A Big Community Mobilizes Around NFV and OpenStack
As September ended, the Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Project, a group comprised primarily of telecom operators working across open source projects and vendors to implement Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) within their organizations. News has also steadily arrived from Red Hat about its work to drive Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and telecommunications technology into OpenStack.
Very quickly, Network functions virtualization NFV is becoming synonymous with OpenStack, and organizations deploying OpenStack will want to become familiar with it.
Telecom companies have traditionally had a lot of proprietary tools in the middle and at the basis of their technology stacks. NFV is an effort to combat that, and to help the parallel trends of virtualization and cloud computing stay as open as possible.
After the OpenStack Summit in May, an NFV community team formed to accelerate development around NFV-specific features. Red Hat has collaborated with eNovance, a leader in the open source cloud computing market, to drive NFV and telecommunications features into OpenStack.
As Opensource.com notes, NFV is an effort to rethink the architecture of data centers:
"This is the telco industry re-imaging their data centers as elastic infrastructure clouds running their 'network functions' as virtualized, horizontally scalable applications on these clouds...These huge telcos want to rebuild their entire data centers with OpenStack and open source? Yes."
Indeed, as NFV and OpenStack progress in development, a larger and larger open community is rallying behind them, and that community is getting boosts from big players like Telefonica and Red Hat. Could NFV and OpenStack effectively rip out the proprietary infrastructure found in network deployments at many organizations? They could.
As the OpenStack Foundation notes:
"The open, modular and interoperable framework of the OpenStack project simplifies software. This flexibility is apparent in the OpenStack Networking component that features drivers and plug-ins from numerous leading telco vendors. Working through a project like OpenStack Networking, users do not have to worry about altering their APIs or modifying code if they decide to switch the underlying implementation technology. Much of the early interest surrounding NFV also led to updates in the OpenStack Compute component to meet the demanding requirements of the world’s leading operators."
We'll continue watching NFV and the OPNFV project. The OpenStack Foundation will also be hosting panels on NFV in Paris November 3 – 7.