ONF executes new Strategic Plan

ONF Hits The Ground Running with Execution of New Strategic Plan.

Providing an update to its previously announced strategic plan aimed at creating a robust supply chain for open source solutions for operators, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) today announced key milestones achieved. The achievements include the formation of the Technical Leadership Team (TLT), finalization on the initial focus areas for Reference Designs (RDs) and that four key new supply chain partners have joined as Partners (ONF’s top membership tier) to invest in the Reference Design activities, including ADTRAN, Dell EMC, Edgecore Networks and Juniper Networks.

Reference Designs for the Edge & Access Cloud

ONF’s operator leadership, which includes AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Google, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, NTT Group, and Turk Telekom, have agreed on a focused set of open source Reference Designs they communally plan to take to deployment in the near future as they begin to build out their edge & access clouds.  Furthermore, work on these RDs and their corresponding Exemplar Platforms have begun, with expectations that drafts, first implementations and production deployments will take place this year.

Reference Designs are “blueprints” for how to put common modular components together to create platforms based on open source to address specific deployment use cases for the emerging edge cloud.

SDN Enabled Broadband Access
Lightweight reference design based on a variant of R-CORD.  Supports a multitude of virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network, including PON, G.Fast, and eventually DOCSIS and more.
NFV Fabric-RD SDN-native spine-leaf data center fabric optimized for edge applications.
Unified, Programmable & Automated Network
Next generation SDN reference design, leveraging P4 to enable flexible data plane programmability and network embedded VNF acceleration.
Open Disaggregated Transport Network
Open multi-vendor optical networks.


Details on the Reference Designs, including the Operators committing to each, can be found at ONF Reference Design blog post.

 Trailblazing Open Source Platforms

In addition to the Reference Designs that are all tightly scoped and on the verge of deployment, the ONF will continue to pursue open source platforms that lead next-generation activities for the industry.  These activities include:

M-CORD Virtualized next-generation 5G mobile core and RAN platform.
CORD Multi-access Edge Cloud
Brings together all the access technologies into a single edge cloud, and enables third-party edge applications to run on the carrier’s network.


The ONF operators remain passionate about the full CORD vision, but recognize that 5G technologies are still in formation and for that reason deployment are perhaps a year behind other exemplar platforms.

Driving Formation of a New Supply Chain

To support operators’ impending deployment of these Reference Designs, a number of tier-1 vendors have joined the efforts as ONF partners to contribute their skills, expertise and technologies to help realize the RDs.  ADTRANDell/EMCEdgecore Networks and Juniper Networks are actively participating as supply chain partners in this reference design process.  Each brings unique skills and complementary competencies, and by working together the partnership will be able to expedite the production readiness of the various solutions.

ADTRAN A leader in installed base broadband and PON deployments, Adtran is joining the ONF partnership to serve as a system integrator, helping operators assemble solutions based on the new Reference Designs – leveraging open source platforms and interworking these solutions with existing OSS/BSS systems.
Dell EMC With leadership in servers and data center expertise, and a history of embracing disaggregated switching architectures, Dell EMC joins the partnership as an “ODM++” positioned to assemble open solutions and provide global reach and logistical support to scale operator deployments.
Edgecore Networks Edgecore Networks has been a leader in open switching and open PON systems, embracing the white box movement early and providing the majority of open access hardware white boxes to date.  By joining as a full partner, Edgecore will be offering operators an advanced selection of open hardware choices for broadband access and more, all pre-integrated with ONF Reference Designs and Exemplar Platforms.
Juniper Networks Juniper Networks simplifies the complexities of networking with products, solutions and services in the cloud era. A recognized leader in advanced networking technologies, Juniper is joining the ONF to embrace the open source movement for edge cloud transformation.

These new partners complement ONF’s existing supply chain partners CienaIntel, Radisys and Samsung, each of whom are playing equally essential roles in the new open source ecosystem.


ONF Partner Commentary

“Over the last several years, ADTRAN has fully embraced open, disaggregated and software-defined attributes as the core principles in our Mosaic-branded access focused solutions. We are encouraged by ONF’s new strategic plan and strong operator commitment and believe ADTRAN is a perfect fit as a supply chain partner,” said ADTRAN Senior Vice President of Technology and Strategy Jay Wilson. “ADTRAN intends to contribute across multiple reference design initiatives by applying access domain expertise both in software and systems integration.”

