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software defined networking

Wendy Cartee, Nick McKeown, Guru Parulkar, and Chris Wright discuss the first 10 years of software defined networking at Open Networking Summit North America.

In 2008, if you wanted to build a network, you had to build it from the same switch and router equipment that everyone else had, according to Nick McKeown, co-founder of Barefoot Networks, speaking as part of a panel of networking experts at Open Networking Summit North America

Equipment was closed, proprietary, and vertically integrated with features already baked in, McKeown noted. And, “network management was a dirty word. If you wanted to manage a network of switches, you had to write your own scripts over a lousy, cruddy CLI, and everybody had their own way of doing it in order to try to make their network different from everybody else’s.”

All this changed when Stanford University Ph.D. student Martin Casado had the bold idea to rebuild the Stanford network out of custom-built switches and access points, he said.

Separate Planes

“Martin just simply showed that if you lift the control up and out of the switches, up into servers, you could replace the 2,000 CPUs with one CPU centrally managed and it would perform exactly how you wanted, could administered by about 10 people instead of 200. And you could implement the policies of a large institution directly in one place, centrally administered,” said McKeown.

That led to the birth of The Clean Slate program and, shortly afterward, Kate Green from MIT Technology Review coined the term Software Defined Networking (SDN), he said.

“What seemed like a very simple idea, to just separate the control plane from the forwarding plane, define a protocol that is OpenFlow, and enable the research community to build new capabilities and functionality on top of that control plane … caught the attention of the research community and made it very, very easy for them to innovate,’’ said Guru Parulkar, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation.

On the heels of that came the idea of slicing a production network using OpenFlow and a simple piece of software, he said. In one slice you could run a production network, and in another slice you could run an experimental network and show the new capabilities.

The notion of the segregating of the control plane and the data plane brought about a whole new way of doing networking as it became open, along with the intersection of open source and SDN, noted moderator Wendy Cartee, senior director of marketing, Cloud Native Applications, at VMware.

“Building all of this new virtualization technology and bringing it into enterprises and to the world at large, created a need for a type of network programmability” that was happening as the same time as the research, noted Chris Wright, vice president and CTO, at Red Hat. That brought about open source tools like Open vSwitch, “so we could build a type of network topology that we needed in virtualization.”

Confluence of Events

In the beginning, there was much hype about SDN and desegregation and OpenFlow, Wright said. But, he continued, it’s not about a particular tool or a protocol, “it’s about a concept, and the concept is about programmability of the network, and open source is a great way to help develop skills and advance the industry with a lot of collaborative effort.”

There was a confluence of events: taking some core tenets from research, creating open source projects for people to collaborate around and solve real engineering problems for themselves, Wright said. “To me it’s a little bit of the virtualization, a little bit of academic research coming together at just the right time and then accelerated with open source code that we can collaborate on.”

Today, many service providers are deploying CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) because operators want to rebuild the network edge because 5G is coming, Parulkar observed.

“Many operators want to [offer] gigabit-plus broadband access to their residential customers,” he said. “The central offices are very old and so building the new network edge is almost mandatory.” Ideally, they want to do it with new software defined networking, open source, desegregation and white boxes, he added.

The Next 10 Years

Looking ahead, the networking community “risks a bit of fragmentation as we will go off in different directions,’’ said McKeown. So he said it’s important to find a balance, and the common interest is in creating production quality software from ODL, ONS, CORD, and P4.

The overall picture is that “we’re trying to build next-generation networks,’’ said Wright. “What’s challenging for us as a broad industry is finding the best-of-breed ways to do that … so that we don’t create fragmentation. Part of that fragmentation is a lack of interoperability, but part of that fragmentation is just focus.”

There is still a way to go to realize the full potential of SDN, said Parulkar. But in 10 years’ time, predicted Wright, “SDN20 will be really an open source movement. I think SDN is about unlocking the potential of the network in the context of applications and users, not just the operators trying to connect … two different, separate end points.”

Wright suggested that audience members change their mindset and grow their skills, “because many of the operational practices that we see today in networks don’t translate into a software world where things move rapidly. We [need to] look at being able to make small, consistent, incremental changes rather than big bang, roll out changes. Getting involved and really being open to new techniques, new tools and new technologies … is how, together we can create the next generation. The new Internet.”

