A Tale of Two Trips

Back in early January I went to Paris for the OPNFV + ONAP co-located plugfest, which is a group testing event where companies come together to test their products. For this plugfest, people were testing the Gambia release of OPNFV against different hardware configurations and working on integrating components of OPNFV and ONAP together. I'm currently an undergrad student at UNH majoring in CS and work on OPNFV at the lab. I had gone on a couple of trips previously with the lab, but this was my first trip to Europe and my first trip with my boss, Lincoln Lavoie (thank you for the free plane seat upgrades Lincoln!).

Nokia generously hosted the plugfest on their campus in Saclay, just outside of Paris. In between eating delicious French food and drinking tiny French coffees, people were doing a lot of great testing and interop between different networking projects at the event. I was there to do a different kind of testing, however. I was there to champion the new beta release of Lab as a Service (LaaS) that my team and I had spent months working on.

Lab as a Service is an open source Linux Foundation project my team works on at the lab that basically provides developers free access to hardware on demand. Our goal is to enable exactly the kind of work that was going on at the plugfest. We provide developers an environment that they can use to test their projects and integrate with others. I wanted to provide visibility for LaaS and collect feedback from and provide support to users.

By handing out access to hardware, we helped accelerate the integration work between OPNFV, ONAP, and their many sub-projects at the plugfest. I also got a lot of valuable feedback from users.

Armed with this user feedback, we got back to work polishing LaaS.

A couple months later, we were chosen by the Linux Foundation to give a demo on the now-finished LaaS at the Open Networking Summit in San Jose, California. This time the whole OPNFV developer team got to travel (yes, all two of us!). Sawyer Bergeron and I setup a booth where we could present our project to the community.

LaaS was no longer a beta project we wanted to gently introduce. We were there to show off the polished product Sawyer and I had created, and we did just that.

ONS is a very large conference, and we got a lot of traction presenting there. Sawyer and I were busy all week answering questions and working with the community. There were lots of people who wanted to use LaaS in their development workflow. A few companies also showed interest in donating resources and possibly participating in LaaS by hosting hardware. We even attracted a few people interested in developing on LaaS! Open source is pretty cool, and opportunities to interface with the community in this way is invaluable.

I have greatly enjoyed growing this project from the ground up. It has been hard work, but seeing the impact we have on the open source developer community is amazing. I want to sincerely thank the Linux Foundation for putting on these event, and Lincoln for sending me to so many.

I am very grateful for the experiences like these that I can have thanks to the IOL. I never thought that I would be able to travel around the world as a college undergrad and have so many people interested in something that I have built! The IOL has empowered me to work on interesting projects with industry professionals and the experience I have gained along the way is invaluable.