AT&T sets a date to put DANOS into the Linux Foundation, names IP Infusion as the reseller

white box
AT&T signs an agreement with IP Infusion to be the value-added integrator of open source DANOS-Vyatta for use in white box deployments. (Pixabay)

AT&T has long promised to release its DANOS network operating system into the Linux Foundation. On Tuesday, the telco said it would do just that on Nov. 15 and it also named IP Infusion as the exclusive integrator and reseller of DANOS.

For over a year now, AT&T has said it would put its disaggregated network operating system (dNOS), which AT&T calls Vyatta, into the Linux Foundation Networking Disaggregated Network Operating System (DANOS) project. In March of last year, the Linux Foundation announced the DANOS project to enable community collaboration across network hardware, forwarding and operating system layers.

“We’ve been awaiting this moment for some time now and there will be many equipment providers and integrators (and perhaps service providers) who will want to dig into the code," said Roy Chua, founder and principal at AvidThink, in an email to FierceTelecom. "The announcement of IP Infusion as an exclusive partner is an interesting twist. It means that some elements of VyattaOS (the 'production-grade' elements) will not be released into Linux Foundation.
 
"It will be useful to understand what specific elements have been withheld. The pairing of IP Infusion, which has its own routing and networking stack, with the Vyatta code base will lead to questions around how IP Infusion will position its own stack versus this stack, and to the licensing arrangements between AT&T, a CSP, and IP Infusion, a network solution provider.”
 
The news that AT&T is putting DANOS into open source, and that it has named IP Infusion to sell and support it, is a game-changer for universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) deployments. While there are some network operating systems in play today, the industry will benefit from access to DANOS due to AT&T's expertise and deployments.

With uCPE and network function virtualization (NFV), service providers can utilize the benefits of the cloud by replacing closed appliances with their choice of software that can be hosted anywhere in the network on their choice of open hardware.

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AT&T has deployed the DANOS operating system software, which stems from its acquisition of Vyatta in 2017, to control and manage its white box hardware.

RELATED: AT&T's Fuetsch says AT&T now has internet white boxes in production

AT&T has internet white boxes in production on commercial traffic in Toronto and London with a goal of having them in 76 countries by the end of the year. While AT&T hasn't said which vendors it's using for the internet white boxes, AT&T is running its Vyatta software stack on them.

These open, white box systems allow AT&T to run 10 times as much traffic as the proprietary routers it previously bought at the same price. AT&T is also using the Vyatta software in its cell site router gateways, which it's using to support the high bandwidth requirements needed for 5G cell site backhaul.

“Our collaboration with IP Infusion around DANOS-Vyatta edition is about creating an ecosystem of solutions for service providers and alternatives to the traditional network model of closed systems,” said AT&T's Chris Rice, senior vice president, network infrastructure and cloud, in a statement.

IP Infusion has exclusive rights to sell the DANOS-Vyatta edition as a commercial solution and provide ongoing support for carrier customers who need additional integration expertise. The DANOS-Vyatta edition includes many of the same production-ready features that are used today in AT&T’s network.

“DANOS-Vyatta edition is currently running in AT&T’s production network on a number of white box use cases. This is a key component of our own network, and the disaggregated model it represents – decoupling hardware and software so they can be deployed and upgraded independently – is at the heart of our industry-leading approach to software-defined networking,” said AT&T's Michael Satterlee, vice president, network infrastructure and services, in a statement. “IP Infusion is aligned with that vision, and will collaborate with us and the community on continuing to improve and advance the platform.”

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