NFV Open Source (OPNFV) Reaches Critical Juncture at Beijing Summit

The OPNFV Summit – June 12-15th in Beijing, China – marks a critical moment in the development and acceptance of the open-source network functions virtualization technology by telecoms and others, said Heather Kirksey, Director of the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) project within the Linux Foundation. Ms. Kirksey told Light Reading that network operators “are engaging in open source in the right way now.”

Instead of showing up in large numbers with lists of demands or problems that need solving, “they are at the table working, contributing code and addressing problems.” Kirksey cites AT&T’s “Nirvana stack”  (presented by AT&T’s Paul Carver at the 2017 Open Networking Summit) as an example of how open source is becoming a critical element of AT&T’s future networking protocol work.

Having initially used Juniper Network’s Contrail SDN controllers in its AT&T Integrated Cloud, the network operator is now looking at an open source ODL-based controller running on top of OPNFV software/firmware (see chart below).

AT&T Nirvana Stack

AT&T’s “Nirvana” SDN Stack, as presented by Paul Carver at the 2017 Open Networking Summit

“Within OPNFV itself, and working with other open source groups, we’ve had a big focus for us on what it means to have a healthy open source culture, what it means to be effective,” Kirksey said. “In terms of what TIP (Facebook’s Telecom Infrastructure Project) does, it’s their people and processes group. I think it is really interesting, it never would have dawned on me to take that on as a task within an open source group. But we focus on it a lot when we are building our own culture, hoping that will create seeds,” she added.

OPNFV has, from its outset, worked in collaboration with other groups and upstream code whenever possible, Kirksey said next week’s summit reflects some of that cooperation.

This week’s four-day event in Beijing kicks off with OPNFV Project‘s Design Summit, for the developer community to push forward on Euphrates, the next OPNFV release. But those first two days also include mini-summits for the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), OpenDaylight, DPDK, and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, as well as its own mini-summit on data plane and VNF acceleration.

The event comes at an interesting time in the open source world, as debate rages on a few issues, including the commercial viability of open source and how it goes to market, and the way in which open source is being embraced by the carrier community. There is also much more discussion about how open source groups work together, versus duplicating work or working at cross purposes.


OPNFV is under the Linux Foundation, which has become the dominant open source organization for open networking/software defined networking.  Next week’s event will be the third OPNFV Summit and the first held in China.  Many Chinese companies will attend, including: China Mobile, China Telecom, Huawei and ZTE. Didi Chuxing , the Chinese version of Uber, will also be present.

HPE’s Pradeep Sen (formerly with Verizon) will present a keynote at the OPNFV Beijing Summit. He will talk about “Cloudification and Disaggregation stages of the telco journey to the cloud, and what we in the industry, and open source and OPNFV in particular, need to pay attention to.”

Representatives from Orange and NTT DOCOMO will also present keynotes.



OPNFV Summit Keynote Preview: Q&A with HPE’s Prodip Sen

Open Network Summit: ONAP Steals the Show with Broad Support

2 thoughts on “NFV Open Source (OPNFV) Reaches Critical Juncture at Beijing Summit

  1. From an email received June 13, 2017 from Ken Presti of New IP Agency:

    “The New IP Agency (NIA), a not-for profit industry organization, is fighting to drive forward the deployment of successful and open NFV networks through the development of strong and interoperable standards and certification……
    In the coming months, the NIA will engage specialized member committees to assist in the creation of a hierarchical NFV taxonomy plus a repository for service models, both of which will be used to help support the creation of a HEAT/Openstack based certification. The service model repository, which will be hosted by NIA, will leverage code written in languages such as Yang and Tosca. These will be contributed by service providers. The plan for interoperability will begin with the certification of VNFs onboarded onto NFVi’s from all leading manufacturers using the OpenStack HEAT spec. Thus, we will effectively create a de facto standard for interoperability which can then be sent upstream for true standardization. We anticipate that the testing will get under way within the next three months.

    The NIA will work in collaboration with Light Reading and other leading industry companies, including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Time Warner, Huawei, Cisco, Nokia and Ericsson, to perform this work, acting as a forum in which issues can be discussed, and the inevitable disagreements can be resolved. (For a complete list of our membership, please visit”

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