NFV veterans form new industry group

The Linux Foundation, the organisation behind OpenStack and the OpenDaylight Project, has today announced the launch of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV). The project will focus on accelerating the introduction of new products and services through an integrated, open source, carrier-grade reference architecture for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

NFV, alongside its much-hyped sibling, software defined networking (SDN), is expected to bring added service delivery capabilities for telcos and service providers, which will enable new levels of flexibility, agility and growth opportunities. The Linux Foundation claims that an open platform integrating multiple open source components with the ability to conduct perpetual performance testing is essential for the transformation from physical to virtualized infrastructure.

The group is founded with the support of NFV veterans, including former Verizon director Prodip Sen, now of HP, and Margaret Chiosi of AT&T who both take up board positions for the project. Founding companies include Dell, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Networks from the vendor community, global operators including CenturyLink, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Sprint, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, and more than 20 other supporting organisations.

“Open source code has been proven to accelerate innovation and time to market for new technologies,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “The Open Platform for NFV will bring together providers, cloud and infrastructure vendors, developers and users alike to define a new type of reference platform for the industry, integrating existing open source building blocks with new components and testing that accelerates development and deployment of NFV. We are excited to host this important industry initiative that will provide a common foundation for the future of networks.”

It is important to note that, at this stage, OPNFV will not specifically be developing standards for NFV, and instead with work closely with ETSI’s NFV ISG to ensure tighter industry-wide standards adoption and implementation of an open NFV reference architecture.

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The most recently elected Chairman of ETSI’s NFV ISG, Dr. Steven Wright of AT&T, was full of praise for the initiative, and was open in declaring that the group will be supporting OPNFV.

“I congratulate the OPNFV founders on the formation of this new open source community supporting NFV,” he said. “The NFV ISG’s mission is to facilitate the industry transformation and development of an open, interoperable, ecosystem through specification, implementation and deployment experience. The ISG recognizes the value of open source implementations to converge industry requirements and facilitate the development of the NFV ecosystem. I look forward to the future releases of the integrated open source infrastructure platform from OPNFV.”

In what has been a busy start to the week for the Linux Foundation, the OpenDaylight Project also announced the launch of their second open source release for SDN and NFV control, Helium.

With such large and frequent strides being taken in the development of both software defined networking and network functions virtualization, it is of little surprise that proponents of the technologies, such as Telefonica, are now intimating at forthcoming releases of live services based on virtualized architectures.

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