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LF Networking Moving Forward to Consolidate Open Source Networking Efforts

Wednesday Jan 2nd 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

VIDEO: Arpit Joshipura, General Manager for Networking at the Linux Foundation, explains how the LF Networking group is helping to bring the networking industry together.

In January 2018, the Linux Foundation announced a major reorganization of its networking efforts under the umbrella organization known as LF Networking. A year later, it's an effort that continues to advance.

In a video interview, Arpit Joshipura, General Manager for Networking at the Linux Foundation, said there has been positive momentum in the LF Networking effort.

"Members do appreciate the concept, not just of collaborating across projects, but also the cost savings they get for not paying into individual projects," Joshipura said.

The initial six projects that joined LF Networking are OpenDaylight, ONAP, OPNFV, FD.IO, pnda and SNAS.io. Other projects that have since joined LF Networking include Tungsten Fabric, which was originally known as Open Contrail. The umbrella effort also benefits from improved testing, certification and infrastructure components that help all of the participating projects.

"These projects are all related to each other, and what LF Networking does is give governance that allows for formal collaboration," Joshipura said.

Intent-Based Networking

One of the largest trends in networking in 2018 that will continue to play a role in 2019 and beyond is the concept of intent-based networking. Joshipura said the journey to enable intent-based networking starts with automation. He added that the first step carriers are taking is automating their networks.

Once there is automation, there is a need for data collection, and analytics engines that collect data that can be consumed by intent-based networking models to help inform networking policies. Joshipura said multiple parts of networking need to come together to enable the promise of intent-based networking.

Industry Partnerships

While LF Networking has a broad mandate, it also actively partnering with other industry associations, including the Open Compute Project (OCP), in support of the hardware layer for networking.

The layer on top of hardware is something that Joshipura refers to as the Network Operating System (NOS) layer. There are multiple NOS projects in the market today that the Linux Foundation contributes to, including: DANOS (disaggregated Network Operating System), SONIC, Stratum, and Open Switch.

"We have brought all the communities together; the technical brains are figuring out how they all relate to each other, and how we are going to pull them all together to create the next level of white box operating systems," he said.

Watch the full video with Arpit Joshipura below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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