Verizon hooks up with ONOS project, joining AT&T, SK Telecom

Just as the open source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS) is celebrating major milestones, along comes Verizon (NYSE: VZ) as a new member of the ONOS project, whose mission is to accelerate adoption of open source SDN and NFV solutions.

"Verizon recognizes the potential of ONOS as an open source SDN platform and the service provider solutions it enables, as well as the promise it holds to transform the networking industry," said Brian Higgins, vice president of network planning at Verizon, in a press release. "By joining the partnership, we hope to advance open source SDN and NFV solutions based on ONOS and to help shape the future of this ecosystem."

By doing so, Verizon joins rival AT&T (NYSE: T), as well as China Unicom, NTT Communications, SK Telecom and vendor partners who are welcoming Verizon into the fold. "We're pleased to welcome Verizon to the ONOS community and look forward to many positive contributions from them and others," said John Donovan, senior executive vice president, AT&T Technology & Operations, in the release. "We're big believers in using open source platforms and software to build the next generation of cloud-based connectivity services and capabilities for our customers, and we're glad to collaborate with Verizon in this vision."

According to Guru Parulkar, executive director and board member at ON.Lab's ONOS project, Verizon brings value to the ONOS partnership in terms of new requirements, possible use cases and insights that will shape ONOS now and into the future. "We look forward to working with Verizon on the solutions that include CORD, M-CORD and packet-optical convergence," he said.

A year ago, a lot of people were skeptical about a group of academics talking about building another platform, and "hopefully we've proven all those wrong," Bill Snow, VP of engineering at ONLab, told FierceWirelessTech in an interview. "We have had a lot of momentum."

"CORD has been one of these things that started with some ideas and it's just exploded to what I think is a great way to pull together SDN and NFV and the cloud into a really compelling solution," he said. A lot of the work is now heading into field trials.

CORD stands for Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center, and it has emerged as a significant use case as it's specifically designed for service providers to reinvent the central office to bring data center economies of scale and cloud-style agility to their networks. CORD will be in field trials with AT&T in the first half of 2016 and production deployments are expected this year.

The whole ONOS effort started with one service provider and a handful of vendors, and it's extended to five service providers – which are key because they make the work relevant – and eight vendors that bring resources to bear on the challenges, plus too many contributors to name.

The ONOS project expects to accelerate momentum even more in 2016. ONOS joined the Linux Foundation as a collaborative project and as a result, it anticipates an extended reach into the community on a larger scale.

For more:
- see this press release
- and this release

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Why AT&T, Verizon, Ericsson and the rest of the industry is embracing SDN and NFV