SK Telecom, Korea Telecom, Spirent join OPNFV

The Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), a Linux Foundation collaborative project, announced several new members and introduced Heather Kirksey as director of NFV.

Kirksey is a telecom industry veteran who did solutions marketing for the IP division at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and has participated in numerous standards activities. The OPNFV's newest members include SK Telecom, Korea Telecom, Spirent, Enea and Xilinx.

Kirksey previously worked at the Broadband Forum, where she helped create and launch TR-069, served as BroadbandHome Technical Working Group chair, as well as oversaw collaborative activities with ATIS, 3GPP, OSGi, ITU-T, OMA, IETF, Small Cell Forum, UPnP Forum, Home Gateway Initiative and other groups.

"It's an exciting time to be designing network-based services, but these services have added layers of complexity to deployment," she said in a blog post. "As I've watched NFV get its legs under it conceptually I've been incredibly interested in its ability to attack that ever-burgeoning complexity. Software continues to eat the world, and as it comes for the network, an incredible transformation is underway--one that will allow the network to be more agile and more responsive to the demands of applications."

"This is going to be an incredibly important year for NFV," she added. "We've seen the industry create some important architectural concepts and use cases through the work at ETSI NFV and OPNFV is excited to deliver its first release to help form the foundation for NFV."

The OPNFV Project was launched at the end of September with the intention of creating an open source reference platform for NFV. The member base now totals 49. Founding operator members include AT&T (NYSE: T), CableLabs, China Mobile, DoCoMo, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, among others.

"Faster adoption of NFV is critical to prepare the next generation of mobile networks and 5G architectures and to facilitate the NFV ecosystem," said Alex Jinsung Choi, chief technology officer at SK Telecom, in a press release. "We are eager to collaborate with the OPNFV community to advance the implementation of NFV in the industry."

OPNFV is similar to Linux distributions in that it will work with "upstream" open source projects like OpenDaylight, OpenStack, Open vSwitch and the Linux kernel to integrate and test existing code. OPNFV joins other Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects like OpenDaylight (networking), AllSeen Alliance (Internet of Things), OpenBEL (life sciences) and Yocto Project (embedded development). (By the way, OPNFV says its software release names will be river-themed.)  

Last month, ETSI's NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) announced it had successfully completed Phase 1 of its work with the publication of 11 ETSI Group Specifications. Those specs were built on the first release of ISG documents published in October 2013 and include an infrastructure overview, updated architectural framework and descriptions of the compute, hypervisor and network domains of the infrastructure. They also cover management and orchestration, security and trust, resilience and service quality metrics, ETSI said.

NFV and software-defined networking (SDN) are on the minds of a lot of industry professionals these days. Starting late last year and leading up to Mobile World Congress (MWC) in March, Argus Insights has been keeping track of conversations about NFV and SDN on social media and elsewhere, like job postings.

Going back to late November, Argus research shows conversations about these two topics dipped over the holidays and slowed down on weekends, but the conversations didn't stop during those times, said John Feland, CEO and founder of Argus Insights, in a recent webinar. Brocade grabbed significant SDN mindshare right after it announced it was offering its Vyatta controller to users for free for a year, but that buzz quickly dropped off, he said.

For more:
- see this press release
- see this blog post

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