AT&T's Chiosi: Open source is critical to integrated cloud architecture

The telecom industry needs to be wary of different versions of open source platforms taking hold in the industry as it moves to the new IP. That was the message from Margaret Chiosi, a distinguished network architect at AT&T Labs (NYSE: T) and president of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), at the NFV Everywhere event in Dallas last week.


Open source is critical to AT&T's Integrated Cloud (AIC) architecture, and Chiosi outlined the numerous open source groups in which the telecom giant is participating -- which span a whopping 700 different projects, according to Light Reading, which sponsored the event.

According to Chiosi, a veteran of Bell Labs, OPNFV serves to knit all of the open source pieces together in a coherent way. She said she is less concerned with how this all happens technically than with bringing the industry together in a single approach to get it done, knowing it can be enhanced and improved along the way through the open source process, Light Reading reports.

The OPNFV was formed last year and while it's not a standards organization, it works closely with ETSI's NFV ISG and others. OPNFV's initial focus is on building NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM) by integrating components from upstream projects such as OpenDaylight, OpenStack, Ceph Storage, KVM, Open vSwitch and Linux.

The OPNFV will stage its first annual OPNFV Summit in Burlingame, Calif., on Nov. 11-12, with a Hackfest set for Nov. 9-10. In June, OPNFV issued its first software release, Arno, which is likely to be a popular topic at the summit.

Active participation by telecom network operators in the open source process -- including providing code and feeding back internal developments into the open source community -- requires resources and time, but has its own payback, Chiosi noted last week. Not only is that the best way for network operators to make sure they get what they need out of open source, but it is also a great way to get a clearer picture of who within the industry is actually moving forward, without the din of vendor marketing messages.

"You can build your own technical reputation, but you also get to know who is who, and who really knows what," she said. "There are so many vendors involved, but by participating in the open source process, you learn who the real key contributors are, and you see who is doing what and who is where. That's the value."

Chiosi recently told FierceWireless that AT&T is well on its way to meeting its goal of having 5 percent of its network virtualized this year as part of its Domain 2.0 program. AT&T launched its Domain 2.0 initiative in February 2014. One of the key benefits of the Domain 2.0 program will be the accelerated delivery of products and services. AT&T has revealed 10 vendors that are suppliers to Domain 2.0, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Amdocs, Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), Tail-F Systems and Metaswitch Networks.

For more:
- see this Light Reading article

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