OPNFV Arno Release Speeds Industry Adoption of NFV

OPNFV Arno was released this week and that’s big news to companies like Intel that are heavily invested in the success of NFV and of the Open Platform for NFV Project.

We’re already seeing a positive impact from NFV on the telecom market through a wide variety of successful proofs of concept and active involvement in solutions and standards development from every facet of the telecommunication industry.

But Arno, and future OPNFV releases, will help to speed the transition from PoC to industry adoption by providing a standardized, proven, open source NFV infrastructure that is suitable for all NFV applications.

Arno is the first instantiation of an OPNFV platform and comprises the NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) components of the NFV architecture specified by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI).

Future releases will also implement APIs to other NFV elements, which together form the basic infrastructure required for virtualized network functions (VNFs) and management and network orchestration (MANO) components. You can find all of the details about Arno in the press release that the OPNFV Project issued this week.

Entering the Telecom Supply Chain

Arno is a developer release, meaning the software now enters into the industry supply chain. It is available for OSVs, ISVs, TEMS and technology providers like Intel to further test, fix, integrate and customize the platform – a process much like the one that computer operating systems go through.

One example of how the industry will add value to Arno is our own Intel® Open Network Platform architecture, one of the company’s key NFV/SDN initiatives. ONP is a software reference architecture that delivers proven solutions to service providers, enterprise IT and cloud service providers to enable SDN/NFV deployment. Until Arno, the ONP reference has been developed using the upstream open source software components of Arno (OpenStack, OpenDaylight, etc.). Now, we’ll be able to integrate Arno with Intel hardware and software optimizations to accelerate NFV deployments.

From an NFV industry perspective, what’s really momentous about Arno is that it’s the first time that the industry has come together to build a standardized open source NFV platform. The OPNFV community is working with upstream projects like OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Open vSwitch, KVM, DPDK and others to coordinate continuous integration and testing of them while also addressing feature and performance gaps to make them carrier-grade.

Many of the best minds from the nearly 60 industry leaders that currently make up the OPNFV Project have been involved in Arno, pooling their collective expertise on developing what is key to an NFV infrastructure. This expertise spans industry leaders across telecom equipment manufacturers, operating system vendors, independent software providers, telecom and cloud service providers and technology providers like Intel.

NFV is facilitating a transition to open, multi-vendor software based solutions running on industry standard, high volume servers. Ensuring that every aspect of the NFV solution chain – from the infrastructure to the orchestration to the virtual network functions – can all interoperate, and can be automated, makes the rapid deployment of NFV-based services possible. And it all starts with a standardized and scalable NFV infrastructure.

I think back to the Mobile World Congress 2015 event in February and the five NFV proof-of-concept demos that we hosted in the Intel booth. Significant efforts by each PoC team went toward building the platform infrastructure (NFVI) and the VIM. Arno and future OPNFV releases will deliver a standardized, scalable NFVI and VIM infrastructure that can be absorbed quickly and solidified by the industry supply chain to provide commercially supported NFV platforms. Instead of having to worry about the infrastructure, VNF developers can focus their resources and investments on their own value-add functionality, and getting software to market more quickly.

I’m truly excited about Arno and the possibilities it unleashes. My congratulations to the OPNFV community for the Arno release and I look forward to more great things to come.