OSM-MR#8 Hackfest: the highlights

The Canonical team is getting back from the OSM-MR#8 Hackfest with a lot of excitement and a fresh view on the OSM (Open Source MANO) project. Although due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 complication around the world the leadership group re-organised the Hackfest in the last moment to be fully remote, many people joined and we’ve seen a lot of new faces. We are now looking forward to hosting all of you in London, during the week of 1-5 of June.

OSM-MR#8 Hackfest: the highlights

The OSM community is growing very quickly. Since the last Hackfest, a lot of new companies joined the project and there are around 140 active members now. 15 of them are global TSPs (telecommunications service providers). Although some of them are still learning and evaluating OSM, many are preparing for deploying it in production. It is also a hot research topic as there are approximately 60 scientific publications about OSM.

One of the most exciting features that came with OSM release SEVEN is the possibility of deploying CNF (container network function) workloads on top of Kubernetes. During the Hackfest participants had an opportunity to deploy CNFs using both Helm charts and Juju charms. While Helm charts are useful for workloads instantiation, Juju charms also provide support for ongoing operations of CNFs. Slides from all sessions will be available at the OSM wiki.

New OSM installation method

During the Hackfest a new OSM installation method was presented. This new method uses Juju charms to ensure scalability, HA (high availability) and operations simplicity. In order to install OSM with Juju charms, users will have to add –charmed option to the official installation script:

./osm_install.sh --charmed

Simple as that. By default, the new installation method uses MicroK8s as a Kubernetes platform for hosting OSM workloads, but any existing Kubernetes cluster will be supported as well. The new installation method will be available in the next OSM point release.

Canonical at the OSM-MR#8 Hackfest

By delegating an experienced team of telco experts, Canonical delivered a series of sessions about VNF (virtual network function) and CNFs (container network functions) workloads management during the Hackfest. VNF/CNF workloads management is a very important part of the NFV (network function virtualisation) transformation process, as many telcos struggle to operate their VNFs/CNFs effectively.

Fortunately, this issue can be addressed by using operators – software that manages another software, i.e. the actual workloads. In the OSM world, operators are implemented using Juju charms which provide native support for lifecycle management, workloads configuration, daily operational tasks and software integration. During the Hackfest participants learned how to write and use charms for network functions operations.

Leadership sessions

Moreover, Canonical participated in TSC (technical steering committee) and MDL meetings, all technical sessions to drive the OSM project forward and the OSM Ecosystem Day. As an established leader in the open-source market, Canonical constantly brings software development best practices and responses to the market needs, connecting the dots between OSM developers and TSPs. It was not any different this time.

During the technical sessions, Canonical proposed two new features for the purpose of ensuring the resiliency of OSM proxy charms. The first feature is designed to make OSM proxy charms highly available by deploying them on the top of an LXD cluster. The second feature allows deploying proxy charms on Kubernetes. Canonical will deliver both features in the current development cycle as a part of OSM release EIGHT.

The OSM Ecosystem Day

In turn, the OSM Ecosystem Day was an opportunity to present Canonical’s vision for OSM evolution. In response to the challenges with VNFs onboarding, Canonical committed to bootstrap a community to create and maintain OSM VNFDs (VNF descriptors) for both open source and proprietary network function. This is an opportunity for GSIs (global system integrators) to engage with Canonical commercially. We also stressed the increasing role of Kubernetes operators in the context of both the OSM itself and the workloads running on it.

David Garcia elected as an MDL for N2VC

One of the most exciting news for the entire Canonical team was the appointment of David Garcia for the MDL (module design leader) role of the OSM N2VC (network service to VNF communication) component. David has been involved in the OSM community since October 2018 and he has been constantly demonstrating his passion, commitment and leadership. We would like to use this opportunity to congratulate David and wish him all the best in his new role. We would also like to thank Adam Israel – ex N2VC MDL – for all of his contributions.

David Garcia, N2VC MDL

See you all in London

Although Coronavirus COVID-19 has significantly impacted everyone’s on-site presence this time, we hope the situation is going to stabilise soon and we will see all of you in London. The next Hackfest will be organised together by BT and Canonical and will take place during the week of 1-5 of June. Book time in your calendars and make sure you bring a lot of enthusiasm and interesting ideas. We are looking forward to hosting you there.

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For more information about Canonical’s solutions for telcos, you can refer to our website.

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