OPNFV Platform Architecture

The OPNFV project addresses a number of aspects in the development of a consistent virtualization platform including common hardware requirements, software architecture and installed state. The platform architecture as the OPNFV project approaches it is dicussed in the following sections.

OPNFV Lab Infrastructure

The Pharos Project provides a lab infrastructure that is geographically and technically diverse. Labs instantiate bare-metal and virtual environments that are accessed remotely by the community and used for OPNFV platform and feature development, build, deploy and testing. This helps in developing a highly robust and stable OPNFV platform with well understood performance characteristics.

Community labs are hosted by OPNFV member companies on a voluntary basis. The Linux Foundation also hosts an OPNFV lab that provides centralised CI and other production resources which are linked to community labs. Future lab capabilities will include the ability easily automate deploy and test of any OPNFV install scenario in any lab environemnt as well as on a virtual infrastructure.

Software architecture

This section will provide information which upstream projects, versions and components are integrated in the release to implement OPNFV requirement. You can find the list of common requirements for deployment tools here: http://artifacts.opnfv.org/genesisreq/brahmaputra/requirements/requirements.pdf.


OPNFV integrates OpenStack as cloud management system where Brahmaputra uses the OpenStack Liberty Release. The set of sub-projects deployed in a brahmaputra platform varies slightly depending on the installer and scenario.

The following table shows which components are deployed.

services type Apex Compass Fuel Joid
aodh alarming Available
ceilometer metering Available Available Available Available
cinder volume Available Available Available Available
cloud cloudformation Available Available Available
glance image Available Available Available Available
heat orchestration Available Available Available Available
keystone identity Available Available Available Available
neutron network Available Available Available Available
nova compute Available Available Available Available
swift object-store Available Available Available

Note that additional components of OpenStack are used as part of deployment tools and test frameworks (Fuel, Tempest, Rally).

For more information about the OpenStack features and usage refer to the official OpenStack documentation page. Please ensure that you have the Liberty release selected at the More Releases & Languages drop down menu.

Operating System

OPNFV uses Linux on all target machines. Depending on the installers, different distributions are supported.

Ubuntu 14 supported by Fuel, Compass and Joid installers CentOS 7 supported by Apex and Compass

SDN Controllers

OPNFV Brahmaputra release supports different SDN controllers. Some scenarios don’t use an SDN controller but rely just on Neutron networking capabilities.

Depending on the SDN controller you are using, the featureset available will vary. More information on feature support and scenarios can be found in OPNFV Configuration Guide and OPNFV User Guide. Brahmaputra also provides scenarios without an SDN controller, just using OpenStack Neutron.

OpenDaylight is an SDN controller aiming to accelerate adoption of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with a transparent approach that fosters new innovation. OpenDaylight runs within a JVM and is installed in OPNFV within a container and integrated with OpenStack using the ODL device driver. The Brahmaputra release of OPNFV integrates the Beryllium release. You can find more information about OpenDaylight among the release artifacts at the Downloads page. Please ensure you are using the Beryllium documentation.

ONOS is an SDN controller written in Java with a distributed architecture with special focus to support scalability, fault tolerance and hardware and software upgrades without interrupting network traffic. More information on the internal design of ONOS may be found in User’s Guide and Architecture+Guide on the wiki of the ONOS project. ONOS is integrated to OPNFV using a framework ONOSFW and Neutron plugins. Details can be found in the ONOS specific OPNFV documents, Design guide, User guide and Configuration guide.

Data Plane

OPNFV extends Linux’s virtual networking capabilies by using virtual switch and router components including improving those components by requirements specific to telco use cases.

For instance some scenarios use OpenVSwitch to replace Linux bridges as it offers advantages in terms of mobility, hardware integration and use by network controllers. OPNFV leverages these by upgrade to a specific installation using user-space datapath. This includes changes to other dataplane components, including libvirt, qemu, DPDK etc. Please find more information in OVSNFV User’s Guide.

Other Components


NFV infrastructure has special requirements on hypervisors with respect of interrupt latency (timing correctness and packet latency in data plane) and live migration.

Besides additional software changes, this requires some adjustments to system configuration information, like hardware, BIOS, OS, etc.

Please find more information at KVM4NFV project documentation.

Deployment Architecture

OPNFV starts with a typical configuration with 3 controller nodes running OpenStack, SDN, etc. and a minimum of 2 compute nodes for deployment of VNFs. A detailed description of this 5 node configuration can be found in pharos documentation.

The 3 controller nodes allow to provide an HA configuration. The number of compute nodes can be increased dynamically after the initial deployment.

OPNFV can be deployed on bare metal or in a virtual environment, where each of the hosts is a virtual machine and provides the virtual resources using nested virtualization.

The initial deployment is done using a so-called “jumphost”. This server (either bare metal or virtual) is first installed with the installer program that then installs OpenStack and other components on the controller nodes and compute nodes. See the OPNFV User Guide for more details.

In Brahmaputra, different scenarios can be deployed to provide the different feature sets, e.g. HA, IPV6, BGPVPN, KVM, or select the different implementations, e.g. SDN controllers.

The following scenarios are supported, some of them can be deployed using different installers.

  • nosdn-nofeature
  • odl_l2-ha
  • odl_l3-ha
  • odl_l2-bgpvpn-noha
  • onos-ha
  • nosdn-ovs-ha
  • nosdn-kvm-ha
  • nosdn-ovs_kvm-ha

Please find more information at: http://artifacts.opnfv.org/opnfvdocs/brahmaputra/configguide/configoptions.html#opnfv-scenario-s.