NFV Specs/Open Source

OPNFV Release Taking Longer Than Planned

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- NFV World Congress -- The Open Platform for NFV plans to ship its first release, dubbed "Arno," later in the spring, after missing a planned April release date, OPNFV director Heather Kirksey said Tuesday. (See OPNFV Set to Unveil First Code Release.)

"We were hoping to get it out in April. That was an aggressive deadline," Kirksey told Light Reading after a presentation describing Arno to a packed room of conference attendees. The deadline simply proved too ambitious for the work involved, including setting up labs, building a community, setting goals, deciding on initial components, designating build and integration tools, getting automated tool chains up and running, integrating components and more.

The delay is no indication of trouble, Kirksey said, noting that every software startup runs late.

Explaining OPNFV
OPNFV Director Heather Kirksey speaks at NFV World Congress.
OPNFV Director Heather Kirksey speaks at NFV World Congress.

"We put a flag on a hill, knowing we didn't necessarily know what we didn't know." Kirksey said.

Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. was founded seven months ago by the Linux Foundation , with the goal of delivering a carrier-grade open source reference architecture to speed up NFV deployment. (See Open NFV Group Uncloaks Its Platform Plan and PoCs Pave the Way for NFV.)

The primary focus for OPNFV is on the Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI), the pool of resources that virtual network functions (VNFs) and MANO software can draw on.

"I do believe that a wise man builds his house upon the rocks," Kirksey said during her presentation at the conference here Tuesday. "That is what we are looking to do as an organization." (See OPNFV Still Basic, 'Not Sexy' Yet.)

For OPNFV, that means getting the toolchain figured out, automating processes and building out community.

Release 1 of the OPNFV platform, or Arno, includes OpenStack, the KVM open source hypervisor, OpenDaylight and Open vSwitch, among other components.

Community labs are being set up around the world, from China to Europe and Silicon Valley, with a dozen companies announcing plans to build labs. "Our intent eventually is to have a robust, vibrant environment that we can do our testing on across different hardware environments and different hardware vendors," Kirksey says.

Initial projects include:

  • Bootstrap/GetStarted, producing initial automated build tools that work with each other.
  • FuncTest, providing functional testing.
  • Octopus/Continuous Integration
  • And documentation -- "anyone's favorite aspect of any project ever," Kirksey quipped. OPNFV is also building automated systems to create documentation.

Looking beyond Arno, OPNFV wants to be a "big tent" with multiple components. The organization has active projects around ONOS and OpenContrail SDN controllers as alternatives to OpenDaylight, and is looking to incorporate other storage and compute projects as well. (See Who Does What: SDN Controllers.)

OPNFV has more than ten projects in the pipeline, with names such as: Doctor, for fault management; Copper (as in, police) for policy management; and Promise, for resource reservation. "We're looking at the features we need in the platform going forward," Kirksey said.

The goal is to produce a hardware-agnostic platform, with software that can run in different environments, said Chris Pine, OPNFV Technical Steering Committee chair and OPNFV manager, SDN, NFV, cloud and open source technologies for Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC).

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That goal has made hardware development a time-consuming project, but once it's done it will be in "steady state," not needing "constant focus," Kirksey says.

Following the initial release, new releases will come out roughly on a six-month cycle.

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— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

Mitch Wagner 5/7/2015 | 12:29:26 PM
Re: Good to be aggressive Carol - Yes, they made a point of saying that much of the work they've been doing is getting the organization and process established. That kind of work only has to be done once, at the very beginning. After that it just needs to be tuned. 

And I agree: If they produce useful tools, no one will remember their initial release was a few weeks late. 

Also, the last day of spring is Saturday, June 20, in the northern hemisphere. :)
cnwedit 5/6/2015 | 10:54:51 AM
Re: Good to be aggressive Based on what I've heard from them on multiple occasions, a lot of what is absorbing time now is getting processes in place that enable teh going-forward work to go smoothly, and that makes sense. 

A delay now isn't significant, but if it turns into rolling delays, that's another issue. They are being very detailed in discussing the underpinnings and that's usually a good sign. 
[email protected] 5/6/2015 | 7:34:54 AM
Good to be aggressive I think it's good tos et  aggressive deadlines - it's a good catalyst.

What really matters is the result and how much use it is to the NFV community. 
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