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Open source HA middleware project takes off

Jun 29, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Motorola announced this week that the open source high availability (HA) software project it launched four months ago has made considerable progress. The OpenSAF project has achieved an initial 1.0 code release, and Motorola has started the process of forming an “industry-wide consortium” to steward the project, according to the company.

The OpenSAF project aims to create a complete high-availability operating environment based entirely on Service Availability Forum (SAForum) standards. Such an implementation will conserve engineering resources for NEPs (network equipment providers) and other companies requiring high availability, Motorola said. Additionally, ISVs (independent software vendors) will be able to use OpenSAF “as a benchmark for creating highly available applications.”

The initial OpenSAF 1.0 release includes an implementation of AIS, the SAForum's definition of how high-availability middleware should communicate with service applications. The 1.0 release announcement comes days after GoAhead announced its SAFfire 2.0 product, billed as the “first usable” AIS implementation.

The new OpenSAF 1.0 release can be set up on a pair of 32-bit PowerPC or x86 PCs (64-bit support is planned). The PCs or blades need dual Ethernet cards.

OpenSAF runs on top of an OS portability layer called “LEAP” (layered environment for accelerated portability). Currently, LEAP is implemented for Linux. Validated OSes include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, and MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition 4.0.

Open source software packages leveraged by OpenSAF include the XERCES XML parser, NET-SNMP (simple network management protocol), and TIPC (transparent inter-process communication).

Some portions of the initial OpenSAF 1.0 release appear to be distributed in binary form (as RPMs). The license is published here.


As an open source project, OpenSAF code does not depend on any vendor's products or support services, Motorola said. The company hopes that users will help determine future enhancements by joining a new “industry-wide consortium” being formed to steward the OpenSAF project and manage future development of the OpenSAF code base. Companies expressing interest so far include Ericsson, HP, and Nokia/Siemens Networks, according to Motorola.

The OpenSAF project was launched in late February by Microsoft and Ericcson, and was seeded initially by software from Motorola's former NetPlane Core Service (NCS) product. The project has received backing from Nokia, Nortel, OKI, Siemens Networks, Interphase, MontaVista, and Wind River, Motorola said.

Further details can be found on an OpenSAF website, here.

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