OPNFV talks “open” with telcos and developers

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Dec 7, 2015

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The first ever OPNFV Summit was held in San Francisco last month, bringing together telcos, vendors and developers, and TelecomTV was there to capture the latest news and developments. As can be seen in our wrap-up video above with OPNFV director Heather Kirksey, it was a more relaxed affair than the majority of telecoms events, bringing the open source community into the telco fold, although there was a disappointing lack of hoodies on show and far too many suits.

Fun and games to one side though, attendees had some serious work and discussion to get through. Persuading all telcos that open NFV is the way to go is not an easy undertaking, giving the industry’s historical preference for proprietary solutions. For a start, there were multiple definitions of what “open” really represents, and then there was a growing realisation that we could be heading down a “hybrid” route, with open systems providing a platform on which telcos and vendors can innovate and deliver differentiated services.

This first event was over-subscribed, with over 700 attendees. Following the publication of the next OPNFV release in February, the second Summit is scheduled to take place in June in Berlin.

But for now, here are some of our video highlights of the first OPNFV Summit:

Prodip Sen of HP, Sandra Rivera of Intel, Margaret Chiosi of AT&T, and Chris Wright of Red Hat discuss where OPNFV is now and where it’s going, as we try to gauge the appetite for an Open Source framework approach to NFV. Where before there was often wariness and some scepticism, carrier representatives are now saying that they get it properly.

Wenjing Chu of Dell believes pure open source can build a commercial-grade deployment, but challenges will be apparent in the transition period, which he reckons should last around ten years.

Jacob Loveless, CEO of financial SaaS company Lucera, says that whilst “cloud” is a four letter word in financial services, “open” is not, and that the technology imperative is to find the value in best-of-breed solutions across the stack.

Martin Bäckström of Ericsson says that it's about an optimum mix of standards and open source code. Open NFV is the open source answer to the ETSI NFV standardisation work; then you create an adoption program to bring key open source code into the framework and create a uniform virtualisation layer for the telecoms industry. That's standards and open source working together.

Chris Wright of Red Hat and John Zannos of Cannonical discuss how they work with telcos, bringing “open” into “closed” networks. Increased utilisation, new competition and increased price pressure drives the need to provide commodity infrastructure and to lower costs. What is clear is that continuing to use systems that are closed and vertically integrated won’t get telcos into any position from which to fight the existential threat they currently face.

Miguel Dajer of Huawei discusses how OPNFV will provide the all-important reference platform for the "telco cloud type solution”.

To see our entire coverage of the OPNFV event, just click here.

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