Telecom industry and vendors form Open Platform for NFV Project

New network functions virtualisation platform is designed to accelerate Cloud-based delivery models for operators, enable interoperability and accelerate standards through an open source reference implementation

Telecom industry and vendors form Open Platform for NFV Project

The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today (30 September 2014) announced the founding of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV). OPNFV will be a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform intended to accelerate the introduction of new products and services.

Platinum-level founding members include AT&T, Brocade, China Mobile, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, NEC, Nokia Networks, NTT DOCOMO, Red Hat, Telecom Italia and Vodafone.

Silver-level founding members include 6WIND, Alcatel-Lucent, ARM, Broadcom, CableLabs, Cavium, CenturyLink, Ciena, Citrix, ClearPath Networks, ConteXtream, Coriant, Cyan, Dorado Software, Ixia, Metaswitch Networks, Mirantis, Orange, Sandvine, Sprint and Wind River.

"Open source code has been proven to accelerate innovation and time to market for new technologies," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

"The Open Platform for NFV will bring together providers, cloud and infrastructure vendors, developers and users alike to define a new type of reference platform for the industry, integrating existing open source building blocks with new components and testing that accelerates development and deployment of NFV. We are excited to host this important industry initiative that will provide a common foundation for the future of networks," said Zemlin.

Network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) are part of the overall industry shift towards network and application virtualisation. Together they are expected to dramatically change the networking landscape, allowing providers to deliver new services to their customers more quickly, while significantly reducing both operating and capital expenditures.

These technologies bring both cloud computing and Information Technology (IT) capabilities and benefits into the telecom industry, enabling new levels of flexibility and business growth opportunities for providers.

Service provider applications have different demands than most IT applications, so an open platform integrating multiple open source components and ensuring continuous testing for carrier-grade service performance is essential to this transition.

OPNFV will establish a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform that industry peers will build together to advance the evolution of NFV and ensure consistency, performance and interoperability among multiple open source components.

Because multiple open source NFV building blocks already exist, OPNFV will work with upstream projects to coordinate continuous integration and testing while filling development gaps.

OPNFV is expected to increase performance and power efficiency; improve reliability, availability and serviceability; and deliver comprehensive platform instrumentation.

The initial scope of OPNFV will be on building NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and virtualised infrastructure management (VIM) leveraging existing open source components where possible.

The initial project objectives are to:
•    develop an integrated and tested open source platform that can be used to investigate and demonstrate core NFV functionality
•    include proactive participation of leading end users to validate that OPNFV meets the needs of the end user community
•    contribute to and participate in relevant open source projects that will be leveraged in the OPNFV reference platform
•    establish an open ecosystem for NFV solutions based on open standards and open source software
•    promote OPNFV as the preferred open reference platform.

While not developing standards, OPNFV will work closely with ETSI's NFV ISG, among others, to drive consistent implementation of standards for an open NFV reference platform. When open source software development is aligned with standards development, it can root out issues early, identify resolutions and become the de facto codebase, resulting in a far more economical approach to platform development.

OPNFV will license new components under the Apache License Version 2.0 and will work within the licensing requirements of upstream projects in order to contribute code back to these projects.

A Board of Directors and Technical Steering Committee (TSC) will govern the initiative. The Board will be made up of representatives from member companies and will set the business direction and scope of the project. The TSC will also provide technical governance and leadership for the project.

Board officers for OPNFV include:
•    Prodip Sen, board chair (HP)
•    Margaret Chiosi, president (AT&T)
•    Wenjing Chu, secretary (Dell)
•    Hui Deng, treasurer (China Mobile).

OPNFV is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

By spreading the collaborative DNA of the largest collaborative software development project in history, The Linux Foundation provides the essential collaborative and organizational framework so project hosts can focus on innovation and results.

To learn more about OPNFV and start contributing today, please visit:



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