You can access the Heavy Reading survey slide presentation here, and view Roz’s session video from the Beijing OPNFV Summit here.

 

OPNFV Compliance Verification Program

By | Blog

By Wenjing Chu, Distinguished Engineer and Senior Director of Open Source and Standards at Huawei

In the late 80’s, I was a college student studying computer science in the northwestern suburb of Beijing, where horse driven carts could still be seen on the quiet streets and most of the city’s residents commuted via bikes and buses. The city’s transformation since then has been unprecedented and astonishing. This phenomenal development has been credited by many economists to the simple fact that ideas and products produced by one group of creative people can be used by other groups around the world with minimal friction. When a good idea becomes a common platform, it taps into an ecosystem’s power of creativity, efficiency and economies of scale. It was therefore quite fitting that the OPNFV community recently gathered in Beijing for the third-annual OPNFV Summit.

Recognizing the importance of a common platform based on open source technologies, the OPNFV Board of Directors began discussions to define a compliance testing program not long after the project’s formation. Soon after, the Dovetail project was started to implement and realize such a program by leveraging the entire OPNFV community’s efforts in many fronts, including infrastructure, testing and feature projects. The goal of OPNFV compliance testing is to reduce adoption risk of commercial OPNFV-based infrastructure by decreasing complexity and cost of testing product capabilities and interoperability. 

Formation of the CVP

In December of 2016, the Board of Directors approved the Compliance Verification Program (CVP) Guidelines as a governance document outlining strategy and the overall scope. At the Beijing Summit, the OPNFV community announced to the public   the CVP and our intent to launch the program in the second half of 2017. Through this program, products will obtain OPNFV compliance verification signifying that the product:

  • Supports key behaviors, functions, and related APIs of the OPNFV release
  • Implements certain mandatory and optional NFV functions
  • Supports interoperability between an infrastructure built on the compliant products and applications designed to run on that infrastructure
  • Is a good candidate for more extensive testing by the operator for further trials in an operator network

Verified products submitted by respective vendors are expected to differentiate themselves with extra features and capabilities, better performance, or nicer user interfaces,  but remain compliant by implementing explicitly defined interfaces, behaviors, and key features.

The First CVP Test Suite: Based on Dovetail 

As an open source community-driven project, the test scope and automation toolset will evolve over time by contributions from the active OPNFV and upstream communities, with crucial requirements and feedback from many of the world’s service providers, standardization organizations and other end users. The Dovetail project leverages the prior work from a wide range of community projects, including Openstack refstack; OPNFV Pharos; OPNFV testing projects Functest and Yardstick; OPNFV feature projects HA, IPv6, and SDNVPN; and the entire OPNFV community through their work creating and testing scenarios that produce diverse configurations. The first release of the CVP test suite is being developed based on features and interfaces found in Danube and previous releases. Currently, it covers:

  • Cloud capabilities
  • VNF lifecycle basic functions
  • Carrier network capabilities
  • Service availability

The CVP envisions that applicants can use the toolset developed in the Dovetail project to self-test or to utilize the service of third-party testing organizations that use the Dovetail toolset. These processes and guidelines are also under development by the community. 

OPNFV Delivers Common Test  Methodology

Vendors–even if their products are based on open source–all use different versions and configurations in a plethora of combinations. This diverse and complex set of differing configurations seen across the industry can be problematic and is often seen as impeding the adoption of open source based solutions in NFV. The OPNFV community is actively working with service providers to bring a common test methodology and test automation toolset, and a common reference validation set, for evaluating suitability of commercial products from service provider lab testing. This is the vision we’re working to realize through the Compliance Verification Program.

For all in the community, from vendors, to service providers, to end users, we invite you to learn more about the CVP and the Dovetail project that is driving its implementation, and invite you to contribute to this community effort. This is an excellent opportunity to help define the test cases that are most valuable to you.  A Chinese proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Today, our community is making this important first step towards our shared success in NFV.

For information on how to join this effort, please reach out to info@opnfv.org and watch the below presentation from OPNFV Summit: “Introducing the OPNFV Compliance Verification Program.”