In open source community projects focused on mid-stream test and integration activities such as Open Platform for Network Function Virtualization (OPNFV), the second release is one of the hardest milestones to accomplish. For any first open source release, the focus is on gathering a community of interested participants to do “something.” Quoting Eric Raymond, first releases start with a group of engineers wanting to “scratch an itch.”
Second releases are critical because they are an indicator of whether the “something” has become meaningful and valuable, and therefore, can scale by attracting an increasing community of contributors and users. In addition, they provide an early view into the maturity of the collaboration of the project, when the project is challenged to “walk the talk” of its core mission. From the generating documentation and test procedures to creating marketing engagement with community members and, of course, delivering and mapping out software against a user’s unmet needs, the second release is no small task to pull off successfully. To paraphrase Andy Grove, “Second releases are the true inflection point in an open source project, when communities and their users change the way they think and act.”
I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the OPNFV community on the accomplishment of this inflection point! Intel is actively engaged in a number of open source initiatives worldwide, especially in the Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) arena. For OPNFV, we have focused our contributions on seven key sub-projects; Fuel@OPNFV, kvm4nfv, ovsnfv, vsperf, Fastpathmetrics (Platform Service Assurance), Doctor and Yardstick. We also invested in a Pharos community lab to work with other OPNFV community members to provide a federated test bed infrastructure for OPNFV projects and to characterize the superior performance of NFV solutions on the latest Intel® Architecture platforms. We believe all these projects are delivering important value to Communications Service Providers to accelerate the deployment of complex NFV use cases such as virtual Customer Premises Equipment (v-CPE) and virtual IP Multimedia Subsystem (vIMS).
Releasing Brahmaputra is also a perfect point in time to reflect on the future of OPNFV, ahead of the short-term focus on the Colorado release. Of course, the expansion of OPNFV beyond the NFV infrastructure (NVFI) layer represents exciting new opportunities to complete the NFV stack north of the Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) as well as in the fast datapath space. At this year’s Mobile World Congress, I had an opportunity to blog and speak about two new important initiatives in this space, Open Source Mano (OSM) and FD.io. In addition, Intel continues to fully align the Intel® Open Network Platform with upcoming OPNFV releases to deliver additional time savings when creating viable NFV reference platforms and to demonstrate the enhanced capabilities Intel Architecture delivers to the NFV ecosystem.