ONAP and OPNFV training sessions offered onsite at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles will help you integrate open source into your NFV/SDN deployments.

If you are attending ONS, you know the value of open source projects. You know they are going to play a critical role in your ongoing or upcoming SDN/NFV transformation. Open source projects have become very successful in the enterprise space and they are poised to do the same in the communications service provider (CSP) arena.

In fact, several CSPs are already taking advantage of open source. Orange and China Mobile have used OPNFV continuous integration (CI) pipeline and testing projects to create an NFV onboarding framework within their organizations. Orange uses OPNFV for NFVI and VIM validation, VNF onboarding and validation, and network service onboarding. China Mobile uses OPNFV for their Telecom Integrated Cloud (TIC) to continuously integrate, onboard and test NFVI, VIM and VNFs; and full network service onboarding and testing using OPNFV is on their roadmap. In a nutshell, OPNFV tooling can drastically improve your NFV journey.

That leads to a question—how can you learn more about these projects, determine their value for your specific environment and map out your organization’s next steps? Certainly, you can review online materials on your own. However, if you are like me and learn best when another human being is providing or explaining the material starting with the basics, at an unhurried pace, then the ONAP and OPNFV training sessions offered onsite at Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles are something to consider. These training courses will empower you to integrate open source into your NFV/SDN deployments.

ONAP, the Open Network Automation Platform, provides network service design/lifecycle management and service assurance, and could serve as the centralpoint of your SDN/NFV efforts. Not only can ONAP fully automate network services, it can also help standardize VNF onboarding/validation, network service design, and analytic applications.

OPNFV, the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), creates reference architectures by integrating SDN/NFV-related open source projects, extensively tests the stack and fills feature gaps in upstream projects. OPNFV can be used to create reference stacks, validate and onboard VIM/NFVI/VNFs and establish interoperability. The OPNFV CI pipeline can also help organizations with cultural transformation to DevOps processes.

By taking either the ONAP or OPNFV course, you can learn deeply about the project, its components, and benefits to your organization. Both courses have two flavors —half day and full day. If your interest is mostly to get information, the half-day course is ideal. If you want to get your hands dirty, take the full-day course. All attendees will receive the same material in the morning. After lunch, full-day attendees will return and start hands-on labs. The OPNFV full-day course will take you through OPNFV deployment, Functest, and Yardstick testing projects. The ONAP full-day course will take you through ONAP deployment using OOM along with virtual firewall (vFW) network service creation and runtime. The labs are simple to follow but do require some basic Linux knowledge (i.e., command-line interface, elementary Linux commands including vi/vim, etc.)

If you will be at ONS and are interested in these areas, I encourage you to extend your stay through Friday and add a training course to your registration here.

Sign up to get the latest updates on ONS NA 2018!

open source networking

Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed open source networking trends at Open Source Summit Europe.

Ever since the birth of local area networks, open source tools and components have driven faster and more capable network technologies forward. At the recent Open Source Summit event in Europe, Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed his vision of open source networks and how they are being driven by full automation.

“Networking is cool again,” he said, opening his keynote address with observations on software-defined networks, virtualization, and more. Joshipura is no stranger to network trends. He has led major technology deployments across enterprises, carriers, and cloud architectures, and has been a steady proponent of open source.

“This is an extremely important time for our industry,” he said. “There are more than 23 million open source developers, and we are in an environment where everyone is asking for faster and more reliable services.”

Transforming telecom

As an example of transformative change that is now underway, Joshipura pointed to the telecom industry. “For the past 137 years, we saw proprietary solutions,” he said. “But in the past several years, disaggregation has arrived, where hardware is separated from software. If you are a hardware engineer you build things like software developers do, with APIs and reusable modules.  In the telecom industry, all of this is helping to scale networking deployments in brand new, automated ways.”

Joshipura especially emphasized that automating cloud, network and IoT services will be imperative going forward. He noted that enterprise data centers are working with software-defined networking models, but stressed that too much fragmented and disjointed manual tooling is required to optimize modern networks.

