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Vendors join hands to foster open source NFV

Reference platform rather than standards

The Linux Foundation has added another string to its virtualisation bow, with the launch of OPNFV, its project for an open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) platform.

The project, here, comes with the obligatory roster of high-profile vendors backing it: AT&T, Brocade, Cisco, China Mobile, Huawei, IBM, Juniper and many others among them.

The aim is to create a reference architecture for “carrier-grade” NFV, the abstraction of opreations that usually reside on custom or merchant silicon into software objects built to run on VMs on standard usually Intel-based servers.

Rather than developing its own standards, OPNFV will be working with the ETSI group that's formulating NFV standards.

As the group explains in its launch announcement: “Service provider applications have different demands than most IT applications, so an open platform integrating multiple open source components and ensuring continuous testing for carrier-grade service performance is essential to this transition.”

The project says it will draw from existing NVF building blocks that exist, pulling them into a framework under which it'll “coordinate continuous integration and testing”. Its own code efforts will focus on filling gaps in the architecture rather than re-creating functions that already exist.

New components will ship under the Apache License Version 2.0.

Board officers include Verizon and HP veteran Prodip Sen as chair, AT&T's Margaret Chiosi, Dell's Wenjing Chu, and China Mobile's Hui Deng. ®

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