Virtualization

AT&T to release SDN platform into open source

AT&T has committed to releasing the software platform that powers its software-defined network (SDN) into open source.

The company says that making its current enhanced control, orchestration, management and policy (ECOMP) platform available in open source will enable global service providers and cloud developers to meet non-stop network demands as data-hungry technologies like autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality, 4K video and the Internet of Things (IoT) take off.

AT&T reports that data traffic on its wireless network grew more than 150,000 percent between 2007 and 2015. SDN allows companies to better manage huge and unpredictable growth in data traffic. AT&T’s goal is to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020.

“In March, we opened the hood of our network, showed you the engine and the industry responded asking to join us,” said John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, Technology and Operations, AT&T. “Over the last few years, AT&T invented what we believe to be the most sophisticated, comprehensive and scalable software-centric network in the world. Today, we’re letting anyone use and build upon our millions of lines of software code by committing to releasing it into the open source community.

ECOMP, a VNF (virtual network functions) automation platform, aims to help service providers add features and drive down operations costs. It gives more control of network services, and enables developers to create new services. Consumers should benefit because the network better adapts, scales and predicts how to make their connected experiences seamless.

“This is a big decision and getting it right is crucial,” Donovan continues. “We want to build a community – where people contribute to the code base and advance the platform. And, we want this to help align the global industry. We’ve engaged a third-party company to be the integrator and provide support in the industry for the ECOMP platform. And we’ve received positive feedback from major global telecom companies. We’re excited to share more on that front very soon.”



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