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SDN/NFV-Centric Open Network Automation Platform Debuts

Framework provides real-time, policy-driven software automation of virtual network functions.

The Linux Foundation has combined two open source projects to form the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) for automating virtual network functions in software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) implementations.

The two projects being combined to form ONAP are open source ECOMP and Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O).

As we reported previously, ECOMP, standing for Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy, was homegrown AT&T technology that the company donated to the open source community.

AT&T developed ECOMP as part of the SDN/NFV-powered modernization of its network to handle increased traffic emanating from demanding technologies such as autonomous cars, augmented (featured in Pokémon Go) and virtual reality, 4K video, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

ECOMP Components
[Click on image for larger view.] ECOMP Components (source: AT&T).

OPEN-O, meanwhile, was a Linux Foundation project -- which we covered in November -- to bridge the gap between SDN and NFV technologies by delivering end-to-end services across NFV infrastructure, as well as SDN and legacy network services.

As the two projects were working toward some of the same goals, they have been combined, The Linux Foundation announced last week.

OPEN-O Architecture
[Click on image for larger view.] OPEN-O Architecture (source: OPEN-O).

"Alignment of the two projects creates a harmonized and comprehensive framework for real-time, policy-driven software automation of virtual network functions that will enable software, network, IT and cloud providers and developers to rapidly create new services," The Linux Foundation said. "By consolidating member resources, ONAP is well positioned to deliver a unified architecture and implementation, with an open standards upstream focus, faster than any one project could on its own."

Those member resources come from industry heavyweights such as AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Orange, VMware and many others.

Amdocs, another member, provided commentary on the new project. "The merging of open source ECOMP and OPEN-O will create the de facto industry standard for NFV/SDN automation and accelerate industry adoption by service providers and the vendor ecosystem," Amdocs said in a statement.

"Open source ECOMP brings a holistic approach based on production-proven software -- the foundation upon which ONAP is being developed," Amdocs continued. "As co-creator of ECOMP along with AT&T, we bring core platform expertise and a unique end-to-end perspective that enables the ONAP project to deliver tangible value to global service providers and provide innovative virtual services faster."

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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