After only one year of existence, the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) is becoming part of the Linux Foundation.
Guru Parulkar, executive director of ON.Lab, which curates ONOS, and Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, make it sound as if the partnership was inevitable from ONOS’ very inception. They say when they first met several years ago, they talked about how the first six months of new software development can really benefit from a focused group. But after that, a broader community can be more useful.
Parulkar and Zemlin say they’ve been specifically talking about ONOS joining the Linux Foundation for about six weeks.
SDxCentral had reported on the likely ONOS-Linux Foundation connection earlier this month.
When the partnership was in rumor mode, there was some speculation that it wouldn’t be a good fit because the Linux Foundation hosts the OpenDaylight Project (ODL), and ONOS and ODL are perceived as competitors.
“It’s important to understand how code flows. People pick components and mix them together when it makes sense to do so. One nice thing about a single umbrella is it creates harmony,” Zemlin says.
But how does ODL feel about this?
“Overall, I believe this move is good for the industry and good for OpenDaylight even though there may be some short term challenges,” OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques writes in a blog this morning.
Jacques told SDxCentral in an interview that until now, ONOS and ODL focused on different problems. While ONOS has focused on service providers’ needs, which landed it a role as a local controller for AT&T, “ODL was created to be the Linux of networking: one platform to have a very long life and enable people to build a wide range of solutions to solve a wide range of problems.” AT&T is using the ODL framework as the basis for its global SDN controller.
“One of my big hopes,” says Jacques, “is that we don’t need to be in opposition anymore. It allows us to create collaboration.”
ON.Lab and the ONOS project will keep their respective boards, and ON.Lab will continue to employ its staff of approximately 20, comprised mostly of engineers. For the immediate future, ONOS will continue with its current projects. Parulkar says DirectTV is building a multicast content distribution on the ONOS platform, using OpenFlow-based white boxes. And ONOS is also advancing its Central Office Re-architected as Data Center (CORD) project, and will do a market trial of that in 2016.