SAN JOSE, California — Disaggregation of hardware and software has created interest in open source at both layers of networks. But in an acknowledgement that these layers still need to work together, yesterday, the Linux Foundation Networking (LFN) group and the Open Compute Project (OCP) announced they plan to collaborate to harmonize hardware and software.
“The leader in open hardware, OCP, and the leader in open source software, the Linux Foundation, are coming together to provide an end-to-end stack,” said Arpit Joshipura, LFN’s general manager.
The Linux Foundation’s OPNFV project already integrates OCP hardware into relevant network functions virtualization (NFV) reference architectures. And OPNFV and OCP have been collaborating on activities such as plugfests and joint demos. For example, at a December 2016 plugfest, OPNFV tested some of its software on OCP-based servers and switches provided by Lenovo and Nokia.
“The OCP has been quite successful at disaggregating traditional IT gear and creating vanity free ingredients,” said Bill Carter, chief technology officer of OCP, in a statement. “It is now time to carefully select the ideal hardware and software ingredients to re-integrate into efficient solutions. The work being done by OPNFV is a key piece of that re-integration.”
“We are first allowing our communities to collaborate,” said Joshipura at yesterday’s summit. “We have to provide a set of testing that is a collaboration between hardware and software.”
In addition to its ongoing work with OPNFV, the OCP will work with LFN to create new open networking features, more scalability, greater harmonization with switch network operating systems, and increased interoperability for NFV.
In the longer term, the two groups want to make it easy for users to select the silicon, hardware, software, and management and network orchestration (MANO) that best suits their use cases. Joshipura added, “It’s mandatory to automate networks before 5G and IoT.”