Automating services

“In a 5G world, it is mandatory that we automate services,” he said. “You can’t have an IoT device sitting on the phone and waiting for a service.” In order to automate network services, Joshipura foresees data rates increasing by 100x over the next several years, bandwidth increasing by 10x, and latencies decreasing to one-fifth of what we tolerate now.

The Linux Foundation hosts several open source projects that are key to driving networking automation. For example, Joshipura noted EdgeX Foundry and its work on IoT automation, and Cloud Foundry’s work with cloud-native applications and platforms. He also pointed to broad classes of open source networking tools driving automation, including:

  • Application layer/app server technologies
  • Network data analytics
  • Orchestration and management
  • Cloud and virtual management
  • Network control
  • Operating systems
  • IO abstraction & data path tools
  • Disaggregated hardware

Tools and platforms

Joshipura also discussed emerging, open network automation tools. In particular, he described ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform), a Linux Foundation project that provides a comprehensive platform for real-time, policy-driven orchestration and automation of physical and virtual network functions that will enable software, network, IT and cloud providers and developers to rapidly automate new services and support complete lifecycle management. Joshipura noted that ONAP is ushering in faster services on demand, including 4G, 5G and business/enterprise solutions.

“ONAP is one of the fastest growing networking projects at The Linux Foundation,” he said, pointing to companies working with ONAP ranging from AT&T to VMware.

Additionally, Joshipura highlighted OPNFV, a project that facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks. He noted that OPNFV now offers container support and that organizations are leveraging it in conjunction with Kubernetes and OpenStack.

To learn more about the open source tools and trends that are driving network automation, watch Joshipura’s entire keynote address below:
Additionally, registration is open for the Open Networking Summit North America. Taking place March 26-29 in Los Angeles, its the industry’s premier open networking event that brings together enterprises, carriers and cloud service providers across the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of Open Source Networking.

Learn more and register now!

open source networking

Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed open source networking trends at Open Source Summit Europe.

Ever since the birth of local area networks, open source tools and components have driven faster and more capable network technologies forward. At the recent Open Source Summit event in Europe, Arpit Joshipura, Networking General Manager at The Linux Foundation, discussed his vision of open source networks and how they are being driven by full automation.

“Networking is cool again,” he said, opening his keynote address with observations on software-defined networks, virtualization, and more. Joshipura is no stranger to network trends. He has led major technology deployments across enterprises, carriers, and cloud architectures, and has been a steady proponent of open source.

“This is an extremely important time for our industry,” he said. “There are more than 23 million open source developers, and we are in an environment where everyone is asking for faster and more reliable services.”

Transforming telecom

As an example of transformative change that is now underway, Joshipura pointed to the telecom industry. “For the past 137 years, we saw proprietary solutions,” he said. “But in the past several years, disaggregation has arrived, where hardware is separated from software. If you are a hardware engineer you build things like software developers do, with APIs and reusable modules.  In the telecom industry, all of this is helping to scale networking deployments in brand new, automated ways.”

Joshipura especially emphasized that automating cloud, network and IoT services will be imperative going forward. He noted that enterprise data centers are working with software-defined networking models, but stressed that too much fragmented and disjointed manual tooling is required to optimize modern networks.

Automating services

“In a 5G world, it is mandatory that we automate services,” he said. “You can’t have an IoT device sitting on the phone and waiting for a service.” In order to automate network services, Joshipura foresees data rates increasing by 100x over the next several years, bandwidth increasing by 10x, and latencies decreasing to one-fifth of what we tolerate now.

The Linux Foundation hosts several open source projects that are key to driving networking automation. For example, Joshipura noted EdgeX Foundry and its work on IoT automation, and Cloud Foundry’s work with cloud-native applications and platforms. He also pointed to broad classes of open source networking tools driving automation, including:

  • Application layer/app server technologies
  • Network data analytics
  • Orchestration and management
  • Cloud and virtual management
  • Network control
  • Operating systems
  • IO abstraction & data path tools
  • Disaggregated hardware

Tools and platforms

Joshipura also discussed emerging, open network automation tools. In particular, he described ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform), a Linux Foundation project that provides a comprehensive platform for real-time, policy-driven orchestration and automation of physical and virtual network functions that will enable software, network, IT and cloud providers and developers to rapidly automate new services and support complete lifecycle management. Joshipura noted that ONAP is ushering in faster services on demand, including 4G, 5G and business/enterprise solutions.

