LOS ANGELES — Amdocs has been around for a long time and gained a reputation for providing telcos with billing and operations support software. But recently, it’s become prominent in the open source world because of its work with the Open Network and Automation Platform (ONAP). And now, its work with ONAP has led to a collaboration with Microsoft.
You have to hand it to such an established vendor for keeping up with the times.
At the Open Network Summit this week, Amdocs announced its implementation of ONAP on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. This enables service providers to deliver virtual network services running on Azure, orchestrated and managed using ONAP.
Amdocs is working with Microsoft to make the ONAP code available to the open source community in May. This will coincide with ONAP’s next code release, Beijing.
Service providers will then be able to offer network services running on both their own private clouds as well as on the Azure public cloud and have those services consistently managed and orchestrated by ONAP.
“Any network service that runs on the public cloud of Microsoft will be able to leverage ONAP’s capabilities,” said Alla Goldner, director of technology, strategy, and standardization with Amdocs. “Service providers will be able to combine their own services running on the private cloud with public cloud capabilities from Microsoft with the whole thing managed by ONAP.” It’s a first step in the evolution of ONAP to manage services in a multi-cloud environment.
Goldner couldn’t say which kinds of network services this might apply to. But in September 2017 Amdocs introduced its NFV Powered by ONAP portfolio. The portfolio provides software for service providers to design new services based on virtual network functions (VNFs). Amdocs created a partner ecosystem of vendors that provide VNFs. And some of those third-party VNFs include things such as software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), security, and virtual IMS for VoLTE. These seem like the kinds of network services that service providers might want to run across a hybrid cloud ecosystem between their private data centers and Microsoft’s Azure.
What does Microsoft get out of this relationship with Amdocs and ONAP? “They become a provider to service providers,” said Goldner. “Service providers can decide where it is better to run: on public cloud versus private cloud and all managed by ONAP.”
Microsoft first joined ONAP in April 2017. Since then, ONAP has become one of the projects under the Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN). And this week, Microsoft upgraded its membership in LFN to Gold level status.
For Amdocs its leadership position in ONAP seems to have given it an entrée with a major public cloud provider. “Open source is an environment where you cannot disconnect business from technical,” said Goldner. “They go together more than in standards.”