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OPNFV Heads Down Colorado Trail

Carol Wilson
9/26/2016

OPNFV today issued its third software release, ending the agonizing six-month period in which folks had to pronounce and spell Brahmaputra. (See OPNFV Issues Third Software Release.)

This latest release continues the river theme but is sensibly named Colorado: It has other advantages as well, namely support for key features such as security, IPv6, service function chaining (SFC) testing, virtual private networks and more.

In addition, Colorado is laying some key groundwork for what lies ahead as the industry comes to terms with the MANO (management and network orchestration) dilemma, says Heather Kirksey, Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. 's executive director.

"Our first release was very NFVi [network functions virtualization infrastructure] focused," she says. "The last release started adding in features with input from our upstream communities, and testing those. With this release, we have made some advances in some of those features and platforming, and we are seeing lot more going on in the MANO space."

Kirksey says Colorado also more firmly established the way it works with upstream groups -- for now OpenStack and OpenDaylight -- so it is better able to work with and alongside the proliferation of open source MANO groups. Two of those groups, OPEN-Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) and Open Baton, have brought projects forward that will be part of the next release, to be named Danube, Kirksey says.

"We also have things more generically in support of MANO... around models, for instance, we have a project called Parser which is involved in translating between YANG and Tosca for provisioning," she notes.

The core feature upgrades closely map to user interests, starting with security, that were revealed in a Heavy Reading survey conducted earlier this year. With Colorado, OPNFV has earned the Core Infrastructure Initiative Badge for best practices in open source development. That recognizes the organization's attention to details such as security audits and vulnerability management, in accordance with Linux Foundation best practices. "There are 12 patches specifically in this release that were focused on security improvements," Kirksey says. (See OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways.)

OPNFV's security project called Moon is prototyping around identity federation and management, and that is being channeled upstream to OpenStack and ODL, she adds.

Other core feature upgrades include: SFC across multiple nodes and installer support for VNF management installation and enhanced clouds; improved IPv6 support; and full support for both x86 and ARM architectures.

With this release, SFC is extended to more encapsulation types, notes Chris Price, chair of technical steering committee, OPNFV, and Open Source Manager for SDN, Cloud & NFV at Ericsson. The current version supports ODL, but ONOS controllers will also soon be supported.

The SDN VPN project now enables full Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN support including BGP peering.

"In Brahmaputra, we did a lot of initial feature realization, and this time we really made that richer and exposed additional capabilities that network services will want to take advantage of," he comments.

Another sign of the maturity of the process is enhanced testing capabilities, Price adds. "We have done a lot of work around improving test coverage, improving test reporting, and structuring the test better in the automation chain," he says. "There are a lot of things as a community around fundamental stuff that enables us to continue to march forward -- supporting new features and supporting additional upstream communities."

Multiple MANO efforts
OPNFV is prepared to play a role in helping advance open source MANO efforts, say both Kirksey and Price, although not necessary in picking a winner or loser among the groups, which at this point include OPEN-O, Open Source MANO Community (OSM) , and ECOMP, in addition to Open Baton, an effort being conducted in European research facilities.

"There are a number of projects which are providing capability to the functions -- service function chaining is another one which delivers directly into that MANO space," Price says. "And until these MANO projects are actually delivering and integrating actively with OPNFV... [it's] hard for us to say, 'Yes it works and no it doesn't.' During the Danube release, we will see that the newly formed projects that represent the integration of these upstream MANO components will start to exercise these capabilities [and] will start to feedback into [OPNFV] and there will be interactions between the groups."

Kirksey says OPNFV is well positioned now, both in its methods for working with other open sources groups and in its own DevOps continuous integration continuous deployment (CICD) processes, to be able to work with and alongside open source MANO groups in moving the whole effort forward faster.

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

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Alison_ Diana
Alison_ Diana
9/26/2016 | 12:54:47 PM
Re: Collaboration
More collaboration is a good thing - and something that's definitely needed among both open source groups and vendor ecosystems. End customers don't particularly care about those; they want to use X, Y and Z vendors' products and want A, B or C service provider to make sure they all work together. As we all know, the days of buying a package of solutions are over. It's best-of-breed, regardless of the developers' relationships.
TeleWRTRLiz
TeleWRTRLiz
9/26/2016 | 12:31:06 PM
Collaboration
Since OPNFV has "more firmly established" the way it works with other groups, I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend -- the more the groups splinter the more they must collaborate and then we'll see consolidation of groups overall?
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