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Open HA middleware project launches

Feb 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A newly launched community project aims to create an open reference implementation for a “complete” high availability (HA) operating environment, based on select Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) standards. “OpenSAF” was created by Motorola and Ericcson, and is backed by Nokia, Nortel, OKI, Siemens Networks, Interphase, MontaVista, and Wind River.

The SA Forum is an industry coalition founded in 2001, and comprised of communications and computing companies promoting open, standard, availability interface specifications. Its more successful specifications include:

  • Hardware Platform Interface (HPI) — aimed at abstracting hardware from management middleware
  • Application Interface Specification (AIS) — a high-availability API for service applications
  • Systems Management Interface (SMI) — SNMP-based interfaces for distributed monitoring and control of AIS and HPI management functionalities

Currently, SA Forum specifications are implemented under Linux by a number of commercial HA middleware vendors, including GoAhead, Enea, and OpenClovis, among others. Additionally, some larger NEPs (network equipment providers), such as Nokia appear to maintain their own implementations.

Motorola describes the OpenSAF's strategic goal as “to accelerate broad adoption of an SA Forum Compliant operating environment” by creating an open reference implementation. Such an implementation would enable NEPs to offer service providers a common software platform across multiple types of equipment, reducing training and specialization, Motorola says. It would also reassure NEPs that their enhancements would receive attention upstream, and be considered for possible inclusion in future SA Forum specifications, according to the company.

Motorola outlines five key tactical goals for the OpenSAF project, including:

  • Create an open source implementation of a high availability operating environment that includes the SA Forum Application Interface Specification (AIS)
  • Develop necessary additional complementary services necessary to deploy and manage the software
  • Accelerate the development of SA Forum specifications by proposing enhancements implemented in the OpenSAF project
  • Establish a broadly adopted high availability operating environment that can be leveraged by computing technology companies, NEPs, and other industries requiring high availability, and ISVs
  • Utilize an open source licensing model not tied to any commercial implementation

The project will be seeded initially with Motorola's NetPlane Core Service (NCS) software stack, which will apparently be donated to the community under an open source license. Motorola describes NCS as “a complete operating environment that includes SA Forum services and a complementary set of required services necessary for a deployable implementation.”

Ericsson says it also will contribute initial resources of an unspecified nature to the project. Additionally, various NEPs and communications software companies have endorsed the project, including MontaVista, Wind River, Interphase, Nokia, Nortel, OKI, and Siemens Networks.

According to Stephen Dow, GM of embedded communications at Motorola, this collaboration “can lead to more rapid development of a fully featured deployable reference implementation of SA Forum compliant high availability software for a wide range of platforms.”

Carrier Grade Linux provider MontaVista began touting SA Forum compliance nearly two year ago, followed more recently by Wind River.

MontaVista CEO Tom Kelly stated, “OpenSAF provides a key high-availability component to complete a full carrier grade commercial-off-the-shelf solution. MontaVista will include support of OpenSAF in our MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition and our DevRocket development tool suite.”

Wind River CEO Ken Klein stated, “We believe this effort will result in a reliable, feature-rich high-availability framework for our networks customers. We are committed to including support for OpenSAF in Wind River Workbench.”

The OpenSAF project expects to release its first source code in Q2, Motorola said.

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