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ONF Unveils SDN, NFV Reference Designs for Service Providers

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), making good on a change of tactics announced in March, has unveiled reference designs to help service providers and operators leverage software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) in their modern networks.

The group last week announced four such reference designs, which serve as standardized blueprints on how to use common SDN and NFV modular components to build out edge and access clouds.

The work stems from a new strategic plan the operator-led consortium announced earlier this year after members cited "a lack of clarity on common platforms" that prompted a group of operators to call for a switch in direction.

"Unnecessary customization drives variants and unique requirements into the ecosystem, which in turn drives complexity and cost," the operators said. "There is a need to help identify common platforms that will be deployed across multiple operators and to help the industry rally and benefit from shared investment."

To that end, the ONF announced its first four reference designs:

  • SEBA-RD: SDN Enabled Broadband Access, a lightweight reference design supporting a multitude of virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network, including PON, G.Fast, DOCSIS and more
  • NFV Fabric-RD: SDN-native spine-leaf data center fabric optimized for edge applications.
  • UPAN-RD: Unified, Programmable & Automated Network, a next generation SDN reference design, leveraging P4 to enable flexible data plane programmability and network embedded VNF acceleration.
  • ODTN-RD: Open Disaggregated Transport Network, an open multi-vendor optical network.

The ONF also said it will continue to champion open source platforms -- such as M-CORD and Multi-Access Edge Cloud -- that lead the industry's next-generation activities, along with some supply chain members joining together to help realize the new reference designs.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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