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Stepping out from NFV’s shadow, Huawei helps to kick-start telco SDN development

Huawei headquarters

Huawei HQ © Huawei

For so long it was assumed that SDN would take the lead in the slow but steady evolution to new network architectures in telecoms networks, with NFV a sideshow. How wrong we were. Thanks mainly to ETSI’s support in helping several progressive companies to develop the new standard and framework, NFV has seen a soaring rise in interest from vendors and operators. Far from being a slow evolution, virtualising network functions is now on everyone’s agenda. The rate of adoption and support has been staggering.

But what of software defined networking (SDN)? This has proven to be a rather trickier proposition to incorporate, but that’s not to say it’s being neglected in favour of NFV. Yesterday, China-based vendor Huawei announced that it is working with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the OPNFV association, using the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) to build what it says will be “an open and innovative SDN industry ecosystem, enabling operators to accelerate SDN commercialisation”.

“SDN openness and innovation will be a huge motivator behind industry development, requiring the joint efforts of numerous stakeholders,” said Zha Jun, President, Fixed Network Product Line at Huawei and ONOS Board Member. “Huawei will contribute with operator requirements to the ONOS core architecture. We will enrich southbound and northbound interfaces, and actively provide open source code to support ONOS with adapting to various SDN scenarios and build an open and healthy industry ecosystem.”

ONOS is the industry’s first open source SDN control platform, developed by operators and vendors, which focuses on network and service requirements to provide high performance, reliability, security, and scalability. The requirement for ultra-fast connections and focus on reducing costs has resulted in SDN becoming a key strategic aim for telcos looking to transform their network architectures and businesses.

“Network operators are rushing to benefit from SDN and are increasingly looking to open-source software as an effective vehicle for rapid deployment of key SDN components,” said Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the ONF. “ONF is thrilled when our members embrace SDN and open-source technologies to meet critical operator needs.”

Huawei says its SDN solutions will fully support the ONOS platform and, through a close relationship with ONOS, ONF and OPNFV, it will focus on creating a cohesive, open, and programmable SDN network architecture to meet the needs of operators.

“ONOS will continuously respond to operator requirements, partner with Huawei to optimize the open source control platform, and promote the openness and healthy development of the industry ecosystem by placing benefits to operators at the forefront,” said Ram Appalaraju, Strategy Consultant for ONOS.

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