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At the recent Open Networking Summit, the SDN/NFV community convened in Santa Clara to share, learn, collaborate, and network about one of the most pervasive industry transformations of our time.

This year’s theme at ONS was “Harmonize, Harness, and Consume,” representing a significant turning point as network operators spanning telecommunications, cable, enterprise, cloud, and the research community renew their efforts to redefine the network architecture.

Widespread new technology adoption takes years to succeed, and requires close collaboration among those producing network technology and those consuming it. Traditionally, standards development organizations (SDOs) have played a critical role in offering a forum for discussion and debate, and well-established processes for systematically standardizing and verifying new technologies.

Introduction of largely software (vs. hardware) functionality necessitates a rethinking of the conventional technology adoption lifecycle. In a software driven world, it is infeasible to define a priori complex reference architectures and software platforms without a more iterative approach. As a result, industry has been increasingly turning to open source communities for implementation expertise and feedback.

In this new world order, closer collaboration among the SDOs, industry groups, and open source projects is needed to capitalize upon each constituent’s strengths:

  • SDOs provide operational expertise and well-defined processes for technology definition, standardization, and validation
  • Industry groups offer innovative partnerships between network operators and their vendors to establish open reference architectures that are guiding the future of the industry
  • Open source projects provide technology development expertise and infrastructure that are guided by end-user use cases, priorities, and requirements

Traditionally each of these groups operates relatively autonomously, liaising formally and informally primarily for knowledge sharing.

Moving ahead, close coordination is essential to better align individual organizations objectives, priorities, and plans. SDN/NFV are far too pervasive for any single group to own or drive. As a result, the goal is to capitalize upon the unique strengths of each to accelerate technology adoption.

It is in the spirit of such harmonization that The Linux Foundation is pleased to unveil an industry-wide call to action to achieve this goal.

As a first step, we are issuing a white paper, “Harmonizing Open Source and Standards in the Telecom World,” to outline the key concepts, and invite an unprecedented collaboration among the SDOs, open source projects, and industry groups that each play a vital role in the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem which is essential for success.

The introduction of The Linux Foundation Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) is a tangible step in the direction of harmonization, not only merging OPEN-O and the open source ECOMP communities, but also establishing a platform that by its nature as an orchestration and automation platform, must inherently integrate with a diverse set of standards, open source projects, and reference architectures.

We invite all in the community to participate in the process, in a neutral environment, where the incentives for all are to work together vs. pursue their own paths.

Join us to usher in a new era of collaboration and convergence to reshape the future.

Download the Whitepaper

With 2016 behind us, we can reflect on a landmark year where open source migrated up the stack. As a result a new breed of open service orchestration projects were announced, including ECOMP, OSM, OpenBaton, and The Linux Foundation  project OPEN-O, among them. While the scope varies between orchestrating Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in a Cloud Data Center, and more comprehensive end-to-end service delivery platforms, the new open service orchestration initiatives enable carriers and cable operators to automate end-to-end service delivery, ultimately minimizing the software development required for new services.

Open orchestration was propelled into the limelight as major operators have gained considerable experience over the past years with open source platforms, such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight. Many operators have announced ambitious network virtualization strategies, that are moving from proofs of concept (PoCs) into the field, including AT&T (Domain 2.0), Deutsche Telekom (TeraStream), Vodafone (Ocean), Telefonica (Unica), NTT Communications (O3), China Mobile (NovoNet), China Telecom (CTNet2025), among them.

Traditional Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and open source projects have paved the way for the emergence of open orchestration. For instance, OPNFV (open NFV reference platform) expanded its charter to address NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO). Similarly, MEF is pursuing the Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) initiative to standardize service orchestration, and intends to accelerate deployment with the OpenLSO open reference platform. Other efforts such as the TMForum Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management (ZOOM) project area addressing the operational aspects as well.

Standards efforts are guiding the open source orchestration projects, which set the stage for 2017 to become The Year of Orchestration.

One notable example is the OPEN-O project, which delivered its initial release less than six months from the project formation. OPEN-O enables operators to deliver end-to-end composite services over NFV Infrastructure along with SDN and legacy networks. In addition to addressing the NFV MANO, OPEN-O integrates a model-driven automation framework, service design front-end, and connectivity services orchestration.

OPEN-O is backed by some of the world’s largest and innovative SDN/NFV market leaders, including China Mobile, China Telecom, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, and VMware among them. The project is also breaking new ground in evolving how open source can be successfully adopted for large scale, carrier-grade platforms.

To learn more about OPEN-O and rapidly evolving open orchestration landscape, please join us for our upcoming Webinar:

Title: Introduction to Open Orchestration and OPEN-O

Date/Time: Tue January 17, 2017  10:00a – 11:00a PST

Presenter: Marc Cohn, Executive Director, OPEN-O

Register today to save your spot in this engaging and interactive webinar. Can’t make it on the 17th? Registering will also ensure you get a copy of the recording via email after the presentation is over.

For additional details on OPEN-O, visit: www.open-o.org