Alcatel-Lucent joins ONOS project to expand on SDN contributions, collaboration

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has joined the Open source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS) organization that is working on a carrier-grade SDN operating system.

The company said that by committing engineering resources and becoming an active participant of ONOS, it will be in a much better position to contribute its carrier SDN knowledge and experience to open source initiatives.

"I think we have a lot to offer in terms of experience from SDN, in terms of management of services and how to create an objects model, and we want to benefit from the broader community as well," Tony Kourlas, director of product marketing at Alcatel-Lucent, told FierceWirelessTech. "We want to accelerate that whole process of getting these things agreed upon, hammered out and creating the code around them."

Last month, Light Reading reported that behind the scenes, the OpenDaylight (ODL) camp was giving ONOS "a bashing … saying that's it's just a Huawei vehicle." The theory behind the bashing was that the ODL camp felt threatened by how popular ONOS had become with network operators and vendors. OpenDaylight was already a project within the Linux Foundation before ONOS struck a strategic partnership with the foundation last month.

There has been talk of more collaboration between the two, but Guru Parulkar, executive director at the ON.Lab/ONOS project, told FierceWirelessTech last month that there were no plans for a merger between ONOS and ODL.

Huawei has been enthusiastic about marketing around ONOS, Kourlas noted. "Ourselves, we just looked at it and evaluated it objectively," he said. "From where I sit, where we're looking at carrier SDN, we felt this was a really good network operating system" and well-ordered. "I see Huawei as a supporter and I can understand why, but I don't necessarily see that as Huawei-driven. I think there's a lot of contributors" in the vendor and operator communities to ONOS.

Nuage Networks, the Alcatel-Lucent venture focused on SDN solutions, is a member of ODL. 

Founding ONOS members include AT&T (NYSE: T), NTT Communications, SK Telecom, China Unicom, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel and NEC.

The moves to SDN and NFV represent major changes for the industry and Alcatel-Lucent will join whatever organizations make sense. Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent still looks like it will be completed early next year, so the products Alcatel-Lucent brings to the ONOS table presumably will continue to exist but under the Nokia brand. 

ONOS will benefit from Alcatel-Lucent's contributions, especially in the areas of virtualized multi-layer IP and optical solutions.

"It sort of matches really well what we're trying to accomplish," Kourlas said. "We'd like to contribute to ONOS and we'd like to leverage from that collaboration what we can" in software over time.

For more:
- see the release

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