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Comcast Joins ONAP

Carol Wilson
7/31/2017
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Comcast has become the first US cable operator to join ONAP, the open source group focused on network management, orchestration and automation of virtualized networks.

The news was announced today by the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) , which also welcomed four more vendors -- Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), Netcracker Technology Corp. and Samsung Corp. -- to the fold for a total of 50 members. The organization, sponsored by the Linux Foundation , has only been in formal operation since March.

In addition, ONAP announced the adoption of ICE, the software developed by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) -- which got the ONAP ball rolling -- to handle onboarding of virtual network functions in a more standard way. AT&T had used ICE to incubate, validate and collaborate on VNF onboarding to ultimately allow VNF developers to do on-boarding in a self-service model in a matter of days. (See Has AT&T ICE'ed VNF Onboarding?)

In true open source style, ONAP says ICE's adoption came about as its community worked to "combine key features from both the Open-O and ECOMP platforms," citing the two separate open source initiatives that came together earlier this year to form ONAP. The idea is to agree on tools and guidelines that vendors and network operators can use to have common approaches to things such as VNF onboarding to make that process simpler and faster. ICE will now be known as the VNF Validation Program (ICE) Project. (See AT&T's Rice: Stamp Out NFV 'Snowflakes'.)


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It will be used along with two other ONAP projects, one on VNF Requirements and another that creates a VNF software development kit (SDK) to define how VNFs can get labeled as ONAP Compatible.

According to the ONAP statement, "key areas of integration include service orchestration, deployment and monitoring of VNFs along with closed loop automation."

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has been the most active cable operator in embracing the virtualization process, looking to virtualize its internal IT operations and its cable modem termination system (CMTS), among other things. Its addition to ONAP as a silver member is a significant step in proving the company's growing influence.

ONAP's statement pointed also to the addition of major Asian vendors, including Japanese giant Fujitsu; Indian IT consulting firm Infosys; Netcracker Technology, which is owned by Japanese-based NEC; and Korean-based Samsung, as indications that ONAP is increasingly globalized.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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abbasabidi
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abbasabidi,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/3/2017 | 2:50:36 PM
List of VNFs onboarded
Is there a list of VNFs that AT&T has onboarded to date using ICE?
clarkede
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clarkede,
User Rank: Lightning
8/3/2017 | 1:12:37 PM
Re: Maturity
The CableLabs team has been following ONAP from the outset. ONAP discussion forums are open so we didn't need to formally "join" to participate. OSM is also an open community and free to join, but ETSI IPR rules require formal-sign-up to participate in discussions. It was a coincidence that CableLabs and Verizon signed-up to OSM in the same week in May. Our motivation to engage OSM and ONAP is to encourage open source communities to reference the ETSI NFV foundation specifications to maximize prospects for interoperability. It is also vitally important that these communities take into account the need for security by design. An area where the ETSI NFV Security WG has been focused since 2012. I see OSM and ONAP as complementary, as is OPNFV.
James_B_Crawshaw
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James_B_Crawshaw,
User Rank: Blogger
8/1/2017 | 4:47:13 PM
Re: Maturity
CableLabs architects Don Clarke and Tetsuya Nakamura have been very active in NFV. Don was one of the main authors of the original NFV white paper by ETSI in 2012 when he was still at BT. CableLabs is also a member of ETSI's Open Source MANO project. I doubt Comcast will join that one though. 
Duh!
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Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/1/2017 | 12:55:14 PM
Maturity
Notable. I don't remember another instance when Comcast(or the cable industry as a whole) embraced a technology initiative driven by telcos. They always wanted to go their own way, for reasons that never quite seemed to add up. Here we see pragmatism trumping (sic) pride. A win for Comcast and for the broader industry.
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