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'.)
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