“ONAP is one of the fastest growing networking projects at The Linux Foundation,” he said, pointing to companies working with ONAP ranging from AT&T to VMware.

Additionally, Joshipura highlighted OPNFV, a project that facilitates the development and evolution of NFV components across open source ecosystems. Through system level integration, deployment and testing, OPNFV creates a reference NFV platform to accelerate the transformation of enterprise and service provider networks. He noted that OPNFV now offers container support and that organizations are leveraging it in conjunction with Kubernetes and OpenStack.

To learn more about the open source tools and trends that are driving network automation, watch Joshipura’s entire keynote address below:
Additionally, registration is open for the Open Networking Summit North America. Taking place March 26-29 in Los Angeles, its the industry’s premier open networking event that brings together enterprises, carriers and cloud service providers across the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of Open Source Networking.

Learn more and register now!

Open Networking Summit

Speak at the largest open networking and orchestration event of 2018.

The Linux Foundation has just opened the Open Networking Summit North America (ONS NA) 2018 Call for Proposals, and we invite you to share your expertise with over 2,000 technical and business leaders in the networking ecosystem. Proposals are due by 11:59pm PT on Jan. 14, 2018.

Over 2,000 attendees are expected to attend ONS North America 2018, taking place March 26-29 in Los Angeles, including technical and business leaders across enterprise, service providers, and cloud providers. ONS North America is the only event of its kind, bringing networking and orchestration innovations together with a focus on the convergence of business (CIO/CTO/Architects) and technical (DevOps) communities.

Sign up to get the latest updates on ONS NA 2018!

Open Networking Summit NA conference tracks will include the following topical areas:

Track 1: (General Interest) Networking Futures in IoT, AI, and Network Learning. Including discussions on the progress in standards and open source interworking to drive the industry forward. We’re also seeking topics on networking as it relates to Kubernetes, cloud native, network automation, containers, microservices, and the network’s role in connected cars and connected things.

Track 2: (General Interest) Networking Business and Architecture. We’re looking for proposals on how to effectively evaluate the total cost of ownership of hybrid (public/private, SDN/NFV + traditional, proprietary/open source) environments, including acquisition strategies and good cost models for open source solutions. We’re also interested in case studies of open source business models for solution providers.

Track 3: (Technical) Service Provider & Cloud Networking. We want to hear what you have to say about the containerization of service provider workloads, multi-cloud, 5G, fog, and edge access cloud networking.

Track 4: (Business & Architecture) Service Provider & Cloud Networking. We’re seeking proposals on software-defined packet-optical, mobile edge computing, 4G video/CDN, 5G networking, and incorporating legacy systems (legacy enterprise workload migration, role of networking in cloud migration, and interworking of carrier OSS/BSS/FCAPS systems).

Track 5: (Technical) Enterprise IT & DevOps. Share your experience on scale and performance in SDN deployments, expanding container networking, maintaining stability in migration, networking needs of a hybrid cloud/virtualized environment, and figuring out the roadmap from a cost perspective.

Track 6: (Business and Architecture) Enterprise IT (CXO/IT Architects). Do you have use cases to share on IoT and networking from the retail, transportation, utility, healthcare or government sectors? We’re looking for proposals on cost modeling for hybrid environments, automation (network and beyond), analytics, security and risk management/modeling with ML, and NFV for the enterprise.

View here for more details on suggested topics, and submit your proposal before the January 14 deadline.

Get inspired! Watch presentations from ONS 2017.

See all keynotes from ONS 2017.

Not submitting but planning to attend? Register by Feb. 11 and save $800!

Arpit Joshipura, GM of Networking and Orchestration at the Linux Foundation, shares his 2018 predictions for the networking industry.

1. 2015’s buzzwords are 2018’s course curriculum.

SDN, NFV, VNF, containers, microservices — the hype crested in 2016 and receded in 2017. But don’t mistake quiet for inactivity; solution providers and users alike have been hard at work with re-architecting and maturing solutions for key networking challenges. And now that these projects are nearing production, these topics are our most requested areas for training.

