& cplSiteName &

Open NFV: The World Cup of Confusion?

Carol Wilson

What's as topical as World Cup soccer this summer and, to me at least, sometimes as hard to follow?

That would be the growing significance of open source in the NFV space, no question. But who exactly is driving the open source bus? That may be as hard to determine as the exact moment that a soccer game will end.

You see, a number of folks are vying for the prime spot in the driver's seat of open source NFV, and by "folks," I mean organizations as well as individual people.

The global service providers that launched NFV chose European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as the vehicle for that effort, and those same companies seem to have designated the Linux Foundation as home to the Open NFV process. (See Will Carriers Step Up to Open Challenge? and Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?)

The success of that process, however, will depend on whether those same large service providers buy into the OpenNFV, and whether they can drag the major software and hardware vendors along with them.

A number of those vendors are incorporating open source into their own solutions and at least talking about being "open," for what that's worth. The TM Forum is working on extensions of its existing network management frameworks and service definitions, although it has yet to find a central role for its work in the overall process.

Even Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is getting in on the act (although in a significantly different way), offering to share its work in developing network configuration data and network topology models with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for open comment and development leading to standardization. (See Google to Open Key Network Models for Industry Comment, Standardization.)

Meanwhile, there are efforts afoot elsewhere: CIMI Corp. President Tom Nolle unveiled another one today, with his ExperiaSphere architecture. Interestingly, Nolle contacted the Linux Foundation in advance of his announcement to pursue possible sharing, but says he didn't get a response. (See Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management.)

He also briefed the leadership of the ETSI group and of the Open Networking Foundation , and says he did find interest there. It would not surprise me to find some elements of Nolle's work popping up early in the OpenNFV discussion.

The general goal remains the same for everyone involved: figure out how to apply open source to the serious challenge of managing and orchestrating virtual networks so that ultimately, NFV and SDN can live up to their potential as faster and more efficient providers of services.

I suspect that if I get to write a "what I did with my summer" essay in September 2014, it will be all about tracking the movement of NFV/SDN into the open source space. If you have thoughts to share on destinations I should pick on that journey -- and by destinations I mean people to whom I should speak -- please share.

Oh, and if you have thoughts about the benefits of "stoppage time" in international soccer, please keep them to yourself. By the end of the World Cup, I'll either understand it or stop caring.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/27/2014 | 1:56:44 PM
Open NFV: The World Cup of Confusion?
@kdilbeck570, agreed, the adoption will define the market.  That makes sense that a suite that provides interoperability and optimizes NFV will become the winner.  The result of such a standard should further unleash the markets.

Note:  Like your USA fever!  (the soccer laws turn in favor of USA again)
User Rank: Light Beer
6/27/2014 | 1:43:33 PM
Re: Open HFV: The World Cup of Confusion?

Good question, from my point of the jury is still out. Adoption will be the deciding factor. Which open source group wins the minds of the developers?  OpenDaylight with the engineering muscle and corporate backing would be hard to count out at this point.

It is likely that the solution wil emerge as a merging of a number of the current efforts in order to provide the complete suite of interoperable functionality required to fully realize NFV.

User Rank: Light Sabre
6/26/2014 | 3:42:15 PM
Re: Open NFV: The World Cup of Confusion?
Mitch, that's a great question.  I am hoping Tom Nolle is in search of a compatible open network.

Re:  World Cup - agreed - after we catch on to WC, we can attempt to crack the intricacies of cricket!
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/26/2014 | 3:15:44 PM
Re: Open HFV: The World Cup of Confusion?
Are we looking at several competing open source implementations for NFV, or can they be compatible.

I hope to one day understand the World Cup. I've given up on cricket. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 9:14:33 PM
Re: Open HFV: The World Cup of Confusion?
Carol, don't have answers, just comments to your excellent description of the Open NFV Maze! 

I would put my money on Tom Nolle and the possibility of his success in linking with Linux - that sounds like a promising platform.  At least he has the right concept that it will require more than everyone designing their own.

? - Will any of the IoT players fit into this maze?

PS - No answers to World Cup either.

More Blogs from Rewired
AT&T pulls back from offering Gigapower customers a chance to protect their privacy for a price, even as FCC considers making it mandatory.
Don't worry, they say, the code will work it out. There's apparently nothing open source can't tackle.
Level 3 finds enterprise security managers who believe firewalls can save them are getting some nasty surprises.
At one moment in Denver this week, the three largest US operators were very agreeable to the idea of open sourcing APIs to make business easier.
AT&T's former security guru is taking his expertise to a much broader audience – and this time he's giving it away.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
Wednesday, November 30, 1:00PM EST
SDN & the Software Defined Data Center
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
OneAccess NFV Solutions

10|26|16   |   5:30   |   (0) comments

Antoine Clerget, CTO of OneAccess, discusses how his company has expanded its product line from enterprise-class routers to include a universal virtualized CPE as well as a suite of VNFs to help telco customers evolve to an NFV future.
LRTV Custom TV
The Journey Toward Carrier-Grade WiFi

10|26|16   |   3:39   |   (0) comments

In this Light Reading interview, Dave Sperling, CTO at Smith Micro Software and active participant of the WBA's policy working group, discusses the need for carrier-grade WiFi. Technical and business challenges slowing the fulfillment of this goal are addressed, as well as management strategies that will enable communication service providers to optimize end user ...
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE BBWF Highlights

10|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

At BBWF 2016, ZTE showed a broad range of innovative technologies that are kick-starting an ultrafast broadband journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Sprint: Revenue up 3%, Capex Will Rise Again
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.