Changes In The Cloud

New cloud and networking infrastructures are being developed to improve power and performance.

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I wrapped up an exciting week last Friday at the inaugural NFV World Congress at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose last week, where more than 1,000 stakeholders had gathered to convey, debate, discuss and learn about the vision for the next-generation cloud and networking infrastructure.

One of the highlights of the week was the OPNFV mini-summit to communicate the tremendous progress that the 50+ member companies had made in just seven months to build a continuous integration and validation practice, along with the protocols for initial distributed development labs where everyone can leverage the same process to provision a functional NFV Infrastructure platform on bare metal. The other amazing accomplishment is the fact that stakeholders from across the supply chain, competitors and partners alike, are collaborating to fill gaps and harden the platform for deployment readiness by 2016. It is an incredible accomplishment given the sheer volume and complexity of all the moving pieces, starting from ground zero a few months back.

I worked together with another OPNFV team member to update the audience on one of the more intriguing sub-projects, Data Plane Acceleration (DPACC). It turns out (no surprise for us) that many stakeholders recognize that there will be a need to leverage hardware acceleration underneath virtualized abstraction layers to meet the latency requirements of the network in the new NFV paradigm. The goal of the project is to deliver data plane acceleration while supporting application portability across all relevant hardware platforms that operators and their suppliers will want to use. There are at least 17 companies participating in the project and there is no shortage of ideas and robust debate and discussion.

For our part, the OpenDataPlane (ODP) community we helped launch into an open source project more than two years ago (www.dataplane.org), which includes at least 20 different participating companies from OEMs, SoC vendors, and ISVs, has been working to deliver this goal every day since then. We expect ODP to play a significant role in delivering on the vision DPACC and demonstrating the unique value of ARM-based workload-optimized SoCs. You can read more about ODP, the new open source cross-platform framework for data plane applications on multi-core networking Systems on a Chip on the ARM Connected Community here.

ARM also showcased the first ARM-based early developer release of OPNFV NFVI platform components, with our software partner, Enea, at the event. The multi-vendor configuration featured OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Open VSwitch, KVM, Linux and ODP on hardware from AMD, Applied Micro, Cavium and Freescale thus far and will be eventually rolled into member labs within OPNFV to enable the broader community to build and assess VNFs on highly differentiated hardware platforms with that common software interface ODP provides.

You can read the press release here, and read up on our broader vision for the optimal way next generation infrastructure will look, what we call the Intelligent Flexible Cloud or IFC, here on the ARM Connected Community.