Some people at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) this week speculated that it might take as long as two years to blend the code from the two projects.
But leaders from two big operators involved in ONAP — China Mobile and AT&T — said it won’t take that long at all. Mazin Gilbert, VP of advanced technologies and architecture at AT&T, and Yachen Wang, deputy director of network technology at China Mobile Research Institute, said at a media event at ONS that ONAP plans to issue its first code release by the fourth quarter.
“You have to realize with ECOMP you have about 8.5 million lines of code,” said Gilbert. “Open-O is the same caliber. By definition, it’s complicated. We have spent a lot of time working with the Linux Foundation. We agree on the principles. Now we go into the details. As a community we, by the last quarter of this year, will make a release, and it will be a joint release.”
How to Merge the Code
Today at the closing session of ONS, Arpit Joshipura, the Linux Foundation’s general manager for networking and orchestration, explained how that would be possible.
He said the ECOMP framework that AT&T developed initially consisted of eight modules. And the work done by Open-O resulted in code that’s been consolidated into three additional modules. Those modules from Open-O include:
- An open Tosca data model.
- Virtual Network Function (VNF) SDKs that merge VNFs from Open-O with the guidelines from ECOMP.
- A virtual function controller, allowing added VNFs to come on board.
Joshipura said both ECOMP and Open-O had orchestrators. AT&T had a master service orchestrator and Open-O had a global service orchestrator. ONAP has a service orchestrator. “The way that’s blended is you take all the orchestration ECOMP provides with Yang models and all orchestration from Open-O with Tosca,” said Joshipura. “Those are complementary as well.”
Moving forward, in terms of who wins when there are disputes about code, Joshipura said, “Linux has set governance. It’s always meritocracy. The right answer wins.”
At ONS yesterday, ONAP also announced that its code and documentation are now open to the community.
ONAP leaders bragged several times this week that the group’s 27 members now include about 33 percent of the world’s operators. China Mobile, itself, is the world’s largest mobile operator with 800 million subscribers. And India’s Reliance Jio counts 100 million subscribers.
Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and CTO, said of ONAP, “We have over seven global operators representing nearly two billion mobile subscribers.” He also said ONAP has a pipeline of more operators, representing about another one-third of global operators.
Finally this week, the ONAP Governing Board members elected the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Chair: Chris Rice, SVP of AT&T Labs
- President: Yachen Wang, deputy director of the Network Technology Department at China Mobile Research Institute
- Treasurer: Vincent Danno, director of Wireline Standards of the Innovation Technical & Marketing at Orange corporate
One of the Linux Foundation’s big themes at this year’s ONS was “harmonization.” For a few years now, open source groups working on SDN and NFV have been springing up all over. But now, there’s a move toward organizing these groups to eliminate overlaps.
“You disaggregate to get choice; you aggregate to get efficiencies,” said Joshipura. “We have now laid out a vision for each layer: the open source network components, their cloud equals, and the standards all in one page.” (See the Linux Foundation chart below).
“If I had a black box instead of this whole stack, there would be so much stuff in there the customer doesn’t need,” said Joshipura. “[With software] you get component level efficiencies. You get rapid innovation within the components. There used to be a lot of clutter in the ONAP part.”