The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) provided a visual clue to progress around its Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) project. And ONF intends to highlight CORD with several demonstrations at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.
Several features are being integrated into the project. Timon Sloane, vice president for marketing and ecosystem at ONF, said the demonstrations show significant progress of the community toward commercial products set to help power 5G network deployments.
The most significant demonstration will be a cohesive integrated edge cloud platform that takes into account a number of ONF projects. Sloane said the demonstration will show integration of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) with CORD edge cloud work and multi-access edge computing (MEC) integration.
Sloane said ONF will also be showing several one-off innovations at the event. These include a multi-vendor programmable P4 fabric and virtual network function (VNF) offloading in P4 networking hardware; and an open source virtualized mobile core (vCPE) from Intel and Sprint.
CORD members behind the demonstrations include ARM, Barefoot Networks, Intel, Mariner Partners, Netsia, and Radisys. AT&T, China Unicom, Google, Comcast, Cavium, Ciena, and Mellanox are among the other operators and vendors collaborating on the demonstrations.
Sloane said the reason behind the demonstration was in part to get the word out on progress being made within the ecosystem. “This shows real progress being made on real solutions by real companies,” Sloane said.
The ONF in December released the 4.1 version of CORD. That move merged residential-CORD (R-CORD), mobile-CORD (M-CORD), and enterprise-CORD (E-CORD) into one overarching project. It also moved the platform closer to the edge computing and edge cloud data center worlds.
Sloane said there were not really many challenges involved in fitting the actual pieces together for the larger demo. The biggest challenge was just in getting everyone on the same page in terms of what they were going to show. He said the ONF had put out a call just three months ago to its members on doing a showcase at MWC.
“A number stepped forward and wanted to bring what they were specializing in,” Sloane said. “We initially thought they might just all get their own table and show off what they were working on, but then we thought ‘why not show a more integrated effort.’”
Despite the planned demonstration, he was quick to note that work still needed to be done before CORD was ready for a commercial environment.
“We are still working through this transition, and it’s not ready yet for primetime,” Sloane said. “I would say it’s at the point where it’s not going to be ready in maybe six months from now, but it will definitely be ready within the next five years.”