In a sign that cable and telco networks really are becoming more generic and more similar to each other, the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) announced today that Comcast has joined the open source group. Fujitsu, Infosys, Netcracker Technology, and Samsung also joined the ONAP project as new members.
According to ONAP, it now counts more than 900 contributors, 50 members, and 30 projects. ONAP came into existence in February when AT&T’s ECOMP platform merged with the open source Open-O project. The Linux Foundation hosts ONAP.
Fujitsu is a Japanese company, and Netcracker is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC, which is also a Japanese company. Samsung is South Korean.
ONAP’s technical community is working on its first code release, Amsterdam, which is due out later this year. Amsterdam will integrate millions of lines of code from Open-O and ECOMP into a common orchestration platform.
Additionally, ONAP also accepted AT&T’s ICE work, which is a process the service provider created for vendors to introduce and certify their virtual network functions (VNFs). AT&T developed ICE for its own network, but it said in February it planned to open source ICE. And now, that has happened.
ONAP will call ICE the “VNF Validation Program.” It includes a defined validation process and scripts that will form the basis of the certification and self-test programs for ONAP. This new project, along with the VNF Requirements Project and the VNF SDK Project, will define how VNFs can obtain an ONAP-compatible label.
The ONAP technical steering committee also approved some other uses cases, including residential broadband virtual CPE, virtual firewall application delivery controller (vFW), virtual domain name system (vDNS), and voice over LTE (VoLTE).
Comcast is the first cable company to become pretty active in network virtualization circles. Previously, service providers leading the charge in open source SDN and NFV groups have been dominated by telcos.
Last year Comcast Cable joined the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD). Both projects are hosted by the Linux Foundation and led by ON.Lab.
In February, SDxCentral learned that Comcast Cable was working within CORD on a project to virtualize the cable modem termination system (CMTS).
And then in May, Comcast Business became the first major U.S. cable operator to announce a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) play. Comcast Business chose Versa Network’s SD-WAN technology and plans to offer a commercial service later this year.