Open source projects are new to networking, but they’ve been cropping up all over the place in the last couple of years. And many of them are gravitating toward the Linux Foundation.
Some of them were originally independent groups. The Open Network Operating System (ONOS) for example, was founded by On.lab. But in October, it became part of the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation was already hosting the OpenDaylight Project, which some considered a rival to ONOS. But the two groups seem to be happily coexisting under the same host.
Recently, though, the pace of networking projects associating with the foundation has picked up. Here is a trend line of Linux Foundation affiliations this year:
China Mobile originally created Open-O to provide interfaces up to the operations support system (OSS) and down to the virtual network functions (VNF) manager and virtual infrastructure manager (VIM). In February, the Linux Foundation and China Mobile announced that Open-O would be a Linux Foundation project with Huawei providing $30 million to it over a three-year period. The collaborative effort aims to develop the first open source software framework and orchestrator to enable SDN and NFV operations.
In addition, Huawei committed more than 50 developers to the project as well as two open source labs — one each for SDN and NFV.
In March, AT&T began publicizing its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management, and Policy (ECOMP) platform, saying it might release the code as open source. Just a few months later, AT&T said it was tapping the Linux Foundation to help develop an organization around ECOMP.
If ECOMP catches wind, it could become a de facto SDN and NFV architecture for carriers. With AT&T expecting to virtualize 75 percent of its networks by 2020, ECOMP is the centerpiece of the company’s final SDN/NFV design, enabling it to add services quickly and reduce operational costs.
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) was a project within ONOS. But in July, CORD became a separate open source group hosted by, you guessed it, the Linux Foundation.
CORD aims to make the telco central office look like a next-gen data center. Its vision is to deliver economies of scale by using white box hardware, open source software, and virtualization technologies, including SDN and NFV. The CORD architecture creates two control planes: one for networking using ONOS as the controller, and the other for managing VNFs, using a new CORD operating system called XOS.
Big-name companies such as Google, Radisys, and Samsung have joined CORD since it was picked up by the Linux Foundation, and all of the existing ONOS partners have joined CORD as well, with the exception of Huawei and Ericsson.
August: Open vSwitch
OVS, which supports standard management interfaces and protocols, is critical to many SDN deployments in data centers because it ties together all the virtual machines within a hypervisor instance on a server. It’s become commonly used in environments based on the Xen hypervisor and is the “most used networking technology in OpenStack,” writes Kyle Mestery, an IBM distinguished engineer, in a recent blog entry.
Although OVS is now a Linux Foundation project, VMware still has the largest number of employees (12) working on the project full time. The project will now receive administrative and infrastructure help from the Linux Foundation for things such as mailing lists, website maintenance, and organization of its yearly OVS conference.
Linda Hardesty contributed to this article.