Software-defined networking pioneers chart next phase of SDN & NFV, leveraging network device disaggregation, open source platforms and software-defined standards
MENLO PARK, Calif., February 14, 2017–Today the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is announcing its new Open Innovation Pipeline made possible through the aligned operations of ONF and Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) as these two organizations finalize their pending merger.
ON.Lab, with CORD® and ONOS®, successfully brought together operators, vendors and integrators to build solutions for carrier networks by leveraging SDN, NFV and Cloud technologies through an open source approach to solution creation. Operators have embraced the approach, and the industry is in the midst of a resulting transformation revolutionizing how solutions will be built for 5G mobile, ultra broadband and other next-generation networks.
Building on the success of CORD and ONOS, the ONF is industrializing and opening the unique process that enabled the creation of these platforms. Central to the approach is to leverage the ONF’s deep relationships with operators to validate the vision, a focus on high-value use cases and solutions, and solidifying pre-established paths for taking solutions into operator PoCs (proof of concepts), trials and deployment.
Now that the SDN movement, first initiated by the ONF, has successfully set in motion the disaggregation of networking devices and control software and fostered the emergence of a broad range open source platforms, the industry needs a unifying effort to build solutions out of the numerous disaggregated components. A trend has emerged where vendors leverage open source to build closed proprietary solutions, providing only marginal benefit to the broader ecosystem. The ONF’s Open Innovation Pipeline intends to counteract this trend by offering greater returns to members who participate in the ONF’s collaborative process. Through making active contributions to the Open Innovation Pipeline, vendors benefit from inclusion in CORD and ONOS solutions, thereby gaining access to operator deployments.
With the ONF now opening this process to its full breadth of its 200+ members, the power of this model is being made available to a much larger cross section of the industry. Now, any member with a valuable contribution can insert their unique innovation anywhere along this open pipeline, and the momentum of the pipeline will pull the innovation into operator PoCs, trials and beyond.
Furthermore, to promote interoperability with diverse components of the open source ecosystem, ONF is driving a Software Defined Standards approach to developing Interoperability APIs and data models. Through this effort, the ONF intends to help the ecosystem craft diverse solutions ready for production deployment.
“The ONF’s Open Innovation Pipeline lowers the barrier to entry by providing a broadly applicable framework built on open source building blocks to deliver complete solutions for network operators,” said Guru Parulkar, executive director of ONF, ON.Lab and Stanford Platform Lab. “Perhaps more importantly, this pipeline allows members of all types to bring their unique innovation and value into the solution. Operators, vendors and integrators all have a role to play, and the pipeline helps integrate these contributions into consumable solutions for operators.”
“By offering a complete stack of networking and orchestration open source solutions, The Linux Foundation is paving the way for new architectures,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation. “Components like ONOS and CORD will help solve specific challenges with network operations as carriers embrace an open era.”
“Open source has had a dramatic impact on the networking industry,” according to Timon Sloane, ONF’s VP of standards and membership. “Gone are the days when standards drove innovation. Open source is moving much more quickly than the traditional standards process, and as such we are recrafting the ONF’s mission around standards to include a focus on deriving Interoperability APIs and Data Model from open source in order to promote interoperability. It is very important to us that all the pieces of this new ecosystem can play well together, and we see this expanded focus as central to enabling the crafting of solutions from the disaggregated components now taking shape across the industry.”
All the constituents of the networking ecosystem stand to benefit from the Open Innovation Pipeline.
- Operators: The ONF is helping to turn the network into a strategic asset for the 21st century, enabling innovation and programmability and bringing cloud-like devops efficiencies to the carrier network.
- Integrators: Pent up demand for network transformation has resulted in a skills gap within operators, creating a unique market opportunity for integrators. System integrators can add value to the Open Innovation Pipeline by contributing with service customization, solution packaging, verification and deployment assistance, all based on the common CORD and ONOS framework.
- Vendors: The ONF’s deep relationships with operators gives member companies a unique view into the future of networking. Active members benefit by remaining on the leading edge of technology, and by leveraging the pipeline to help drive their unique innovations into operator networks.
Supporting Board Member Quotes
AT&T: “Lowering innovation barriers and accelerating speed to market are fundamental principles behind SDN,” said Andre Fuetsch, President, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer, AT&T. “The new ONF is well positioned to deliver on these principles far beyond the operator, integrator and vendor communities.”
Google: “At Google we’re heavy users of open source, and today open source solves many infrastructure problems,” said Urs Hölzle, ONF Chairman/President and Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure, Google. “The networking space has been slowest to offer end-to-end open source alternatives. SDN is a chance to rearchitect how networks are built, and while so doing, presents the perfect inflection point for open source to take on a pivotal role. We are committed to the ONF to help drive this inflection and to help push networking forward into the open source era.”
NTT Communications: “Open source innovation is critical to maximizing SDN’s potential, and it plays an important role for our future networks in realizing complete open networking,” said Dai Kashiwa, Director of Technology Development, NTT Communications. “We see the ONF as central to this mission and best positioned to bring together and align the forces at large to help the industry move towards the vision of combining open source and software defined standards.”
SK Telecom: “SK Telecom has outlined a three-year plan for innovation in 5G, IoT and related Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies as we transform the company from a service provider into a platform operator,” said Alex Choi, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate R&D Center at SK Telecom. “SDN and NFV are vital to accelerating network value. At the same time, SDN standards alone won’t drive the necessary innovation. We believe the ONF’s new charter around software defined standards and it’s commitment to bringing diverse innovation to market through the open innovation pipeline will allow organizations like ours to accelerate network innovation.”
Verizon: “Software-centric architectures driven by open source are accelerating network transformations. ONF’s Open Innovation Pipeline facilitates innovation at different layers and allows for large number of contributors to effectively collaborate to deliver the innovative services and applications that customers demand,” said Srini Kalapala, Vice President, Global Technology and Supplier Strategy at Verizon. “ONF’s strategy is based on standards supported by open source software and application development. We see open source as helping to move the industry quicker, and we see the ONF as central to this movement.”
Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) has created the leading open source platforms CORD® (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) and ONOS® (Open Network Operating System (ONOS) for service providers. Founded by SDN’s inventors and leaders to foster an open source community to realize the full potential of SDN, ON.Lab brings innovative ideas from leading edge research and delivers high-quality open source platforms on which members of its ecosystem can build solutions. For further information visit http://onlab.us/.
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), the recognized leader and standard bearer for SDN. Launched in 2011, the ONF has successfully taken Software Defined Networking (SDN) from obscurity to the universally accepted vision for next generation networking.
The ONF is led by a board including representation from leading operators including AT&T, Google, NTT Communications, SK Telecom and Verizon. The merger of ONF and ON.Lab is expected to be complete in late 2017. For further information visit http://www.opennetworking.org/.