OPNFV issues its fourth release, Danube

Danube River
OPNFV Danube is introducing key architectural components and evolutionary improvements to enable accelerated NFV.

The OPNFV Project announced the availability of its fourth platform release, OPNFV Danube, representing an evolutionary turning point for OPNFV.

The release, named after Europe's second-largest river, brings together full next-generation networking stacks in an open, collaborative environment, according to Heather Kirksey, director of OPNFV. “By harnessing work with upstream communities into an open, iterative testing and deployment domain, we’re delivering the capabilities that truly enable NFV, and that is very powerful,” she said in a press release.

One of the key enhancements in OPNFV Danube is the introduction of capabilities for Management and Orchestration (MANO). That involves the integration between NFV Infrastructure/Virtual Infrastructure Manager (NFV/VIM) with the Open-Orchestration (Open-O) platform, now ONAP.

By way of background, the Linux Foundation announced back in February the merger of open source ECOMP and Open-O, creating the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project, which OPNFV is working with now. ONAP is designed to allow end users to automate, design, orchestrate and manage services and virtual functions. Members of ONAP include AT&T and China Mobile, for example.

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Other Danube features include enhanced DevOps automation and testing methodologies for a fully integrated CI/CD pipeline, the creation of Lab-as-a-Service to enable dynamic provisioning of lab resources, the introduction of stress testing into the OPNFV test suite and a Common Dashboard that provides a consistent view of the testing ecosystem.

The OPNFV is a bit different than some other groups that are more focused on delivering code for specific parts of the stack. “It’s not that we’re opposed to creating code ourselves,” Kirksey told FierceWirelessTech, but right now it’s focused on taking an end-to-end, big-picture view to enable actual use cases that all those pieces of code are trying to enable.

Kirksey said OPNFV has done a great job getting the R&D groups from the telecom ecosystem better and more productively engaged with various open source components, but the next goal is more about figuring out how to “operationalize” that within the network operations, including operational and business support. Those processes will look different in a software-based environment, which can enable a lot more agility and the introduction of more innovation more quickly, as well as more application development, but it’s going to take some evolution both among people and technology.

The next OPNFV release, labeled Euphrates, will expand on the MANO support via collaboration with ONAP to integrate the ECOMP and Open-O code base as it matures. It will also focus on VNF interoperability and application enablement.