Windstream has joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project, signaling the telco’s desire to set the stage to implement software-defined networking and network functions virtualization across its network architecture.
The service provider was one of several companies, including Juniper and Red Hat that recently joined ONAP as a member.
ONAP is the result of the merger earlier this year of ECOMP and the Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. Through its efforts to develop a common open source framework for network automation, ONAP is becoming one of the key vehicles for minimizing the fragmentation within the SDN market.
Already, Windstream is moving towards a virtualized network environment, starting with its optical network.
The service provider recently introduced SDNow (Software Defined Network Orchestrated Waves) for wholesale content and service provider customers. Set to be launched five major third-party carrier neutral data centers in Chicago, Dallas, the Ashburn, Virginia, area, Miami and Atlanta, Windstream plans to expand SDNow to 50 additional locations this summer.
Windstream set the pace for its SDN plans last year when it employed Ciena’s Blue Planet to automate how it delivers wavelength services across its multi-vendor optical network.
As Windstream continues to migrate towards SDN, the service provider will be able to leverage ONAP resources to maximize the technology standardization and adoption required in a complex, multi-vendor environment.
While the data center is the first application, Windstream indicated it could apply SDN and NFV to accommodate an array of residential, small to medium business, enterprise and wholesale services. Additionally, the service provider can further develop operational benefits such as automation and acceleration for both service ordering and installation.
“Combined with our rapid advances in SDN, Windstream’s participation in ONAP increases the value of our network for all of our customers, as we move to virtualization and cloud-based technologies that offer affordable and efficient next-generation services,” said Art Nichols, VP of network architecture and technology for Windstream, in a release. “For example, not only does our SDNow solution offer automation and accelerated service delivery, but it forges the path that will allow us to deliver flexible, on-demand services across our multi-vendor network ecosystem.”