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CORD Connecting as ONOS Expands

Carol Wilson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Open Networking Summit -- Open source project ONOS is using this week's Open Networking Summit to show off significant progress for its efforts and those of its top use case, Central Office Redesigned as a Data Center (CORD).

That progress includes new members, a new CORD reference design implementation and a new approach to simplify the management of virtual machines and containers. (See ONOS Passes 50-Member Milestone and ONOS Announces Open Cord Reference Implementation.)

Individually, several of the announcements are significant: Collectively they represent a major advance, particularly for CORD. On the verge of the first field trial of its Residential CORD applications with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) supporting fiber-to-the-home, ONOS is also displaying proofs of concept for: a mobile CORD that can virtualize the radio access network and evolved packet core; and an enterprise CORD that can enable on-demand services and greater customer control.

"ONOS is very strong right now, the community is growing rapidly, we are seeing good diversity of contributions and global deployment is accelerating," says Bill Snow, VP of engineering. With its Falcon release, which became available last week, ONOS is production ready and Snow says its solutions, especially CORD, are gaining traction, with multiple vendors designing commercial products based on ONOS.

The star of the show right now is undoubtedly CORD, which is using ONOS to bring data center simplicity and cloud flexibility to a Central Office environment previously dominated by closed systems and tightly coupled hardware and software. The new CORD reference implementation is intended to speed up the pace at which network operators and their equipment vendors are able to test and deploy CORD by offering hardware specifications, platform software and services that are specific to each of the domains for CORD -- residential, enterprise and mobile, says Guru Parulkar, executive director of ON.Lab , which launched ONOS.

"The idea is to let others take and build on it and do interesting applications on top of it," he tells Light Reading in an interview. "When you buy CORD, you get it as an open service delivery platform -- all the connectivity and the service you need is there... it can be used for FTTH, all the way to software-as-a-service. There will be many configurations of CORD available for different contexts and different operators."

Zoom in on open source and SDN strategies in our SDN section here on Light Reading.

Two vendors, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and Radisys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS), have already announced plans to offer a turnkey approach to CORD, providing the systems integration needed to knit together component parts of white boxes, open source software and domain-specific software, Parulkar says, and he says several other vendors are in the pipeline to become systems integrators. (See Ciena Offers Hardened ONOS for Next-Gen Central Office Conversions.)

Those developments address a key demand from the operator community -- the need for ongoing support for open source software. "That will be a game-changer," says Parulkar.

Next page: Mobile CORD and Enterprise CORD

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3/20/2016 | 7:53:15 AM
Re: Cable headed equivalent
The elegance of CORD is all you have to change are the SFPs and the associated software and *Poof* CORD is a HERD (Very clever msilbey) 
3/14/2016 | 2:11:47 PM
Cable headed equivalent
Carol- I thought it was fascinating to hear Cox's Jeff Finkelstein talk last week about cable heading somewhere similar with a Headend Redesigned as a Data Center. I don't think the term HERD is officially coined yet, but I bet it won't be long. 
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3/14/2016 | 12:44:03 PM
ONOS is certainly gaining traction
I heard a lot of positive talk about ONOS at the Broadband World Forum in London last year - I think it ties in with what operators are lokoing at in terms of distributed cloud facilities and in terms of supporting mobile edge conputing strategies. The support of AT&T helps too, of course...
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