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Open Networking Summit expands collaboration around SDN and NFV

Standards bodies, suppliers, telecoms operators and academics gather in California for the annual SDN and NFV Open Networking Summit

At the Open Networking Summit (ONS), the annual open source networking and orchestration show run by the Linux Foundation, a number of collaborative initiatives around software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) have been beefed up to support future development of the closely intertwined technologies.

Developments at the 2017 ONS included the movement of the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) Project community into the Linux Foundation, providing a neutral home to promote further collaboration among those with an interest in the DPDK – which enables faster packet processing across multiple CPU architectures and network interface cards (NICs), making it possible for network owners to move performance-sensitive network applications into the cloud.

DPDK, which was created by Intel in 2010 under a permissive open source licence, is a key enabling technology for NFV and has now gone through 10 major releases, with contributions from more than 70 organisations. Open source projects built on DPDK libraries include Open vSwitch, OPNFV and OpenStack.

“We are seeing the telecoms industry become more collaborative, largely because of commitment in open source and other standards-type processes,” said Chris Rice, SVP at AT&T Labs. “The Linux Foundation has a history of aligning the open source communities, and DPDK’s transition to the Linux Foundation helps promote more open collaboration for network packet processing.”

Sandra Rivera, VP and GM of Intel’s Network Platforms Group, added: “Intel has long appreciated the strong value that DPDK provides as a high-performance packet processing building block, enabling the move to efficiently virtualise network solutions on open platforms.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Linux Foundation and DPDK community by contributing and innovating for optimised solutions that accelerate and scale deployments of NFV and SDN.”

Meanwhile, the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacentre (Cord) Project, which is working on an open source service delivery platform combining SDN, NFV and elastic cloud services to build in-line datacentres at the edge of operator networks, welcomed new collaborators, including telcos Deutsche Telekom and Sprint, into its ranks.

Read more about SDN and NFV

  • Service modelling and orchestration, SD-WAN and open source are the three technologies gaining traction to increase the value and benefits of SDN and NFV.
  • Service providers deploy SDN and NFV technologies at different paces for two main reasons: issues with the organisation’s business case and slow standards progress.

“Cord combines the best of SDN, NFV and cloud technologies, creating an integrated platform that enables agile deployment of innovative cloud-scale services,” said Ron Marquardt, VP of technology at Sprint.

“Through the contribution of our own open source code for Control and User Plane Separation (Cups) and SDN, we appreciate the power of the community-driven co-development process and encourage its rapid adoption throughout the mobile industry.”

Analysts at IHS reported that 70% of operators plan to deploy Cord in their central offices, and the community already includes global telcos such as AT&T, NTT Communications, SK Telecom and Verizon, as well as suppliers including Cisco, Nokia and Samsung.

Elsewhere at ONS, the Onos Project, which is creating an open source SDN operating system (OS), announced a new release that will deliver the ability to enable software-defined configuration of legacy network systems where the control plane is still embedded in the device. This will let customers use SDN in a wider array of scenarios.

Read more on Software-defined networking (SDN)