The Open Compute Project (OCP) has created a new OCP Telco Project focused on data center technologies for telecommunications companies. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom, and Verizon are joining OCP to help drive the project.
The new project will be an open forum for telcos to communicate their technical requirements and bring OCP innovations to their data centers. They’re especially interested in the potential of open data center hardware.
Since it was founded five years ago, the nonprofit OCP has been most famously associated with Facebook, which set up OCP to redesign the data center with non-proprietary, energy-saving gear.
OCP says that momentum is continuing to build around open source contributions for networking, servers, storage, and Open Rack. For example, within the past two months the project has seen acceptance of new OCP switches from Mellanox, Accton, and Inventec, along with a network switch from Facebook called Wedge.
AT&T & Verizon
AT&T has a goal to virtualize 75 percent of its network functions by 2020. As part of the OCP announcement, Andre Fuetsch, senior VP of architecture and design at AT&T, said, “We’re becoming a software and networking company. As a result, our central offices are going to look a lot more like data centers as we evolve our networking infrastructure.”
In case there was any doubt about AT&T’s motivations for virtualizing its networks, on this week’s fourth-quarter earnings call AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, “We’re investing aggressively in the network architecture that is going to give us a competitive advantage in cost. We’re driving the industry to software-defined networks, and I have seen few opportunities over my career to drive down the cost to deliver service like this.”
Notice how he used the word “cost” a couple of times.
For its part, Verizon is actively engaging in open source groups in 2016. Earlier this month, Verizon announced it was joining the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and focusing on the mobile central office reimagined as a data center (M-CORD).