OPNFV “Danube” upgrade looks to spur open source NFV expansion

OPNFV Danube brings together full next-gen networking stacks in an open, collaborative environment

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Looking to drive the use of Network Functions Virtualization, the OPNFV project this week released the fourth version of its open source platform, known as Danube, that promises to help large organizations and service providers get a better handle on virtualization, SDN and cloud services.

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Heather Kirksey, director, OPNFV said Danube melds a ton of work that has been done around NFV and brings DevOps methodologies to NFV. “It brings together full next-gen networking stacks in an open, collaborative environment. By harnessing work with upstream communities into an open, iterative testing and deployment domain, we’re delivering the capabilities that truly enable NFV,” Kirksey said.

The purpose of OPNFV was not to create a separate platform for NFV, but to integrate NFV features across the stack while identifying gapsa role that, with Danube, is clearly taking shape, the group stated.

Kirksey said one of the key features of Danube was the integration with OpenStack Gluon which lets customers offer NFV networking services on-demand among other things. The idea is to less tightly couple compute and network systems so you can more easily swap in and out various network control mechanisms such as SDN controllers or native Neutron and Open Virtual Network.

Other key enhancements available in OPNFV Danube include:

  • Foundational support and introduction of capabilities for MANO (Management and Orchestration) in the form of integration between NFV Infrastructure/Virtual Infrastructure Manager (NFVI/VIM) with Open-Orchestration (Open-O) platform (now ONAP); instrumentation of NFVI network telemetry to support Service Assurance and other use cases; multi-domain template support (Domino project); and translation features between YANG and Tosca modeling languages (Parser project). In February, The Linux Foundation, where the OPNFV project lives, said that it had combined open source ECOMP and the Open Orchestrator Project into ONAP, the Open Networking Automation Platform, with the aim of helping users automate network service delivery, design, and service through a unified standard.
  • 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.
  • Improved NFV performance including acceleration of the data plane via FD.io integration for all Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding (FastDataStacks project), and continued enhancements to OVS-DPDK and KVM.
  • The release also sees a renewed focus on performance test project activities through virtual switch testing, root cause analysis for platform performance issues, initial compute subsystem performance testing to lay the groundwork for Benchmarking As a Service, and storage subsystem performance testing.  
  • Feature enrichment and hardening in core NFVI/VIM features such as IPv6, Service Function Chaining (SFC), L2 and L3 Virtual Private Network (VPN), fault management and analysis, and a continued commitment to support multiple hardware architectures, as well as traditional hardware OEMs, whitebox, and open source hardware through collaboration with the Open Compute Project.

The OPNFV group said its next release, dubbed ‘Euphrates,’ will expand MANO support via collaboration with ONAP to integrate the ECOMP and Open-O code base as it matures, the cross-community CI/CD model will be enhanced, and the platform will include a focus on VNF interoperability and application enablement.

OPNFV will also continue to improve native support for LXC/LXD andKubernetes. Additionally, the project will be building out analytics capabilities through integration with both the PNDA and ONAP projects.

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