2. Open Source networking is crossing the chasm – from POCs to Production.

The ability for users and developers to work side by side in open source has helped projects mature quickly — and vendors to rapidly deliver highly relevant solutions to their customers. For example:

3. Top networking vendors are embracing a shift in their business models…

  • Hardware-centric to software-centric: value-add from rapid customization
  • Proprietary development to open-source, shared development
  • Co-development with end users, reducing time to deployment from 2 years to 6 months

4. Industry-wide adoption of 1-2 Network Automation platforms will enable unprecedented mass customization.

The need to integrate multiple platforms, taking into account each of their unique feature sets and limitations, has traditionally been a massive barrier to rapid service delivery.

In 2018, mature abstractions and standardizing processes will enable user organizations to rapidly onboard and orchestrate a diverse set of best-of-breed VNFs and PNFs at need.

5. Advances in cloud and carrier networking are driving skills and purchasing shifts in the enterprise.

The ease and ubiquity of public cloud for simple workloads has reset end user expectations for Enterprise IT. The carrier space has driven maturity of open networking solutions and processes. Enterprise IT departments are now at a crossroads:

  • How many and which of their workloads and processes do they want to outsource?
  • How can they effectively support those workloads remaining in-house with the same ease and speed users expect?
  • What skills will IT staff need, and how will they get them?

Which brings us to….

6. Prediction #1 will also lead off our Predictions list for 2019.

This article originally appeared on the ONAP website.

OPNFV

The OPNFV project provides users with open source technology they can use and tailor for their purposes; learn how to get involved.

Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing the Understanding OPNFV book (see links to previous articles below). In this last article in the series, we will look at why you should care about the project and how you can get involved.

OPNFV provides both tangible and intangible benefits to end users. Tangible benefits include those that directly impact business metrics, whereas the intangibles include benefits that speed up the overall NFV transformation journey but are harder to measure. The nature of the OPNFV project, where it primarily focuses on integration and testing of upstream projects and adds carrier-grade features to these upstream projects, can make it difficult to understand these benefits.

To understand this more clearly, let’s go back to the era before OPNFV. Open source projects do not, as a matter of routine, perform integration and testing with other open source projects. So, the burden of taking multiple disparate projects and making the stack work for NFV primarily fell on Communications Service Providers (CSPs), although in some cases vendors shouldered part of the burden. For CSPs or vendors to do the same integration and testing didn’t make sense.

Furthermore, upstream communities are often horizontal in their approach and do not investigate or prioritize requirements for a particular industry vertical. In other words, there was no person or entity driving carrier grade features in many of these same upstream projects. OPNFV was created to fill these gaps.

Tangible and Intangible Benefits

With this background, OPNFV benefits become more clear. Chapter 10 of the book breaks down the tangible and intangible benefits further. Tangible benefits to CSPs include:

  • Faster rollout of new network services
  • Vendor-agnostic platform to onboard and certify VNFs
  • Stack based on best-in-class open source components
  • Reduced vendor lock-in
  • Ability to drive relevant features in upstream projects

Additionally, the OPNFV community operates using DevOps principles and is organized into small, independent and distributed teams. In doing so, OPNFV embodies many of the same practices used by the web giants. CSPs can gain valuable insight into people and process changes required for NFV transformation by engaging with OPNFV. These intangible benefits include insights into:

  • Organizational changes
  • Process changes
  • Technology changes
  • Skillset acquisition

OPNFV is useful not only for CSPs, however; it also provides benefits to vendors (technology providers) and individuals. Vendors can benefit from interoperability testing (directly if their products are open source, or indirectly through private testing or plugfests), and gain insights into carrier-grade requirements and industry needs. Individuals can improve their skills by gaining broad exposure to open source NFV. Additionally, users can learn how to organize their teams and retool their processes for successful NFV transformation.

The primary objective of the OPNFV project is to provide users with open source technology they can use and tailor for their purposes, and the Understanding OPNFV book covers the various aspects to help you get started with and get the most out of OPNFV. The last section of the book also explains how  you might get involved with OPNFV and provides links to additional OPNFV resources.

