El Alto, the Fifth Release of ONAP, is Here!

El Alto is the fifth release of the Linux Foundation ONAP project. It furthers ONAP’s evolution as the focal point for industry alignment around management, orchestration, and monitoring of the open networking stack, architecture, APIs, standards, and more. El Alto, primarily a non-functional release, is aimed at improving the overall confidence of ONAP in production deployments as evidenced by the over 2,500 issues addressed. The key themes of this release are security, documentation, and stability. Other focus areas were scalability, performance, resilience, code footprint reduction, continuous integration, and reduction of technical debt. The release also contains some incremental functional and OVP related enhancements. The reduced release cycle of four months instead of the usual six paves the way for a more agile ONAP workflow in the future.

By using a security-by-design approach, ONAP developers seek to make components free of vulnerabilities and impervious to attack. In addition to addressing 12 common vulnerability and exposures (CVEs) and 44 security issues, the number of exposed ports was also reduced in El Alto. Most ONAP projects also pass the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) badge reflecting progress on an open source secure development maturity model. During El Alto, progress continued towards passing a greater number of Silver and Gold level CII tests. Next, several project teams replaced their internal component libraries with more secure ones; for example, the Portal framework now integrates a more Springframework 4.3.24 library. The overall use of the ONAP Authentication and Authorization Framework (AAF) project has gone up and the functionality of AAF has also been enhanced.

Another key theme for the release was document-as-you-code that resulted in improved documentation, new user guides, and integration with Swagger. El Alto release also includes Postman collections in the user guide making it significantly easier to interact with the external API. Additional usability enhancements include improved Music and VF-C interfaces via GUI or CLI and the use of scripting in VVP to simplify Day 0 configuration (preload).

The third key theme was around stability. The number of test cases has increased across the board. The VF-C project, for instance, added 15 new test cases. Moreover, over 800 bugs were closed across ONAP projects. For example, the Service Orchestrator project addressed 156 bugs. The continuous integration (CI) framework has increased end-to-end automation that in-turn contributes to greater stability.

ONAP El Alto also has improvements in the areas of scalability, performance, resilience, and manageability. Code footprint reduction, an effort that started with Dublin, has continued, with projects such as CLAMP showing a 40% footprint reduction. The continuous integration (CI) framework has been fortified through additional hardware. Next, the technical debt across a number of projects was reduced by refactoring code, replacing libraries, and making much-needed software or process changes.

Though mostly a non-functional release, El Alto does incorporate some incremental functional changes that improve CDS functionality, SOL004 TOSCA VNF package support, modeling, lifecycle management, and closed-loop automation. In El Alto, the ONAP community has developed VNF validation testing that will be incorporated into the OVP VNF verification program.