Open Network Featured Article

CORD 4.1, ONF Taking Operators to the Edge

December 14, 2017

The edge is somewhat of an undiscovered country. While innovation is working toward enabling this fresh frontier to future-forward status, it is not an overnight fix. However, groups like the Open Networking Foundation are pioneering ways to bring an open networking approach, and transform a market in need of a leg up.

This week, the Open Networking Foundation unveiled enhancements to the Central Office re-architected as a datacenter (CORD), which now offers a single platform for multi-access edge. CORD 4.1 support enterprise, mobile and residential distribution, moving away from base distribution and enabling single distribution to support delivery.

Key points to the  new release include:

  • Real-time control of disaggregated RAN and PON networks, leveraging spate ONOS instances;
  • More than 25 different open source VNFs;
  • Full integration of upstream products (OpenStack, ONOS, Docker, Ansible and MaaS, for instance);
  • XOS for edge service orchestration and per-subscriber control;
  • Automated CI/CD build process to assemble enterprise, mobile or residential POD; and
  • SDN control, leveraging Trellis (built on ONO) as data center fabric.

The open source platform allows for much in the way of customization, providing the ability to craft custom integration and service creation services. This is a primary factor why the ONF believes many of the operators making up the $300 billion in capex spend will move toward deploying CORD and its sibling solutions.

"CORD 4.1 enables operators to create custom distributions with optimizations targeting their specific market and customer base.  At Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), we spearheaded this type of deployment by setting up and testing the first Multi-Access CORD distribution by merging residential and mobile service VNFs into a single platform," said Robert Soukup, Senior Project Manager, Access 4.1, Deutsche Telekom.  

I do not own a crystal ball, nor do I claim any sort of psychic abilities, but the writing is on the wall. The networks of the digital age are open, software-defined and agile.

Edited by Erik Linask