I am happy to say that last week the OPNFV community officially unveiled the ARNO release.
As one of the founding members of theOPNFV effort and an active participant in the Technical Steering Committee (TSC), I’ve been proud to be part of the progress of the OPNFV community and organization made to reach its first project release. The Project itself started as a loose collection of a few service providers and vendors who were interested in producing a reference implementation of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) system, as well as the NFV Orchestrator. Presumably these would be built from open source components as the organization was built on and governed by canonical open source treaties and agreements. Along the way, the organization would modify any of the components such as OpenStack, OpenDaylight or both, and then push changes upstream – or even maintain its own (hopefully temporary) forks of those projects. As a means of guiding this work, many had a common interest in the ETSI NFV framework, and this is where we thought we would first find common ground - or at least a guide for what to build.
As the conversations progressed and the organization matured, we realized that there were probably more fundamental issues that existed. For starters, some members did not bring traditional “coders” to the party, and so were having issues with how to advance their ideas. In other places we had implementers that came to the group and were discouraged at producing forked code, and instead were encouraged to work upstream. In other areas, service providers realized that while they would not necessarily bring coding resources, they brought important requirements, including deployment experience as well as the capabilities of providing the community with a realistic multi-vendor lab environment in which to test the organization’s outputs. To be honest, I don’t want to say that things were in a state of chaos, but they definitely were not heading in the direction of producing anything of tangible value to the wider community of users.
Fortunately we found the rudder of the OPNFV boat and steered things toward a goal. Fast forward a few months and these discussions resulted in a common understanding that we should really keep the first release simple – really simple – as simple as possible. Once we realized that we needed to focus on a simple release that could plausibly be described as the first of a series of steps to achieve the goal of a system that loosely reflects the ETSI NFV framework as well as the possibility of having an NFV Orchestrator and interoperable virtualized functions, things really began to move forward. A small team formed and mobilized itself with the single goal of building and delivering a package using a continuously built and tested paradigm. The team decided that it would build from the upstream OpenStack and OpenDaylight code bases. Other projects marched on in parallel, but they were not on the official ARNO release. These projects may be included in the future, depending on interest and progress.
At the present time the current ARNO release will allow a user to download and install two major components needed for a NFV ecosystem to function, which is a major milestone. These functions while seemingly simple are quite robust in their own right.
Going forward the OPNFV TSC is already planning the next release, its dependencies and desired key features. In terms of specific new features and functions, at a minimum OPNFV will likely include support for updated OpenDayliht and OpenStack versions, as well as perhaps some new MANO capabilities and enhanced support for hypervisors, including KVM. Additional input from service providers and network operators will further enhance the project and its outputs. To this end, several requirements and use case analysis projects are being booted up.
It’s worth noting these meetings and plans are publically open and anyone can participate, so I invite those with interests in using or contributing to this process to join the calls. The meeting details be found on http://wiki.opnfv.org.
So as you can see, I see that the future for OPNFV is bright and will continue to improve both in terms of functionality, but also its utility to the wider community. Brocade and I look forward to supporting these efforts going forward and witnessing the benefits of open source within the network.
You can download it at http://opnfv.org/arno, as well as find documentation and discussions around the release.