ONF Announces New Reference Designs

MENLO PARK, Calif -- Providing an update its previously announced strategic plan aimed at creating a robust supply chain for open source solutions for operators, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) today announced key milestones achieved. The achievements including the formation of the Technical Leadership Team (TLT), finalization on the initial focus areas for Reference Designs (RDs) and that four key new supply chain partners have joined as Partners (ONF’s top membership tier) to invest in the Reference Design activities, including ADTRAN, Dell EMC, Edgecore Networks and Juniper Networks.

ONF’s operator leadership, which includes AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Google, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, NTT Group, and Turk Telekom, have agreed on a focused set of open source Reference Designs they communally plan to take to deployment in the near future as they begin to build out their edge & access clouds. Furthermore, work on these RDs and their corresponding Exemplar Platforms have begun, with expectations that drafts, first implementations and production deployments will take place this year.

Reference Designs are “blueprints” for how to put common modular components together to create platforms based on open source to address specific deployment use cases for the emerging edge cloud. The first four are:

  • SEBA-RD: SDN Enabled Broadband Access, a lightweight reference design supporting a multitude of virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network, including PON, G.Fast, DOCSIS and more
  • NFV Fabric-RD: SDN-native spine-leaf data center fabric optimized for edge applications.
  • UPAN-RD: Unified, Programmable & Automated Network, a next generation SDN reference design, leveraging P4 to enable flexible data plane programmability and network embedded VNF acceleration.
  • ODTN-RD: Open Disaggregated Transport Network, an open multi-vendor optical network.

Details on the Reference Designs, including the Operators committing to each, can be found a related ) ONF Reference Design blog post.

Trailblazing Open Source Platforms In addition to the Reference Designs that are all tightly scoped and on the verge of deployment, the ONF will continue to pursue open source platforms that lead next-generation activities for the industry. These activities include M-CORD, a virtualized next-generation 5G mobile core and RAN platform, and Multi-Access Edge Cloud, which brings together all the access technologies into a single edge cloud, and enables third-party edge applications to run on the carrier’s network. The ONF operators remain passionate about M-CORD and Multi-Access Edge, but recognize that 5G technologies are still in formation and for that reason deployment are perhaps a year behind other exemplar platforms.

Driving Formation of a New Supply Chain To support operators’ impending deployment of these Reference Designs, a number of tier-1 vendors have joined the efforts as ONF partners to contribute their skills, expertise and technologies to help realize the RDs. Adtran, Dell/EMC, Edgecore Networks and Juniper Networks are actively participating as supply chain partners in this reference design process. Each brings unique skills and complementary competencies, and by working together the partnership will be able to expedite the production readiness of the various solutions.

Adtran is a leader in installed base broadband and PON deployments, Adtran is joining the ONF partnership to serve as a system integrator, helping operators assemble solutions based on the new Reference Designs - leveraging open source platforms and interworking these solutions with existing OSS/BSS systems.

With leadership in servers and data center expertise, and a history of embracing disaggregated switching architectures, Dell EMC joins the partnership as an “ODM++” positioned to assemble open solutions and provide global reach and logistical support to scale operator deployments.

Edgecore has been a leader in open switching and open PON systems, embracing the white box movement early and providing the majority of open access hardware white boxes to date. By joining as a full partner, Edgecore will be offering operators an advanced selection of open hardware choices for broadband access and more, all pre-integrated with ONF Reference Designs and Exemplar Platforms.

A recognized leader in advanced networking technologies, Juniper is joining the ONF to fully embrace the open source movement for edge cloud transformation. Juniper will be crafting solutions for operators by leveraging Reference Designs and open source to craft industry leading open solutions.

These new partners complement ONF’s existing supply chain partners Ciena, Intel, Radisys and Samsung, each of whom are playing equally essential roles in the new open source ecosystem.

Open Networking Foundation

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