Common NFVI, Conformance and Verification, Xtesting, and Testing/CI

OPNFV Hunter Logo

Current Release: Hunter 8.0

Hunter represents a turning point as OPNFV evolves from primarily building NFV reference platforms to taking the lead on a common NFVI stack in collaboration with the GSMA and several global network operators. During the Hunter cycle, the OPNFV Verification Program enjoyed continued growth and scope expansion to include VNF verification for ONAP. The OPNFV test and CI tools, used in NFV pipelines at operators such as Orange and China Mobile, saw across the board improvements in test coverage and scope. OPNFV also continues to collaborate closely with upstream communities with notable developments around C-RAN, hardware acceleration, edge computing, and cloud native NFV initiatives.

Architecture

Learn about the OPNFV architecture on the Technical Overview page.

Key Features

OPNFV Hunter includes several new enhancements around integration, testing, and cross-community collaboration.

Integration and Test Projects

OPNFV continues to make progress on the Cross-Community CI Pipeline (XCI) initiative to ensure users have rapid access to the latest upstream innovation and that upstream projects get timely feedback from NFV users.

  • The Cross-Community Continuous Integration (XCI) initiative pioneered a Continuous Delivery release process in OPNFV to ensure access to the latest stable code from upstream projects to OPNFV users. Before this process, users would get access to upstream code anywhere from a few weeks to a few months old. The CD process has successfully been embraced by 16 projects in the Hunter release. Additionally, XCI will also be used to create an open source implementation of a common NFV infrastructure specification that is being developed in collaboration with the GSMA and the Common NFVI Telco Task Force. This stack will dramatically reduce the effort CSPs and VNF vendors expend in verifying VNFs against different NFVI platforms. Additionally, it will also help expand the OVP program to verify VNFs with a common NFVI independent of the MANO layer.
  • OPNFV now also offers a test framework, Xtesting, that assembles dispersed test cases to accelerate CI/CD adoption and can be used to test non-OPNFV components as well. The effort eases building of a CI/CD toolchain for NFV stack components in addition to NFVI/VIM from initial tests to full end-to-end service testing.
  • The Lab as a Service (LaaS) has now been made easier and more efficient to use with the ability to book an entire POD as opposed to the previous server-by-server reservation.
  • The Pharos project continues to make progress on specifying an edge POD that will be lighter than the current 6-node POD. Given the constrained real-estate in edge locations, this effort will provide reduction of precious footprint.

The OPNFV test projects continue to pack new features and offer CSPs with an easy way to build an internal CI pipeline that can in-turn accelerate their operation journey.

  • Functest used for functional testing, includes support for OpenStack Rocky and k8s v1.13.5, parallelization of multiple test case execution resulting in faster runs, and the ability to execute Functest on constrained platforms, e.g. Raspberry PI.
  • Yardstick, used for performance testing, includes additional support for k8s testing, easy-to-use reports, and expanded support for test tools, e.g. TRex, PktGen, and IxNextGen. Yardstick also includes expanded test cases that improve the testing of L3FWD for OVS-DPDK, SRIOV, vBNG PPPoE, numerous functions of VPP IPSec, and others.
  • Bottlenecks, used for stress and longevity testing, has added AI-based historical test results analysis to predict failures in subsequent test runs. Bottlenecks enhancements also include monitoring while testing is in progress.
  • VSPerf, used for virtual switch performance characterization, incorporated new test cases and test tools to support causation analysis, and visibility into live metrics during test runs. The release also supports analysis automation and expanded test collection metrics including OVS DPDK core mapping and interrupt latencies and logging during test runs.
  • NFVBench, used for NFVI data plane performance testing, includes support for VXLAN-based OpenStack deployments, upgrade to TRex v2.56, along with bug fixes. Starting with this release, NFVBench can run with non-admin credentials as well.
  • SampleVNF, that provides open source VNF approximations, includes PROX traffic generator performance optimization and latency reduction to enable better NFVI characterization.

Cross-community Collaboration

Since its inception, OPNFV has been actively collaborating with upstream projects to bring the vision of a common NFVI to fruition. Some of the activities during the Hunter cycle have been:

  • C-RAN: A new project relating to performance measurement for Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) VNF was added in Hunter release. This use case further builds towards the vision of a common NFVI that will provide openness, agility, cost reduction, and innovation. A typical C-RAN solution involves complex data plane packet processing functions with stringent latency, jitter, and bandwidth requirements. This project exercises C-RAN VNFs, initially OpenAirInterface, and analyzes the performance characteristics with respect to a common NFVI. The C-RAN project in Hunter offers needed binaries and documentation to successfully build the project environment. This project is very complementary to the O-RAN Software Community (O-RAN SC) in that it provides performance testing.
  • Rocket: Also a new project, Rocket aims at improving virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) VNF performance through hardware acceleration. As performance is directly proportional to NFV economics, this project could help reduce the cost of NFV deployments. The project is working on GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP) offload process interfaces to establish optimal hardware-software partitioning. The Rocket project in Hunter contains documentation about the GTP offloading process interface and API definitions. OPNFV Rocket actively collaborates with the OpenStack Cyborg project.
  • Other Enhancements: The Hunter release includes container-based undercloud services in the Apex installer and improvements in IPv6 support and service function chaining (SFC). In the journey towards cloud native, the Container4NFV project added support for Kata Containers and container security for the edge. The root cause analysis project, Doctor has been working on non-disruptive infrastructure upgrades and faster alarm generation (27x faster than that of Nova reset server state API). The  Doctor team works closely with the OpenStack Felix project. Finally, the Barometer project improved user experience with updates to one-click installer and continues to provide valuable NFVI telemetry to projects such as ONAP.

The next OPNFV release, Iruya, is targeted for Q4 2019.