AT&T, others spill trade secrets in open-source network project ONAP

Last February AT&T announced the Open Network Automation Platform (also known as ONAP), on which they and other carriers will share their technologies with the Linux open-source community.

Why would a proprietary giant suddenly make its wares free to the public? It can no longer afford not to, said Lisa Caywood (pictured), director of ecosystem development, OpenDaylight Project, at The Linux Foundation.

After working on the Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy, known as ECOMP, internally, AT&T realized it did not have the resources to develop and scale the networking project themselves, she said.

“They were putting tens of thousands of their developers through specialized boot camps,” Caywood told guest host Scott Raynovich (@rayno) and host Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick), of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California. (*Disclosure below.)

“You just can’t push people through the system that fast, nor can you hire enough people that fast,” she said.

Open-source swap

To reach their their Software-Defined-Networking goals, AT&T reached out to the Linux Foundation to cut a win-win deal; they would share their technology with them, if they would would teach and collaborate with them in return.

“Some portion of it, the stuff that’s really important and proprietary and is sort of the crown jewels, that has stayed internal, but they’ve shared a fairly large percentage of the base platform with the open-source community,” said Caywood.

This represents a trend for carriers and enterprises with many endpoints to collaborate however necessary to break the network bottleneck, she said.

“The only way they can get there is with SDN [software-defined networking], and they have a very strong preference, a very clear preference for open source,” Caywood concluded.

Stay tuned for the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Open Networking Summit. (*Disclosure: SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE is a media partner at Open Networking Summit. Neither The Linux Foundation nor other conference sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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