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Six Linux Foundation open source networking projects are combining into one new project known as the LF Networking Fund (LFN). The six initial projects are ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight, FD.io, PDNA, and SNAS.

Arpit Joshipura will serve as executive director of LFN for the Linux Foundation. Joshipura’s previous title had been general manager of networking and orchestration at the Linux Foundation. “We are going horizontal,” said Joshipura. “I will be driving the general business management of LFN.”

Heather Kirksey, who had been the executive director of OPNFV, now becomes VP of NFV where she will oversee community engagement and developer efforts for LFN. And Phil Robb, who had been the acting executive director of OpenDaylight, now becomes VP of operations for LFN.

Participation in LFN is voluntary. Each networking project decides for itself whether and when to join. And each of the projects will continue to maintain its technical independence and release roadmaps. The technical steering committees (TSCs) of each of the six individual projects remain the same. But they are overseen by an umbrella technical advisory council (TAC). There’s also an umbrella marketing advisory council (MAC).

LFN chart 2

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The initial six projects together form the basis of a networking stack from the data plane to the control plane, to orchestration, automation, and end-to-end testing. LFN will also provide a platform for cross-project collaboration.

Joshipura said LFN is the answer to members’ request for a platform that combines separate projects into one software stack. He said members wanted to have architectural discussions across projects for such things as multi-VIM collaboration and VNF onboarding. “Communities are already collaborating, but they did not have a structure,” he said.

LFN brings together 83 member organizations, including more than 60 percent of global mobile subscribers. It also brings together enterprise vendors, systems integrators, and cloud providers.

Previously, organizations had to pay a membership fee for each of these six open source groups that it wanted to join. With the new LFN structure, they pay one membership fee and can participate in all six of the initial projects as well as other projects that join LFN in the future.

The next likely project to join LFN is OpenContrail, which just became a Linux Foundation project in December. Randy Bias, VP of technology for cloud software at Juniper Networks, said at the time, that OpenContrail was in the process of joining a new organization within the Linux Foundation.

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