Dell EMC

“Dell EMC’s Open Networking initiative is about choice, flexibility and agility for enterprises and service providers, without a compromise on technology,” said Gavin Cato, Senior Vice President, Dell EMC Networking Engineering. “Dell EMC is a pioneer in open networking and committed to advancing the ONF efforts for harmonizing open source initiatives and transforming networking operations.”

Edgecore Networks

“Edgecore has been delivering open network solutions to data center operators and service providers for years, and understands the important role of the ONF as the premier community that defines and develops solutions based on open technology to meet the real world requirements of service providers,” said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks.  “We have been contributing to ONF work on CORD and are excited now to become a supplier partner contributing to the reference designs that will accelerate deployment of open networking.”

Juniper Networks

“At Juniper Networks, we are huge proponents of the open-infrastructure movement. In fact, as a testament to that, we open-sourced our Contrail SDN controller in 2013. We also became the first major network solution provider to incorporate P4 and P4Runtime earlier this year, enabling ubiquitous control across all our platforms. The industry’s need for open-source solutions has only grown since then as service providers more and more are working to ensure that a majority their networks include open-source infrastructure to build best-of-breed solutions and encourage innovation. We are excited to be joining the Open Networking Foundation to continue fostering innovation in open networking.”

– Bikash Koley, Chief Technology Officer, Juniper Networks


TLT Leadership


“Comcast is excited about the positive benefits open-source platforms and solutions are delivering across the industry.  ONF’s work on reference designs represents an important step forward in open source development for the edge cloud, and we’re looking forward to participating.”

– Dr. Robert L. Howald, Comcast and ONF TLT Chair


“AT&T has been a strong advocate of ONF’s open-source initiatives and we believe we are now at the cusp of deploying open source based solutions for next-generation broadband access, further driving open solutions to the edges of networks. Reference Designs are being formed to help ensure the success of this effort, and to clearly indicate to the ecosystem where we and our fellow operators are headed.”

-Al Blackburn, AT&T and ONF TLT Vice-Chair


Reference Design Details

Additional details on the Reference Designs can be found in this blog post.

Overcoming the multi-faceted OSS expertise conundrum

How many times have you heard a colleague say they wish they could clone themselves (or one of their trusted colleagues)? Alternatively, to say they’d like to do a copy *.* of a colleague’s brain?

I’m feeling that way more now than at any time in the past, not of any one person in particular, but on whole fields of expertise. Data science, network virtualisation, cloud development models, digital marketing, the art of selling, getting hands-on with the many open-source OSS tools and integrating them together (as recently flagged by Christi). The list goes on. Gaining expertise in each field is a life’s work. Just gaining proficiency is a full-time job.

To be an expert in future OSS requires managing all these facets, not to mention all the challenges of the past / present. The question I find myself asking is how to find a balance of proficiencies up until the invention of a time-extension machine.

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is to be a super-connector. That requires four things:

  1. Knowing enough about the technologies, methodologies and perspectives of each pillar of expertise
  2. Having an amazing network of people who are making each pillar their life’s work respectively
  3. Enhancing my ability to spot / invent valuable opportunities that allow the two previous dot-points to be connected
  4. Having the ability to be the communication / translation layer between the first three points because each has its own language / jargon and doesn’t naturally plug straight into the others (eg data scientists and network operators)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you best manage the conundrum of multi-faceted expertise.

Don’t think! Don’t Hope! Do!

At least DO SOMETHING! DO! Don’t think, don’t hope, do! At least you can come off and say ‘I did this, I shepherded, I played on. At least I did something
John Kennedy.

Today is one of the most exciting days on the Australian calendar. It’s AFL Grand Final day. The game is Australian Rules Football.

The following clip shows some of the game’s finest motivators.

Australian Rules Football is probably foreign to many people outside Australia. The following clip shows a few of the features of the greatest game in the world.

Go the mighty hawks!

And when you’re stuck on a problem with your OSS, don’t forget to follow John Kennedy’s inspiring words… “Don’t think! Don’t hope! Do!