Recollections by Don Clarke

I've put up some pictures from the OPNFV inception meeting hosted at CableLabs in June 2014 - some of the folks present as well as flip chart scribblings. A bit blurry, sorry.

Origins of OPNFV

I'd like to acknowledge that the idea for OPNFV originated with Ash Young. I wrote it up in a memoir, here is the extract, and I'll attach Ash's original "Yunify" PPT slides.

It was during the autumn of 2013 that I was approached by Ash Young then at Huawei, with an interesting proposal to create a new open source community to progress NFV. He said there were upwards of 200 developers he could persuade to get involved and he sent me a proposal which he called “Yunify” (a Mandarin expression that I don’t recall the meaning of). I arranged a call with Uwe Michel, Margaret Chiosi, Prodip Sen and myself for Ash to explain the concept. It was a late-night call in the UK and I remember it well because it was the moment when we realized that we could both encourage open source and validate that open source could support telco-grade NFV solutions by creating a new open source integration project. This project became OPNFV.

Yunify proposal from Ash Young is in the attachment folder.

The Leak Panic

I hosted the inception meeting for OPNFV at CableLabs’ Sunnyvale offices in June 2014, just a few weeks after I joined CableLabs. It was chaired by the Linux Foundation and attended by operators and vendors who had indicated they would become Platinum founders.

The morning of the OPNFV inception meeting, I got a call from my boss (Chris Donley) to say that the CEO (Phil McKinney) had received an alert that the word "leak" had been associated with CableLabs in a Light Reading post, and that I needed to explain it ASAP.

Thinking I was about to be fired and I'd only been there a few weeks, I scrambled to identify the source. Thankfully, Light Reading had got hold of a draft of the OPNFV team briefing document that I'd been managing and which had been widely circulated outside of CableLabs for comment. It had somehow found its way into the hands of a Light Reading journalist, who had held it back so that he could create a headline around it on the day of the meeting. When this was explained to the CEO, and that it wasn't a confidential document, that it hadn't been leaked by anyone at CableLabs, and it was harmless and had the side effect of the media being accurate in their description of the initiative, I was off the hook. Here is a link to the offending article:

CableLabs Announcement

CableLabs blog post announcing CableLabs founding member: 


Recollections from Heather

I joined OPNFV coming off of a stint at Mongo DB and a previous (via multiple acquisitions) 12 year total term at Alcatel-Lucent. Telecom (for better or worse) had settled itself deep into my soul and my bones. As someone who'd spent a large chunk of her career in standards, I'd realized that global, multi-company collaboration was at the heart of what we did, and I'd always wanted to see it push further. That's what open source always meant to me – the taking of standards and pushing it into implementation, implementation that could be used by everyone on this planet. To be completely blunt, I had no fucking clue what I was doing when I became the ED of OPNFV. All I knew was that the work we were trying to do was important and that we could only do it if we felt that we were one integrated community that spanned the globe, our employers, and our culture. It spurred me to learn more about every single country that we travelled to, every single country that contributed people into our crazy mix. I remember walking through snow in Prague, re-igniting my lower back injury walking through the Fira in Bareclona at MWC, receiving a live mobile Doctor-based call from Ildiko Vancsa during OpenStack Summit. Ryota and Ashiq were such a part of making that happen.  Neela, remember when everyone thought that you and I should be in competition and we were like yeah, no? Don, you are the most thoughtful and intelligent gentleman ever. I remember Dirk Kirshner insisting on seeing me home through the dark streets of Taiwan; I remember talking to Uli in the hotel bar in Geneva and thinking about the future. I remember looking at Prodip and Margaret with awe and asking them what the precise moment they realized that this thing was going to change the world. I expect Tetsuya in his new role at AWS will help us keep pushing forward. I remember Sandra holding me to account and also inspiring me when it came to our Summits. I remember the night that Ash ordered a shockingly large number of shots during our plugfest in New Hampshire – Lincoln, I thought you would have been the adult that night. Why did you allow some of our community to pass out in your hometown bar? ;-p I will never forget Brandon and Jill and Ray and David and Jim keeping me grounded and focused. I will always treasure being part of the "Chris Price and Heather show." I will recall Fatih and Sofia teaching the fundamental importance of CI/CD and Docs. Morgan and Jose....when you sang the Hallelujah song the first time it brought me to tears, and it still does. Tim Irnich...dude...I have had so many conversations about how to look at strategy and execution married to each other......I'll always have a whiskey poured out for you. Georg: Dovetail might have often been a shitshow, but compliance and verification is what our Board thinks is most important. Randy, I hope that cable will finally learn from all the work you've done. Chris Donley: yeah, you were right, compliance and verification is what is most important to our membership. Eric Dubeau saying "It's just JSON.....seriously operators, get yourselves together and contribute." were always the quiet kind voice that helped us get through tough times. Ash....dude, you know what you did to help my continued presence here when some there was a move to harm me professionally and personally, and I will always be grateful – look after my  hometown. Other things I can't forget: Fu Qiao is not only competent, but has some of the best fashion sense of our community. Having lunch in Beijing with Jonne, Tapio, Timo, and the Nokia team – I promise to always look at your  shoes when I'm talking to you. Roz, Caroline, Carol Wilson – the women journalists and analysts of telecom – your writing.......Carlos, Manuel, Jose, Cristina: your late night drinks with me and your young energy kept me going....and yeah your code is pretty awesome, too. Dave Lenrowe, I hope that hangover from Dusseldorf has passed – mine might still be here, but the conversations we had that night were so meaningful.   (smile) Dave Neary, "Upstream First" is still our motto going into Anuket. Tom Nadeau, we often wrangled, but it was because you cared. Al, you've steered this ship into its new beginning.....not easy but very important, and my respect for you is immense. Emma, you've kept doing Barometer work taking on from Mariam, and it's one of the most amazingly quietly important projects that we've had .Brady, the TEAL BOX  has not forgotten you, and someday it will find you. I will never forget the smells and sounds and tastes of all the places we've been. I don't want anyone I failed  to mention (a failure completely on my part) to feel that they're not close to my heart: I'm just honestly overwhelmed with emotion right now and need to close. The level of gratitude and love that I feel around me with this community, the responsibility I feel toward its future, the full on enjoyment and friendships that are a part of my existence thanks to every one who has been here.......I cannot thank you enough. You've given me hope and you have shown me the importance of what we do. I am proud to have played for OPNFV!