Brahmaputra to answer telco NFV Xmas prayers

The Linux Foundation this month revealed that the next iteration of its Open Platform Network Function Virtualisation (OPNFV) platform will be released on 2nd February 2016. In case you’re wondering the new Brahmaputra release is named after a river in Tibet, logical given that its predecessor Arno took its moniker from a water course in Italy.

As the first iteration of the OPNFV framework Arno was deliberately low level in order to garner interest among the development community and give people a way to feedback on where it could be improved. By contrast Brahmaputra is a ‘lab ready’ release with greater focus on stability, deployment, new features and better documentation – a fully-fledged reference implementation of an open source scalable cloud platform for telecoms operators which will allow them to test out how network centric workloads operate in cloud environments.

The OPNFV says there are already 38 different projects based on Brahmaputra currently running, though we don’t yet know which specific features and functions relative to telco network and data centre NFV environments they address. There will be support for additional SDN controllers, including those specified by the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and OpenContrail. And alongside the OPNFV’s own work on service function chaining via its SFC project, there is talk of better integration with the open source virtual switch Open vSwitch and the KVM hypervisor.

Proponents have also mentioned support for network virtualisation across multi-site data centres with better fault management and upgradeability. These are features presumably aimed at telcos and service providers looking for more options around scalability, redundancy and resilience of virtualised cloud services hosted in multiple facilities.

Finally, Brahmaputra is closely coupled to the OpenStack public/private IaaS cloud computing reference platform. And a wider variety of deployment options to help service providers explore automated deployment and management of distributed systems based on the OpenStack architecture is promised.

The details remain sketchy for the moment but more information will emerge in February. By that time, we will have a better idea of whether Brahmaputra is the answer to service providers’ NFV Christmas prayers.

Written by Martin Courtney for Axians UK.

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