Want to learn more? You can download the Understanding OPNFV ebook in PDF (in English or Chinese), or order a printed version on Amazon. Or you can check out the previous blogs:

Networking industry experts gather at the Orange Gardens facility outside of Paris, France on October 9, 2017, for the Open Source Networking Day event, hosted by Atos and Orange.

Something that we’ve learned at The Linux Foundation over the years is that there is just no substitute for periodic, in-person, face-to-face collaboration around the open source technologies that are rapidly changing our world. It’s no different for the open networking projects I work with as end users and their ecosystem partners grapple with the challenges and opportunities of unifying various open source components and finding solutions to accelerate network transformation. This fall, we decided to take The Linux Foundation networking projects (OpenDaylight, ONAP, OPNFV, and others) on the road to Europe and Japan by working with local site hosts and network operators to host Open Source Networking Days in Paris, Milan, Stockholm, London, Tel Aviv, and Yokohama.

This series of one-day events was a valuable opportunity for local ecosystems to meet and collaborate around the latest in open source networking. Heather Kirksey and Phil Robb of The Linux Foundation attended and spoke at the events to share our vision of the open networking stack, build relationships, and facilitate community collaboration. Our local site hosts were amazing—taking the lead on organizing, programming, and executing events in line with the needs and interests of their various regions. On behalf of The Linux Foundation, “thank you” to all our incredible site hosts, speakers, attendees, and sponsors: Amdocs, ATOS, Cloudify, Enter Cloud Suite, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Login, NEC, Nokia, Orange, Red Hat, SUSE, and Vodafone.

The feedback we’ve received on these events has been very positive. Attendees appreciated the opportunity to learn about the various components of the open networking stack, examine the integration and collaboration points between them, and map that to their strategies for rolling out cloud, SDN, NFV, MANO, and more across networks. By taking the OSN Days on the road, we were able to meet in-person with more than 460 people—from developers to service providers to vendors—venues near them with an agenda focused on their needs. Attendees also expressed their desire for more hands-on work (e.g. tutorials, demos, workshops, hackathons, etc.) and we are taking that into consideration for future OSN Days.

I encourage you to check out the great content from the latest tour. From the OSN Days Tour website, you can navigate to each tour page, and access all the slide presentations under the “View Session Slides” tab. You can also watch videos here from the OSN Day London Event, and read detailed recap blogs of both the London and Stockholm events, posted by site hosts directly.

The next tour is being planned for India in late January 2018, and other tours are being considered for North America and Asia—stay tuned. In the meantime, please consider joining an Open Source Networking User Group in your region.

We hope to see you next year at Open Networking Summit, an OSN Day, or an OSN user group meetup near you! Please email osndays@linuxfoundation.org with any questions.

By Fatih Degirmenci, Yolanda Robla Mota, Markos Chandras

The OPNFV Community will soon issue its fifth release, OPNFV Euphrates. Over the past four releases, the community has introduced different components from upstream projects, integrated them to compose different flavors of the stack, and put them through extensive testing to help establish a reference platform for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). While doing this work, the OPNFV community strictly followed its founding principle: Upstream First. Bugs found or features identified as missing are implemented directly into upstream code; OPNFV has carried very little in its own source code repositories, reflecting the project’s true upstream nature. This was achieved by the use of stable release components from the upstream communities. In addition to the technical aspects of the work, OPNFV established good relationships with these upstream communities, such as OpenStack, OpenDaylight, FD.io, and others.

Building on previous experience working on integrating and testing different components of the stack, Euphrates brings applied learnings in Continuous Delivery (CD) and DevOps principles and practices into the fray, via the Cross Community Continuous Integration (XCI) initiative.  Read below for a quick summary about what it is, where we are now, what we are releasing as part of Euphrates, and a sneak peek into the future.

Upstream Development Model
The current development and release model employed by OPNFV provides value to OPNFV community itself and the upstream communities it works with, but is limited and dependent on using stable versions of upstream components. This essentially limits the speed at which new development and bugfixes can be contributed to upstream projects. This results in losing the essence of CI (finding issues, providing fast and tailored feedback) and means that the developers who contribute to upstream projects might not see results for several months, after everyone has moved on to the next item in their roadmap. The notion of constantly playing “catch up” with upstream projects is not sustainable.

