OPNFV Nearing Commercial Deployment

The somewhat long-awaited report on OPNFV's December Plugfest emerged this morning, revealing no major surprises but taking some steps forward on integration with other open source projects, namely the Open Compute Project and Open Orchestrator.

It also signals a stage where the OPNFV Project's software platform could be ready for commercial deployment -- dates for which the organization is not setting directly. "We'll defer to the vendors on that," says Heather Kirksey, OPNFV director. But she expects to start collecting deployment data this year. Queries to a couple of the involved vendors have not yet produced responses, but stay tuned.

"We are starting to get to a point where people can start running some real services on these deployments," she says. "From an ease of deployment perspective, we have certainly overcome some issues."

The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab, and even upgraded the version of OpenStack on which its initial Sun release was based to successfully test integration for OPNFV's Colorado release.

That lays the ground for integrated MANO -- management and network orchestration -- capabilities in the upcoming OPNFV Danube release, says Kirksey. She says the organization is happy to work with other open source MANO groups -- including ECOMP and Nokia and Huawei.

"This is the first time we've tried to run OPNFV on OCP and we were able to do that," Kirksey says. "The Open-O folks made a lot of progress on Open-O integration with the NFV-I stuff we have been doing."

One major feature of the plugfest was running OPNFV's Colorado release on multiple commercial hardware systems including multi-site deployment -- in addition to the three on-site hardware vendors, there were connections to four other labs that are part of OPNFV's Pharos Project lab infrastructure. Those included Intel facilities for x86 hardware, an ARM-based lab at ENEA, a Huawei lab in China and an NEC lab in Germany.

Proving OPNFV can run on multiple commercial systems was one aspect of the plugfest and the fact that two of those were OCP-based was also significant, Kirksey says. In particular, working to make fault management run on OpenStack in the Colorado release and get that supported on both x86 and ARM machines was important.

Kirksey says there weren't significant issues around OpenStack for the OPNFV plugfest, a fact she attributed to the constant updating of OpenStack versions within the project, making version control less of an issue.

There were also opportunities for OPNFV's Dovetail Project, which is developing its testing framework, and Functest team, which is its functional testing unit, to run various tests on the multiple platforms, the results of which are on the OPNFV blog.

According to Kirksey and Lincoln Lavoie of UNH-IOL, there were few surprises or major bugs and those that were found were addressed directly as part of the plugfest.