Ambitious Amsterdam Makes ONAP's Case

Carol Wilson

ONAP today rolled out its much-anticipated first software release, dubbed Amsterdam, promising a unified architecture for network automation, modules of which can -- and are -- being used immediately by network operators beyond AT&T. (See ONAP Issues Amsterdam, First Software .)

In the eight months since AT&T's OpenECOMP combined with Open-Orchestration to form the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) under the Linux Foundation banner, the group has grown to 58 members. And with Amsterdam, ONAP releases a unified architecture that not only combines the contributed code of both groups, removing duplication in the process, but also adds significant new features including a new correlation engine called Holmes which has been added to the ECOMP Data Collection, Analytics and Events (DCAE) module and a new module called Control Loop Automation Management Platform (CLAMP). (See ONAP Makes Splashy ONS Debut.)

Amsterdam also provides two "verified blueprints," which show how its modules can be combined to deliver early use cases sought by its members: voice-over-LTE, including virtual IMS, and Residential vCPE.

ONAP officials are stressing the fact that Amsterdam is production code that is already being put to use by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), of course, but also China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL). It is planned for use soon by BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE), and is in multiple proofs of concept at Orange (NYSE: FTE) and others. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), a recent addition to ONAP, is evaluating use of ONAP modules in its Ocean transformation program, including ONAP's common approach to virtual function onboarding control and service definition.

"The modular approach makes sense, because nobody is going to rip and replace their existing systems to use ONAP," says James Crawshaw, senior analyst with Heavy Reading . "They want to use legacy as much as possible and implement new stuff as it were, where there is a clear opportunity to save costs or be more innovative and agile in coming up with new services." (See ONAP Takes Flak as Telcos Prep for Release 1 and ONAP Strikes Back, Saying Critics Are Misinformed.)

Sandra O'Boyle, also a Heavy Reading senior analyst, says the modular approach should help ONAP overcome criticisms from those who thought it was too big and ambitious to be practical. "One of the issues they had was the size of ONAP/AT&T ambition is too big for them to consume, or they are a bit uncomfortable with the scale and would rather 'wait and see'," she says. Mobile operators were also unwilling to take on features designed to serve enterprise customers but might be perfectly happy to consume modules for VoLTE, IMS and evolved packet core.

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User Rank: Lightning
11/20/2017 | 3:40:49 PM
Would love to see a public statement from Verizon...
What are we to make of the implication that Verizon approve of ONAP enough to contribute code?  If they have not changed their position, they might not like the way this story reads.  If they have, well, that would be quite a thanksgiving story.

(FWIW, the amount of code contributed appears to be very small, so it's impossible to tell if the  contribution represents a few enterprising staffers, or the thin end of a large wedge.)
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