PProdip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and board chair, OPNFV, will deliver keynotes at the OPNFV Summit titled “Transforming Service Provider Networks Via Open Source and Open Ecosystem”
Sen: HPE is a founding member of OPNFV, and I have been personally involved since its conception. A year after the formation of the ETSI NFV ISG in late 2013, several of us who had helped create the ISG felt that we needed an industry-wide effort that accelerated implementation and adoption of NFV. We started to look into open source as an option and eventually formed OPNFV in 2014. HPE is involved in several projects in OPNFV focusing on carrier-grade features and life-cycle management. With its long history and leadership in open source, HPE builds several of its products and solutions on open source. In particular, our cloud virtualization and management platform Helion OpenStack(HOS) is based completely on OpenStack. Moreover, our NFV Platform, HPE NFV System, includes a carrier-grade version of HOS – Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade. Our involvement and contributions to another open source project, OpenDaylight, is worth mentioning here as well. HPE’s current SDN offerings for CSPs are anchored on an OpenDaylight- based controller.
What is your perspective on the evolving relationships among standards, open-source, and vendors? What could each of these do better?
Sen: For many years, the Telecom industry has relied on the activities and outputs of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to facilitate interoperability among vendor products and solutions. This typically resulted in a long process over several years, at the end of which true interoperability was never achieved and required further effort to interpret the standards and continue interoperability testing. We see open source development as a much shorter path to achieving standardization and implementation, while providing CSPs with best-of-breed solutions. One way we can leverage the strengths of both SDOs and Open Source Organizations (OSOs) to create a cooperative rather than competitive environment, is by standards bodies adopting lightweight processes and shorter cycles to create requirements, architecture frameworks and common terminology. Open source organizations should then make explicit efforts to adopt these, and demonstrate how the software they create meets the requirements identified by the SDOs.
What new technology or trend in the networking space are you most interested in and why?
Sen: The use of containers in cloud-based systems and the use of Analytics to analyze, operate and eventually automate networks are general industry initiatives that are very important to the successful deployment of SDN and NFV based solutions in service provider networks. Both of these areas address the issues of scale and complexity in service provider networks.
What do you see as hurdles to broad industry adoption of NFV?
Sen: The use of NFV, and more generally the cloudification of carrier networks, requires changes in how operators design, operate and use their networks. This means CSPs need to make changes to processes and organizations, if they are to take advantage of all the benefits made possible by the NFV approach. The time it takes to understand, implement and absorb these changes are the main hurdles to broad industry adoption.
Please give us a preview of what you’ll be sharing on-stage at OPNFV Summit 2016.
Sen: I will be talking about why both open source and open ecosystems of vendors are crucial to the successful transformation of service provider networks, and about how HPE is using open source and leveraging its partner ecosystem, to build its NFV and SDN platforms and solutions.