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Industry group formed around open source HA middleware

Jan 22, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

An open industry forum has been created to maintain and promote an open source (LGPL v2.1) implmentation of Service Availability Forum high-availability middleware specifications. Founded by Emerson Network Power (ENP), Ericsson, HP, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Sun Microsystems, the OpenSAF Foundation aims to standardize high-availability middleware for Linux-based carrier-grade systems.

The new OpenSAF Foundation will serve as the formal maintainer and promoter of OpenSAF software, which was previously developed by an “informal group of supporters,” according to the OpenSAF project website. The OpenSAF project was launched in mid-2007, with the release of OpenSAF 1.0 code by Motorola's Embedded Communications Computing Group (ECC). Subsequently, Motorola ECC was acquired by Emerson Network Power last week.

In addition to supporting select SAForum specs, the OpenSAF project is also aligned with the requirements of the Scope Alliance, it says. Formed by Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, and Siemens, Scope aims to promote the interoperability of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware and software for infrastructure equipment.

OpenSAF architecture

OpenSAF is intended to conserve engineering resources for NEPs (network equipment providers) and other companies requiring high availability, says the Foundation. It is also intended to act as a benchmark for developing highly available applications. OpenSAF middleware is now established under the LGPLv2.1 license (Library/Lesser GNU Public License).

Application Interface Specification
(Click to enlarge)

OpenSAF 1.0 includes an implementation of Application Interface Specification (AIS), the SAForum spec that defines how high-availability middleware communicates with service applications (see diagram above). Designed initially for paired 32-bit PowerPC or x86 PCs with dual Ethernet cards, OpenSAF 1.0 runs on top of an OS portability layer called “LEAP” (layered environment for accelerated portability), which is currently implemented for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, and MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition 4.0.

Stated Stephan Scholz, CTO at Nokia Siemens Networks. “As a founder of Service Availability Forum and the Scope Alliance, we view the OpenSAF Foundation as an extension of our ongoing efforts not only to accelerate the deployment of carrier-grade base platforms but also to advocate the availability and implementation of an open source operating environment.”

Stated Christine Martino, HP's VP, Telecom Platforms, “We see customer demand growing significantly for open, standards-based solutions in the telecommunications industry. Our recent efforts to bring the latest in blade server innovation to the telecom market demonstrate HP's leadership and commitment to carrier-grade Linux advancement, and we will continue to drive and support carrier-grade Linux and OpenSAF on HP platforms moving forward.”

In June, GoAhead announced what it called the “first usable” AIS implementation, SAFire 2.0.

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