Its end game is to build a complete open source networking stack — from the data plane, to the control plane, to orchestration, and up to the OSS/BSS layer.
Huawei is creating internal teams to squeeze the most benefit out of the various open source groups it’s involved with in Silicon Valley. And these benefits are intended to extend throughout the company’s operations in the U.S., China, Eastern Europe, Russia, Israel, and India.
Ayush Sharma, CTO of IP with Huawei, is the brainchild of this scheme, and he laid out how it’s going to work, internally, at the company.
First, Huawei has established two councils: the Open Source and Industry Executive Council and the Open Source and Industry Technical Council. The executive group will operate in a steering capacity, and the technical council will meet more frequently to discuss real business and coding issues.
Next, Huawei has created a number of projects to focus on open source work:
- The software defined networking (SDN) controller project will focus on the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and the OpenDaylight Project (ODL). It will be led by Chief Architect David Lenrow along with Robin Li, who is based out of China. “David will focus more on the open source aspect — ONOS and ODL — and Robin will work with him from headquarters on how we are building products,” says Sharma.
- The open orchestration project will be led by Chris Donley, recently hired from CableLabs, and Casem Majid. In addition, Huawei is hiring several people previously with Amazon and Microsoft to work on this project.
- The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) project will be led by Andrew Malis who will receive support from other Huawei employees including Lenrow, Bill Lynch, Michael McBride, Linda Dunbar, and Marteen Vissers.
- The SDN data plane program will be led by Haoyu Song and will study how the data plane integrates with the controller. This will include a focus on the P4 programming language being developed by the nonprofit P4 Consortium.
- Christopher Janz, recently from Ciena, will lead the transport network controller project with help from Lee Young and Quintin Zhao. “The focus will be to drive the transport SDN initiatives with our customers, such as Telefonica,” says Sharma.
Some of these program participants work in other business units at Huawei and don’t report to Sharma. But they will still spend some of their time working on these open source programs, which will affect many of the company’s product lines.
Huawei’s U.S. open source team is around 40 people, and that could grow to more than 150 working on open source within Silicon Valley. “We have 300-plus out of India and China who support these open source programs,” says Sharma.
Asked if Huawei’s systematic approach to open source groups might seem to some as if the company is trying to dominate these groups, Sharma says, “That’s the perception we don’t want to create. There will be different perceptions. But our intention is meritocracy based.”
He adds, “Guru Parulkar [of ONOS] will not take code if it does not serve Orange or AT&T’s purposes; and Jim Zemlin [of the Linux Foundation, which houses ODL and ONOS] will not either. The sooner we do the reference frameworks, it’s easier for us to create value.”