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ONF Partnership Aims SDN at Optical Transport Networks

The Open Networking Foundation announced a partnership that boosts software-defined networking in optical transport networks.

ONF describes itself as a non-profit operator led consortium that drives the transformation of network infrastructure and carrier business models. SDN has been on a transformation mission of its own with tenets such as open interoperability, programmability, decoupling of the control plane from the forwarding plane in the networking stack, disaggregation of network components, use of white-box or commodity hardware and more.

The consortium last week announced a collaborative partnership between its Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP’s)­­­­ Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) group.

The Open and Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project is an initiative to build datacenter interconnects using disaggregated optical equipment, open and common standards, and open source software.

The Open Optical & Packet Transport group works on the definition of open technologies, architectures and interfaces in optical and IP Networking.

"The ODTN project and the OOPT group are working to increase openness, SDN programmability, and disaggregation in optical transport networks," the ONF said in a post last week. "Both are leveraging open software and hardware, common APIs and community collaboration.

"While both projects started with a common vision, each focused its approach based on leveraging its existing expertise. ONF(ODTN) pursued a software-centric approach and TIP (OOPT) an open hardware agenda. These approaches are naturally synergistic, and we’re excited to now be collaborating so we can each benefit from the other’s terrific work and base of expertise."

Both organizations touted the same benefits of the partnership, including combining separate-but-similar efforts.

"By working together, both groups can reduce duplicative efforts and leverage each other’s expertise and resources, achieving more efficient optical disaggregation, API definitions, implementations, testing, and deployments," Telecom Infra Project said in a post. "ODTN enables end-to-end orchestration leveraging the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) SDN controller via TAPI and OpenConfig to provide control, management and provisioning of networks and equipment."

ONF said both projects aim to bring value to service providers by speeding up the introduction of new optical services while at the same time expanding choice and lowering capital and operation expenditures. "And through open APIs and device disaggregation, OOPT and ODTN both strive to avoid vendor lock-in by allowing for mix and match of equipment from different vendors."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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