The Open Network Automation Platform added a large feather to its cap with Monday's announcement that Comcast -- as well as some large networking vendors -- had signed up as a new member.
With the announcement, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) became the first large cable operator to join Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) . During a recent Telco Transformation radio show, Arpit Joshipura, general manager, networking at the Linux Foundation , hinted that a cable operator would soon join ONAP's ranks. (See Is Cable On Deck for ONAP?) While Comcast has been active with OpenStack for several years, its decision to join ONAP is a significant win for the open source group that is under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.
In addition to Comcast, ONAP counts AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Orange (NYSE: FTE), BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), Reliance Jio ,Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN), China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL), China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) among its service provider members. Whether Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will join the ONAP fold remains to be seen.
On the vendor front, Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. , Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), Netcracker Technology Corp. and Samsung Corp. were also added to ONAP's roster on Monday.
"We're excited to add new geographic and industry perspectives to ONAP and incredibly impressed with the progress the technical community is making with the first release," said Joshipura in a prepared statement. "Our growth in the past few months alone proves telecommunications, cable/cloud operators and solution providers believe there is a clear need for a common platform for rapidly designing, implementing and managing differentiated services with meaningful cost savings."
The Linux Foundation announced the formation of ONAP six months ago after merging AT&T's ECOMP platform with OPEN-O, the latter of which was supported by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and large telcos in China. Since that launch, ONAP's lineup has grown to 50 members and 30 projects.
ONAP's prime directive is to create an open source framework for network automation including orchestration across the MANO (management and orchestration) sector. Additional ONAP elements include lifecycle management, a design framework, analytics engines and closed-loop automation.
During the Open Networking Summit in April, the onboarding of VNFs was mentioned as one area where ONAP could have an immediate impact. (See ONAP Takes Center Stage at ONS.) ONAP also announced Monday that it had picked AT&T's ICE software as an incubation and validation platform for VNFs.
As part of Monday's press release, ICE was renamed as the VNF Validation Program (ICE) Project. It includes a validation process and scripts that will be the foundation of certification and self-test programs for ONAP. This new project -- in conjunction with the VNF Requirements Project and the VNF SDK Project -- will be used to define how VNFs can obtain an ONAP Compatible Label. Other key areas of integration include service orchestration, deployment and monitoring of VNFs as well as closed loop automation.
ONAP's first software release, which called "Amsterdam," is due to be released later this year.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation