Different strokes: How SA Forum and OpenSAF complement each other in strengthening awareness of service availability

Understand their relationship to one another, to furthering Service Availability, and to your objectives.

1“What is the difference between the SA Forum and OpenSAF?” is a question John Fryer, president of the Service Availability Forum (SA Forum), and Monica Hatlen, president of the Open Service Availability Framework (OpenSAF) Foundation, are uniquely qualified to address. Here they summarize the different charters of two key industry organizations.

In addition to developing and releasing specifications, the SA Forum provides educational resources to promote and enable the adoption of these specifications. To date, the SA Forum has focused primarily on the telecommunications and military/aerospace markets, although its specifications are also applicable to mission-critical systems in other vertical markets and the enterprise.

The SA Forum specifications have been very successful, with multiple implementations appearing in the market and a growing list of customers using these implementations in their systems.

OpenSAF: Project and foundation

One implementation of service availability middleware based on the SA Forum specifications is the Open Service Availability Framework (OpenSAF), an open source project.

The OpenSAF Foundation is an industry group that supports this open source project with marketing, educational, and financial resources to accelerate the adoption of OpenSAF in commercial applications. As with other open source projects, more and more companies are beginning to offer commercial OpenSAF support, behaving very like firms such as Red Hat, Novell, and others that offer commercial Linux support.

You can find commercially supported implementations of the SA Forum specifications in the market today, and what is available includes both proprietary implementations and those based on the OpenSAF open source code. What’s more, an increasing number of Independent Software Vendors support SA Forum implementations, creating the market presence and ecosystem to enable continued adoption.

Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between the SA Forum and OpenSAF, along with other implementations and commercial support in the service availability middleware marketplace. Note the multiple implementations of SA Forum specifications – open source and proprietary – now available in the market.

Figure 1: Both SA Forum and the OpenSAF Foundation help usher specifications toward an ongoing broad base of commercial support.



In summary, the SA Forum defines specifications for Service Availability middleware, and the OpenSAF open source project is one of multiple implementations of those specifications. Though separate organizations with distinct charters, both SA Forum and the OpenSAF Foundation hold the common goal of furthering awareness of service availability in the marketplace. Please visit http://saforum.org and www.opensaf.org/ for more information.

John Fryer is president of the Service Availability Forum and serves on the SA Forum’s board of directors representing Emerson Network Power, where he is director of technology marketing for Emerson’s Embedded Computing business. John has more than 25 years of experience in the communications industry in a variety of marketing and engineering positions. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Monica Hatlen is president of the OpenSAF Foundation and product manager for Platform & Component Strategy within Ericsson. Monica has 20 years of experience in telecommunication in a variety of management and engineering positions. You can reach her at [email protected]