In September 2014, the Linux Foundation announced another open source reference platform — the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) which aims to be a carrier-grade, integrated platform that introduces new products and services to the industry more quickly. OPNFV will work closely with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI or ETSI NFV) and others to press for consistent implementation of open standards.
The Linux Foundation, the non-profit known for its commitment to an open community, hosted the OpenDaylight Project in April 2013 to advance software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). The project was created as a community-led and industry-supported open source framework. SDN and NFV together are part of the industry’s transition toward virtualization of networks and applications. With the integration of both, significant changes are expected in the networking environment.
OPNFV will promote an open source network that brings companies together to accelerate innovation, as well as market new technologies as they are developed. OPNFV will bring together service providers, cloud and infrastructure vendors, developers, and customers in order to create an open source platform to speed up development and deployment of NFV.
Diagram of OPNFV
Open Platform for NFV Project Goals and Objectives
Not only will OPNFV put industry leaders together to hone NFV capabilities, but it will also provide consistency and interoperability. Since many NFV foundational elements already are in use, the organization will help with upstream projects to manage continued integration and testing, as well as address any voids in development.
In the initial phase, the group will focus on building NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM). Other objectives include:
- Create an integrated and verified open source platform that can investigate and showcase foundational NFV functionality
- Provide proactive cooperation of end users to validate OPNFV’s strides to address community needs
- Form an open environment for NFV products founded on open standards and open source software
- Contribute and engage in open source projects that will be influenced in the OPNFV reference platform
With platinum-level contribution, 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 companies are: 6WIND, Alcatel-Lucent, ARM, CableLabs, Cavium, CenturyLink, Ciena, ClearPath, ConteXtream, Coriant, Cyan, Dorado Software, Ixia, Metaswitch Networks, Mirantis, Orange, Sandvine, Sprint, and Wind River.
OPNFV will license new components under the Apache License Version 2.0, and the governing power of OPNFV will rest in the hands of a Board of Directors and Technical Steering Committee, much like the OpenDaylight Project. Although governing power will remain with OPNFV, ETSI NFV ISG requirements and its architectural framework will strongly influence OPNFV.