In order for OPNFV to achieve true CI, we need to ensure that upstream communities implement a CD approach. One way to make this happen is to enable patch-level testing and consuming of components from master branches of upstream communities–allowing for more timely feedback when it matters most. The XCI initiative establishes new feedback loops across communities and with supporting tooling makes it possible to:

  • shorten the time it takes to introduce new features
  • make it easier to identify and fix bugs
  • ease the effort to develop, integrate, and test the reference platform
  • establish additional feedback loops within OPNFV, towards the users and between the communities OPNFV works with
  • provide additional testing from a production-like environment
  • increase real-time visibility

Apart from providing feedback to upstream communities, we strive to frequently provide working software to our users, allowing them to be part of the feedback loop. This ensures that while OPNFV pushes upstream communities to CD, the platform itself also moves in the same direction.

Helping Developers Develop by Supporting Source-Based Deployments
One of the most important aspects of XCI is to ensure developers do what they do best: develop. XCI achieves this by supporting source-based deployments. This means that developers can patch the source on their workstations and get their patch deployed quickly, cutting the feedback time from months to hours (or even minutes). The approach employed by XCI to enable source-based deployments ensures that nothing comes between developers and the source code who can even override whatever is provided by XCI to ensure the deployment fits their needs. Additionally, users also benefit as they can adjust what they get from XCI to further fit their needs. This is also important for patch-level testing and feedback.

Choice
What we summarized until now are firsts for OPNFV and perhaps firsts for the entire open source ecosystem; bringing multiple open source components together from master. But we have a few other firsts provided by XCI as part of the Euphrates release, such as:

  • multiple deployment flavors ranging from all-in-one to full blown HA deployment
  • multi-distro support: Ubuntu, Centos, and openSUSE
  • extended CI pipelines for all projects that choose to take part in XCI

This is another focus area of XCI: giving choice. We believe that if we offer choices to developers and users, they will leverage these options to invent new things or use them in new and different ways. XCI empowers the community by removing barriers and constraints and providing freedom of choice.

XCI utilizes tools such as Bifrost and OpenStack Ansible directly from upstream and what is done by XCI is to use these tools in a way that enables CI.

Join the Party
Are we done yet? Of course not. We are working on bringing even more components together and are reaching out to additional communities, such as ONAP and Kubernetes.

If you would like to be part of this, check the documentation and try using the XCI Sandbox to bring up a mini OPNFV cluster on your laptop. You can find XCI developers on #opnfv-pharos channel on Freenode and while you are there, join us to make things even better.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has participated in the development of XCI, reviewed our patches, listened to our ideas, provided hardware resources, motivated us in different ways, and, most importantly, encouraged us. What we have now is just the beginning and we are on our way to change things.

Heading to Open Source Summit Europe? Don’t miss Fatih’s presentation, “Bringing Open Source Communities Together: Cross-Community CI,” Monday, October 23, 14:20 – 15:00.

Learn more about XCI by reading the Solutions Brief or watching the video, and signing up for this XCI-based webinar on November 29th.

This article originally appeared on the OPNFV website.

This week in OSS & Linux news, Jack Wallen shares a rundown of Google Fuchsia features and how they affect Android, Microsoft can no longer ignore Linux in the data center, & more! Read on to stay open-source-informed!

1) Jack Wallen shares pros and cons of Google Fuchsia

What Fuchsia Could Mean For Android– TechRepublic

2) “Microsoft is bridging the gap with Linux by baking it into its own products.”

How Microsoft is Becoming a Linux Vendor– CIO

3) Sprint’s CP30 “is designed to streamline mobile core architecture by collapsing multiple components into as few network nodes as possible.”

Sprint Debuts Open Source NFV/SDN Platform Developed with Intel Labs– Wireless Week

4) Move over, Siri! Open source Mycroft is here to assist us.

This Open-Source AI Voice Assistant Is Challenging Siri and Alexa for Market Superiority– Forbes

5) Heterogenous memory management is being added to the Linux kernel. Here’s what that will mean for machine learning hardware:

Faster Machine Learning is Coming to the Linux Kernel– InfoWorld