But OPNFV director Heather Kirksey makes a logical argument for why that’s not the case. “At OPNFV, we’re not trying to build something new that competes with existing components,” says Kirksey. “We are trying to integrate all those components together.”
When she refers to “components,” she’s talking about code that comes from other open source groups such as OpenStack, KVM, ONOS, OpenContrail, Open vSwitch, and the OpenDaylight Project. In addition, OPNFV does end-to-end testing on the whole NFV platform from hardware, to virtual machines (VMs), to containers, to management software for compute, storage, and networking. OPNFV’s purview also extends to management and orchestration (MANO) and to service function chaining.
“We’re the only folks looking at testing end to end,” says Kirksey. “That’s where we add value.”
There are a lot of open source communities working on components of the NFV platform, but OPNFV is positioning itself as a systems integrator of all that open source work. “We work with anyone that’s working on a component that’s relevant to an end-to-end OPNFV platform,” she says. “OPNFV sees itself as an open source systems integrator. All these other groups are basically working on pieces. We’re trying to bring a little bit of order to some of that chaos.”
But what about vendors, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), that see themselves as NFV systems integrators? Or companies like AT&T, which wants to build an open source community around its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) platform?
According to Kirksey, many organizations are working on commercial NFV offerings and doing some level of integration. “The idea is that we can maybe solve 80 percent of the problem in the open, so that people don’t have to solve the exact same problem in their own silos on their own,” she says.
OPNFV is working on its third code release, named Colorado, after the river. It’s aiming for a late September release.
OPNFV has held two conferences so far, the first in San Francisco in November 2015; and the second in Berlin in June 2016. The group is planning its next conference for June 2017 in Beijing, China.