Why Should VNF Vendors Care About the LFN OVP (ONAP) Program?
A couple of weeks ago, the Linux Foundation announced the expansion of the OVP program to include ONAP VNF compliance testing. Vendors will be able to test their VNFs against ONAP using a self-service model, submit their results, and get a compliance badge. These VNFs will also get listed on the OVP site.
I think this is a very positive development. The program should contribute to the growth of the ONAP ecosystem that is critical for ONAP's long term success. There is plenty of information about the program and the benefits to Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and VNF vendors in the above links. So I'm not going to repeat this.
Instead I am going to address a key question: As a VNF vendor, should you engage now or wait & watch? That of course, depends on a cost-benefit analysis.
Cost-benefit of passing OVP testing in 2019
Since the tests are very light right now, the cost of passing OVP is simply to create an ONAP compliant VNF descriptor (VNFD). The program has only static tests and there are no functional, lifecycle management, monitoring or performance tests at this time.
In our view, the effort required for simple VNFs is:
If a Heat/TOSCA VNFD already exists, the effort is in the 1-2 man-week range
If a VNFD does not exist, the effort is in the 2-4 man-week range
At a $250K burdened salary, we are talking about a roughly $10K investment.
What's the benefit? That's not as easy to quantify, but qualitatively:
Your VNF will be listed on the LFN OVP site as an ONAP compliant VNF. Along with this comes the visibility and PR/marketing benefit.
Ability to say "yes" to RFPs that require ONAP compliance and entering a shortlist of VNFs could put you ahead of your competitors.
Ability to participate in open community-based ONAP blueprints or create private demos; these demos will not require any licensed MANO software.
Benefit of appeasing CSPs that have committed to OVP even if immediate RFPs don't require ONAP compliance.
Is the benefit much greater than $10K? We think so, but ultimately you have to be the judge of that.
Cost-benefit of waiting on OVP until 2020 or later
The benefit of waiting on OVP until 2020 or later is obviously the ~$10K savings in 2019. What is the cost? The cost again cannot be quantified, but qualitatively:
Inability to participate in ONAP based RFPs.
Perceived lack of open source community thought leadership.
Facing a higher bar in 2020; OVP tests will be more complex, and you will have to catch up with competitors that already have a badge from earlier, easier testing.
In summary, as a VNF vendor, you need to determine whether passing OVP in 2019 makes sense or not. We feel it should be an easy "Yes" based on the cost-benefit analysis above. If you agree but are not sure where to start, read our "VNF Onboarding for ONAP Whitepaper".