OpenStack and Network Function Virtualization, the backstory

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is occupying more space in cloud conversations than ever. It might seem like breaking new ground for OpenStack, but it’s practically a cornerstone dating back to the early days of the Foundation, Bryce says.

Here’s some of the backstory on OpenStack and NFV from Jonathan Bryce, OpenStack executive director, from the OPNFV Summit.

About the journey of OpenStack: “It’s incredible to see how people take technology…When you create an environment where developers and users can come together, they build new things that you would’ve never thought of.

That started with public cloud use cases, then enterprise use cases. What we started seeing about two years ago was some of our large users were cable and telco providers taking their fundamental capabilities to manage compute, storage and networking and using that to transform the way they provision services on their networks. So we have companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast who are using that to deliver TV content and high-speed networking to their user base…And companies like China Mobile, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and others around the world who are starting to work on this massive shift of their networks over to NFV.

How OpenStack got started with NFV: “One of our board members Tobias Ford works for AT&T …He presented us with some of the challenges that telcos were facing to be come more agile, move more quickly and re-provision capacity as demand shifts from SMS to mobile data or whatever the next thing will be…He put this challenge out there, he thought OpenStack could help them solve this, but it needed a variety of updates and new capabilities.”

What’s next “Over the last year and a half, it’s been exciting to see a community form around it, to bring those changes into OpenStack. We’re here at the OPNFV Summit, and it’s been exciting for us to see it form as a group that takes those requirements from these use cases and brings them back upstream, which is so important for any open project to grow and change and become more valuable.

For OpenStack, it’s really cool to see how these different open communities work together and collaborate to make something, a new use case that we didn’t intend originally but will be extremely valuable across a lot of industries. It’s really all about bringing users developers together in an open and collaborative community.