Linux Foundation’s Joshipura says ONAP is now the de facto open networking platform


ORLANDO--Since ECOMP and Open O merged earlier this year to create Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), the Linux Foundation is seeing membership and interest continue to accelerate to automate more network functions via SDN and NFV.

Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration for The Linux Foundation, told attendees during this year’s MEF 17 event that ONAP has become widely accepted.

Linux Foundation
Arpit Joshipura

“What we are seeing is ONAP is becoming the de facto platform for the community to collaborate,” Joshipura said. “It’s a shared investment and shared technology that we are creating and that has a significant impact on the global industry.”

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ONAP currently has over 50 members, the majority of which are service providers.

Today, Türk Telekom, Turkey's main telco, has joined ONAP as a Platinum member.

The company joins joins 18 other global service providers and technology leaders that are platinum ONAP members such as AT&T, Bell Orange and Vodafone.

Joshipura said that ONAP members continue to work together to drive the best methods and practices to virtualize networks and drive automation.

“This is a platform where the operators and end users are collaborating,” Joshipura said. “In less than 6 months, we have seen the membership grow to almost 1,400 people.”

MEF collaboration continues

Being an organization focused on collaboration, ONAP has continued to strike pacts with other organizations like the MEF.

In October, MEF and ONAP signed a memorandum of understanding to establish service orchestration for service providers interconnecting diverse networks and technologies.

MEF and ONAP will leverage the resources of a combined set of 250 member companies to speed open source-based SDN/NFV and LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) into the broader telecom and technology segments.

The two organizations will focus on how to orchestrate services across multiple providers and multiple network technology domains. This includes establishing a framework for real-time, policy-driven software automation of virtual and physical network functions, while minimizing fragmentation and silos.

“If there are standards that exist, make sure in the open source community you migrate towards that standard as quickly as possible,” Joshipura said. “And if the standards are not there, make sure that the open source community through the members push it upstream and align as much as possible.”

As MEF and ONAP work together, the two groups will focus on how to use APIs. One of the key projects ONAP can leverage is the external API framework.

AT&T, Orange and other carriers and vendors are carrying out a proof of concept (PoC) that show how to carry out the API work for delivering Ethernet globally.

“The demo does not stop here,” Joshipura said. "It’s going to be carried out in the MEF platform.”

Joshipura added that “ONAP is working with other standards bodies and we’ll make sure the APIs work together because the BSS has to interact with the OSS and the infrastructure.”

Diverging paths

While momentum for ONAP is growing, other service providers aren’t sure that the right path for them.

Verizon told attendees at FierceWireless’ “Telecom Transformation” event, held during the Mobile World Congress Americas tradeshow, that while it continues to evaluate the ONAP open source platform for virtualization that was initially created in part by AT&T, it doesn't have any plans to openly embrace the platform.

Verizon has instead modeled its approach to SDN, NFV and service virtualization on ETSI’s specifications for MANO.