AT&T, Equinix, Verizon and others lend hand in Open Compute Project's telco data center initiative

AT&T (NYSE: T), Deutsche Telekom, Equinix, SK Telecom and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have joined the Open Compute Project (OCP)  in an effort to drive the organization's new Telco Project focused on data center technologies.

Designed as an open forum, OCP's Telco Project is focused on advancing a number of objectives such as communicating telco technical requirements effectively to the OCP community, strengthening the OCP ecosystem to address the deployment and operational needs of telcos, and bringing OCP innovations to telco data center infrastructure for increased cost-savings and agility.

Developing data center specifications is nothing new for OCP since it's something the project has been working on since forming in 2011.

OCP said it is seeing momentum around open source contributions for networking, servers, storage, and Open Rack. Just in the past two months, OCP said it saw the acceptance of new OCP switches from Mellanox, Accton, and Inventec just in the past two months, along with an open TOR network switch from Facebook called Wedge.

Leveraging what it learned from its previous efforts, OCP's Telco Project is an open forum that will look at three common objectives: communicating telco requirements to the OCP community; strengthening the OCP ecosystem to address the deployment and operational needs of telcos; and  bringing OCP innovations to telco data center infrastructure for increased cost-savings and agility.

Being able to attract AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom, and Verizon is key as these service providers are driving more virtual services into the marketplace based on software-based network elements.

Take AT&T, for instance. The service provider has set an aggressive plan to virtualize 75 percent of its network functions by 2020.

Leveraging emerging technologies like NFV and SDN, AT&T has been providing new virtual services to its business customers like its on-demand Ethernet service, one that has attracted over 275 customers. The network on demand services are resonating with customers like the Fort Worth, Texas, school district, which is using AT&T's network provisioning portal to reduce bandwidth to their schools when classes are not in session for the summer and then increasing the bandwidth when school starts again. 

Andre Fuetsch, SVP of architecture and design for AT&T, said "we need to move to a model of sophisticated software running on commodity hardware."

For more:
- see the release

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