SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Open Networking Summit – The Open Network Automation Platform made its big debut Wednesday here with the news that the code and documentation were now open to the community.
"Harmonization" has been one of the key themes at this year's ONS from day one, and ONAP has been the poster child of that theme during keynotes, panels and on the show floor. (See ONS: State of the Union for Open Source.)
In terms of open source collaboration, ONAP has had a fast first step out of the starting blocks. In February, the Linux Foundation announced that AT&T's ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy) and OPEN-O (Open Orchestrator Project) were being combined into ONAP. (See Linux Foundation Welds OPEN-O, ECOMP Into ONAP.)
Prior to the merger, OPEN-O and ECOMP were viewed as competing solutions in the NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) sector.
"After one or two months we're here," said Yachen Wang, deputy director of the network technology Department at China Mobile Research Institute, during a press briefing at ONS. "I think it's amazing."
AT&T's Mazin Gilbert talks about ONAP at the Open Networking Summit.
Wang is the president of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) governing board while AT&T's Mazin Gilbert is the technical steering committee (TSC) chair. Other board members that were also announced Wednesday included Chris Rice, senior vice president of AT&T Labs, as chair, and Vincent Danno, director wireline standards of innovation technical and marketing at Orange (NYSE: FTE), as treasurer.
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China Mobile Ltd.
(NYSE: CHL) has more than 800 million mobile subscribers and Wang said that his company got behind OPEN-O in order to meet the demands of new services and applications from the roll out of 5G. On a similar note, AT&T Inc.
went to work on ECOMP after seeing an exponential increase in bandwidth demand on its network.
On the plus side, both OPEN-O and ECOMP are software-based and modular, according to Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking and orchestration for the Linux Foundation , who also spoke at the briefing.
Gilbert, vice president of advanced technologies at AT&T Labs, said that the project would issue its first software release in the fourth quarter of this year.
AT&T has had ECOMP in production for several years while OPEN-O had its first code release last year. Combining AT&T 's 8.5 million code lines from ECOMP with millions of lines of code from OPEN-O is no small task. All told, ONAP's members serve 38% of the global wireless customers.
As TSC chair, Gilbert said part of his job was to make sure that on the technical side "we harmonize these different solutions and technologies and create, by this year, one consolidated platform." That consolidated platform will drive network automation for the ONAP ecosystem.
"We're very excited about this," Gilbert said "It's something we thought would be a revolution and an industry change. I expect every week, or every two weeks, we'll have some announcements of some exciting things going on."
As for some of the problems, or enhancements, that ONAP can solve, Mazin mentioned onboarding VNFs while Wang said OSS needed to be included with orchestration.
"I would like to invite more partners to join us," Wang said. "I think we can collaborate and cooperate with more partners to advance this project successfully."
Joshipura said more ONAP roadmap details would be forthcoming during a keynote panel on Thursday at ONS.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation