I attended the ONS Europe that took place in Antwerp, last month. I am going to share my thoughts on the conference in general, and ONAP related topics in particular.
We participated in the Linux Foundation booth to demonstrate the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP)—an open source, community-led compliance and verification program to show the readiness and availability of commercial NFV products and services, including NFVI and VNFs. It was a joint demo led by China Mobile, Huawei, Intel, Vodafone, VoerEir and us (Aarna Networks). We showed 4 OVP demos in total: NFVI validation, VNF compliance, VNF validation using a Heat VNF, and VNF validation using a TOSCA VNF. We used the Dovetail test framework for NFVI compliance testing, VVP for static validation of VNFs (using Heat templates) and VTP for run-time validation of both TOSCA and Heat based VNFs. There was a fair amount of interest and curiosity around OVP in general, and many visitors (from operators to VNF vendors) to the booth asked for additional information and pointers on the program and felt they would benefit from this. Most of the questions from the visitors were around how they could enhance this for additional coverage of VNF-specific functionality.
The keynote sessions were quite well-attended. Few key take-aways from my point of view, more specific to ONAP and LF Networking perspective:
Cloud-native based architectures and deployments, specifically using Kubernetes are gaining traction and interest.
How LFN sees the path from Open source projects to commercialization.
Alignment of ETSI and Linux Foundation and how Open source and Open standards can work together, and seen as complementing each other, and not competing.
The growing interest in Edge Clouds, and related technologies.
There are several other interesting presentations and while I am not going to mention specific presentations (all of which are available here), let me talk about a few themes that seem to be emerging.
Edge computing will bring together Enterprises, Telcos and Cloud vendors, with specific applications for IoT, Healthcare, Retail and so on. This is an interesting development that creates technical challenges in terms of managing and orchestrating these applications at scale.
There were presentations from Telcos that gave an overview of the 5G transition and how it is changing the landscape of services and applications that are going to be enabled as a result of this transition. This again poses several challenges in terms of orchestrating these Network Services and VNF/CNFs. Another interesting session outlined how 5G applications can be architected as cloud-native, the criteria used for disaggregating them into stateless containers, and how Kubernetes based technologies can be used to build them. The scale at which these applications are expected to be deployed is very interesting!
There were a couple of presentations from Telco operators (one of them with whom we at Aarna Networks actively worked together) on their journey with ONAP, the challenges faced by them, and the recommendations from them as consumers of this technology. The common theme in these presentations is the need for simplifying the deployment of ONAP and targeting specific use cases.
We also hosted an unconference session titled, "ONAP as a unified MEC-in-NFV Orchestrator", and while this is technically feasible, the feedback we received is that it needs more work in terms of understanding existing solutions in this space, and how vendors will perceive this as an opportunity rather than a potentially competing solution.
The ONS conference was followed by Technical Meetings of specific open source projects - ONAP, ODL and CNTT (which is a Telco task force for common NVFi or NFV Infrastructure, with active collaboration from Linux Foundation). The ONAP technical meeting is an open community event, and this specific meeting had several interesting presentations such as Edge, alignment with ETSI standards as well as various sub-committee meetings. The presentations can be found here.
Overall, it was a very interesting and enriching experience to attend this event and interact with various community members, in the beautiful city of Antwerp!
If you are VNF/PNF (xNF) vendor and are not sure how to proceed with ONAP interop, review our whitepaper on this topic. Or contact us, we will be happy to do an assessment on the various aspects of your xNF compatibility required with ONAP—VNF descriptors, configuration, lifecycle management and monitoring. As ONAP experts that have worked with 6 VNF vendors, we can also give you advice on the different strategies for interop: direct vs. via sVNFM/EMS, Heat vs. TOSCA, etc.