We’ve noted in the past that two Linux Foundation open source projects seemed to be working on similar things: The Open-O project and open source ECOMP. Today, the Linux Foundation announced that the two groups are merging.
The new name for the combined group is the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). The goal of ONAP is to enable end users to design, orchestrate, manage, and automate network services and virtual functions.
It was only logical for these two groups to merge. They were doing many of the same things, and they were both hosted by the Linux Foundation. What’s fascinating is that the new group brings AT&T together with two major Chinese mobile operators.
AT&T originally created its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, and Management (ECOMP) platform for its own use as it pursues network virtualization. Mazin Gilbert, AT&T’s VP of advanced technologies, platforms, and architecture, recently told SDxCentral that the company needed to open source the project to get the help of others in order to reach its virtualization goal.
Meanwhile, some big Chinese mobile operators joined Open-O as founding members: China Mobile and China Telecom. Together, those two carriers count more than 1 billion subscribers. This dwarfs AT&T Mobility’s 131 million subscribers.
But now, employees from of all these carriers will work collaboratively within ONAP.
“By combining two of the largest open source networking initiatives, the community is able to take advantage of the best architectural components of both projects,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, in a prepared statement.
The Linux Foundation will establish a governance and membership structure for ONAP. A governing board will guide business decisions and marketing and ensure alignment between the technical communities and members. A technical steering committee will provide leadership on the code merge and guide the technical direction of ONAP.
The Linux Foundation isn’t specifying yet who will lead the governing board and the technical steering committee for ONAP. For Open-O, those roles were filled by Marc Cohn and Chris Donley, respectively.
Arpit Joshipura, who recently became the general manager for networking and orchestration with the Linux Foundation, was instrumental in the merger between Open-O and ECOMP.
Joshipura says, “Marc is helping with the Open-O transition team and will also help in multiple areas within ONAP. A new technical steering committee will be created based on the new ONAP charter, and positions will be announced at a later stage.