This network transformation is a journey of many steps, but one of the most important is orchestration, which makes it easier to add services and automate network management. Because software is used to automate the provisioning, management, and coordination of services, they can be deployed faster and with fewer human touch points. Orchestration can also reduce costs through intelligent resource allocation across compute, storage, and network infrastructure.
Open Source Orchestration
A testament to the momentum behind SDN is the development of several open-source orchestration platforms. ETSI is developing the Open Source MANO* (OSM*) platform, and the Linux* Foundation is hosting the Open Orchestration* (OPEN-O*) platform.
Now, AT&T is initiating a similar effort by open sourcing the software platform that supports their software-defined network, called Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy* (ECOMP*).
Open Source Orchestration from AT&T
As Chris Rice, Senior Vice President, AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design mentioned in his blog, ECOMP has increased the value of AT&T’s network by supporting rapid on-boarding of new services (developed by AT&T or third parties), which enables the creation of a new ecosystem of cloud consumer and enterprise services. The software also helps reduce capital and operational expenditures, and provides operations efficiencies. It delivers an enhanced, agile customer experience by allowing near real-time reconfiguration of networks, services, and capacity. While ECOMP does not directly support legacy physical elements, it works with traditional operations support systems (OSS’s) to provide a seamless customer experience across both virtual and physical elements.1
Industry Support for Open Source ECOMP
Now, the Linux Foundation will help the industry adapt the current AT&T ECOMP contribution and create governance for an open source community project based on the AT&T ECOMP contribution. Also joining the effort are multiple communications service providers and suppliers, including Amdocs, Bell Canada, Ericsson and Orange.
The Linux Foundation is signaling to the market its desire to serve as the governance body to professionally manage mass collaboration, open networking projects. The Linux Foundation is managing other open networking projects such as Fast Data Stacks IO (FD.io), Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenDaylight, OPEN-O, Open vSwitch, and OPNFV, among others.
As the communications industry advances the digital transformation of business services, collaboration through open source projects like open source ECOMP is crucial for accelerating deployments. Intel is a founding member of open source ECOMP, which is consistent with Intel’s long-standing investment in and support of community-based development as a way to enable ecosystems to deliver innovative solutions faster.
We continue to encourage innovations in open source management and orchestration (MANO) solutions, as well as the development of mature, deployment-ready commercial solutions. One way we do this is through the Intel® Network Builders program, which is the vehicle by which Intel enables and promotes commercialization of these MANO solutions. Open-source projects are just a means to an end – the end is the commercialization of solutions.
Open source ECOMP will enable global communications service providers and cloud developers to satisfy demanding services. We see the platform as a way to satisfy the requirements of exciting new services for autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality, 4K video, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other business opportunities coming down the pike.
Open Source Drives Standardization
The industry will benefit greatly from open-source management and orchestration stacks built upon information and data models that are open and accessible to the general communications community, including independent software vendors, system integrators, equipment manufacturers, and operators. We expect this capability will promote greater standardization and facilitate fully automated, end-to-end service fulfilment, thereby unleashing the true value of NFV.
Intel is actively participating in the open source ECOMP, OPEN-O, and OSM projects, using deep collaborations across hardware and software vendors to optimize performance and improve interoperability where possible. Working across a broad set of network industry stakeholders enables Intel to be a trusted technology advisor for driving standardization in SDN and NFV technologies.
As a strong partner leading network transformation, Intel brings relationships that connect communications service providers to innovators in the ecosystem, which spawns more complete commercial solutions. Solution providers also have the opportunity to benefit from market development initiatives offered through the Intel Network Builders program.
Intel is working with the Linux Foundation and the developer community to bring high performance, standards-based orchestration to the telecom industry. We’re confident this open-source project will rapidly increase agility and accelerate innovation across the network developer ecosystem.
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1 AT&T Inc., “ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy) Architecture White Paper,” pg. 1, http://about.att.com/content/dam/snrdocs/ecomp.pdf.
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