OPNFV's Fraser release brings NFV closer to cloud native integration

OPNFV is building on the foundation it has laid for integrating cloud-native into NFV with its sixth software release, which is called "Fraser."

OPNFV started sailing the cloud-native waters with its previous Euphrates release—releases are named after rivers—in October, and today's Fraser release builds on that foundation for cloud-native applications.

Operators want cloud-native designs because they can put disaggregated systems into smaller, independent functions that can scale up as needed. Being able to scale up or scale down an application when it's needed is also beneficial because it doesn't leave capital expenses stranded.

Tim Irnich, chair of OPNFV technical steering committee and program manager for cloud open source and ecosystem at Ericsson, said that cloud-native in general is more agile and lightweight while also including savings in capital expense and operating expense.

"Cloud native is often good for edge use cases," Irnich said. "In terms of where the application development paradigm is going right now a lot of it is from the cloud native perspective."

OPNFV, which is under the Linux Foundation open source umbrella, has built cloud-native support around Kubernates integration and by working with upstream components such as FD.io and OpenDaylight that are also part of the Linux Foundation.

"We've made a lot of advances in cloud native in this release," said Heather Kirksey, vice president for community and ecosystem development at The Linux Foundation. "We more than doubled the number of scenarios that support Kubernates. We were able to start adding Kubernates-based tests into our functional test suite including some test container VNFs."

Fraser expanded cloud-native NFV capabilities in nine different projects and more than doubled the number of supported Kubernetes-based scenarios. Kirksey said that OPNFV has also worked on cloud-native integrations with OpenTracing, Prometheus, ServiceMesh, and Fluentd.

Fraser also integrated additional cloud-native technologies from CNCF.io that were related to service mesh, logging, tracing, monitoring, and package management.

The updates in Fraser increased cloud-native capabilities from basic container orchestration to now include the operational needs for cloud-native applications.

"We've been doing a lot of work with integration with Kubernates container networking using some plug ins called Legato and Contiv," Kirksey said. "So kind of across the stack there's lots of cloud native stuff going on at the data plane, at the container orchestration plane and in those projects."

OPNFV also advanced its work in continuous integration/continuous development in Fraser by initiating integration work with the CNCF Cloud CI project.

Fraser also included new carrier-grade features ​in the areas of testing, monitoring, service assurance, networking and data plane acceleration.

The next OPNFV release will be called Gambia and is due out later this year or early next year.