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Key Takeaways from the January LFN Developer & Testing Forum

By February 11, 2022No Comments

By Ranny Haiby, LFN Technical Advisory Council, vice-chair

The LF Networking (LFN) community held its Developer and Testing Forum (DTF) January 10-13th. DTF provides an opportunity to take a break from the regular cadence of day-to-day meetings and tasks, reflect upon successes and challenges, and plan for the future, collaboratively. 

Due to the pandemic, the LFN community has not been able to meet and collaborate face-to-face in two years. While the in-person experience cannot be replicated in a virtual format, we have made the best of it and even increased participation and engagement numbers (80 sessions and 10 projects)! In fact, the January 2022 DTF saw the highest-ever turnout of attendees, with 525 folks attending (392 registered)! And according to attendee surveys, 90% of survey respondents found the content “very good” or “excellent.” 

The 80 DTF sessions (18 of which were with plenary or cross-community),  focused on project architecture, direction, use cases and integration points. 

Hot topics & themes:

  • Security. A hot topic at January’s DTF was security & open source.Several projects are implementing security-hardening and traceability measures, are creating security sub-committees, sharing reference implementations, adopting SBOMs, and more.   
  • Cross-project initiatives. As many  LFN projects are maturing and seeing more and more in-network production deployments, cross-project initiatives like the 5G Super Blue Print.
  • Best practices. Other cross-community sessions covered best practises for documentation, testing and community building.
  • Success stories. Several CSPs shared how they are successfully deploying LFN projects in production and the benefits they’re seeing. These sessions also provided a unique opportunity to give direct feedback to developers.

As always, LFN developer events are open to everyone and are free of charge. The event schedule is made public so that anyone can discover sessions they might be interested in. 

Most of the sessions have time for Q&A and open discussion, including deep technical questions, proposed improvements, and even challenges to some concepts altogether. 

If you missed the live event, all sessions recordings and presentations are available for offline viewing

Our next LFN Developer and Testing Forum is planned for this June, and we are excited to (hopefully) meert in person this time!  The event will take place in Porto, Portugal June 13-16. Registration is now open, but the agenda is still in progress, though we expect to hold several follow-up discussions from our time in January.

Here are a few key takeaways from our project communities:

Anuket
Anuket community discussions centred on the recent ‘Lakelse’ release and what is coming next. Sessions covered topics such as hybrid multi-cloud, DevIntOps, and use of AI/ML for network automation. Anuket led a cross-community discussion on the future of network function and infrastructure verification. And Anuket Assured/Compliance & Verification challenges also came up (e.g., reiteration of business needs, shared challenges for CNF requirements, and creative problem solving).

EMCO
This was the second time EMCO project participated in a developer event, but the first time it had its own dedicated track! The number of sessions conducted in this track indicate the rapidly growing interest in this project and its importance to distributed networking use cases. Sessions that catered to both beginners, as well as more advanced topics aimed at those more familiar with the project, covering 5G core orchestration with Magma and 5GC, cloud-native workload placement across multiple clusters, multi-domain orchestration, and complex lifecycle management for network functions.

5G Super Blueprint
This was the first time the 5G Super Blueprint community participated in a developer event. The team presented a demonstration showing end-to-end network slicing with all open source projects. The demonstration also shows EMCO capabilities and automation required to support various 5G deployments.

L3AF 
For the 1st time L3AF participated in a developer event. The team discussed eBPF for Windows, its architecture, and current state of the project. It was intended for awareness.

Magma
Magma was a first-time  participant in the event, offering 2 plenary sessions. The first session began with a discussion of 5G opportunities, followed by the Magma mission and overview, then into Magma architecture. The second session covered a Magma 5G test demonstration, updates on feature development, and Magma’s place in the 5G Super Blueprint.

OpenDaylight
Several sessions were dedicated to recent extensions to ODL that enable new functionality for optical transport networks. Future plans for module extensions and architecture evolutions were also discussed, as well as integration with Kubernetes- based infrastructure. Verizon shared their successful experience deploying ODL at scale. The event provided an opportunity to have collaboration sessions on how to evolve the software build process. 

ONAP
This event came at a perfect timing for the ONAP community, following the ‘Istanbul’ release and during the height of work on ‘Jakarta’. Several sessions focused on demonstrating the achievements of the previous release, while others were used to go in-depth on architecture and new features of the next release. Developers were delighted to learn their hard work paid off and is appreciated by end users. ONAP’s evolution was a main theme, including cloud native network functions, 5G network slicing, and intent based networking as well as active discussions on certification programs, documentation and security.

Tungsten Fabric
The Tungsten Fabric project used this event as an opportunity to explore potential integration points with other Edge computing and networking projects. There was also an opportunity for the audience to learn how the project can be deployed on modern infrastructure environments, like Kubernetes and OpenStack.

XGVela
Findings from a network function modernization effort were shared by an operator (China Mobile), demonstrating the important role played by the XGVela project.