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ONAP Project moves on code release; names new members, directors

SVP of AT&T Labs Chris Rice named chair of ONAP Project just weeks after its formation out of The Linux Foundation; releases code in bid for collaboration.

Mere weeks after its formation, the Open Network Automation Platform Project released its code and documentation to the open source community in a bid to generate greater collaboration.

The ONAP Project was formed in late February, with The Linux Foundation merging its open source enhanced control, orchestration, management and policy platform and Open Orchestrator Project. The move was said to harmonize open source ECOMP and Open-O under a single framework for “real-time, policy driven software automation of virtual network functions that will enable software, network, IT and cloud providers and developers to rapidly create new services.”

AT&T unveiled the ECOMP initiative early last year, which it said was designed to automate network services and infrastructure running in a cloud environment. The carrier said it had been working on ECOMP for nearly two years, tackling the project due to a lack of guidance for network functions virtualization and software-defined networking deployments in a wide area network environment.

AT&T released the platform to the open source community earlier this year through The Linux Foundation, which included the release of source code, documentation, educational videos and a pair of sample use cases – one on virtual firewall and one on virtual domain name servers – into a public cloud for access to users and covered by the Apache 2.0 license. Stated goals of moving ECOMP into the open source community included delivering the capabilities for the design, creation, orchestration, monitoring and lifecycle management of virtual network functions in a SDN environment.

Some noted the move would allow for a more cohesive approach for the telecommunications space as it looks towards broader deployment of SDN and NFV technologies.

“Our close collaboration with AT&T during the past year and the broader new scope of the ONAP project is we believe a unique opportunity for our industry to make the SDN/NFV ecosystem scale while avoiding its fragmentation,” said Alain Maloberti, SVP of Orange Labs Networks, referencing the carrier’s ECOMP work with AT&T. “This ‘network operating system’ will enable fast growing, innovative and interoperable network and application services at a global scale.”

ONAP Project announces new members, leadership team

The ONAP Project also announced new members, including “platinum” member Reliance Jio; “silver” members Ciena, Microsoft, New H3C Technologies and Wind River; and “associate” member Open Networking Foundation. ONAP founding platinum members include Amdocs, AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Ericsson, GigaSpaces, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, VMware and ZTE; with silver members including ARM, BOCO Inter-Telecom, Canonical, China Unicom, Cloudbase Solutions, Metaswitch and Raisecom.

“The global nature of the project will support its mission to provide a neutral platform for operators and vendors working together to foster innovation and avoid fragmentation around software-defined networks and network functions virtualization,” the organization noted in a statement.

The ONAP governing board elected AT&T Labs SVP Chris Rice as chair of the organization; Yachen Wang, deputy director of the network technology department at China Mobile Research Institute, as president; and Vincent Danno, director of wireline standards of the innovation technical and marketing at Orange, as treasurer.

“We’re excited to see how developers and others in the industry contribute to the ONAP code,” said Rice in a statement. “Today is an important day for ONAP and open networking. Collaboration is key in open source projects and we’re looking forward to the community’s efforts to harden the production-ready code.”

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