ONF caterpillar metamorphoses into open source butterfly

The Open Network Foundation has proudly announced the completion of its restructuring into an open source-centric organization following the integration of ON.Lab.

This process took almost a year but if it has been done properly then fair enough as business is littered with the debris of botched M&A. Having pupated for nine months the ONF gave its beautiful new wings their first flutter this summer with the announcement that DT is joining the party as a partner.

Despite the name, the resulting butterfly is largely driven by what was ON.Lab, with its focus on SDN and specifically projects such as ON.Lab creation CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter). The chances are that a lot of the work done by ONF was already of the open source variety, so this announcement seems to be a statement of intent as much as anything else.

“We are at the forefront of a massive transformation of the networking ecosystem,” said Guru Parulkar, executive director of ONF. “Recognizing that open source is transforming our industry at an unprecedented pace, we set out to optimize the ONF to embrace and further drive this revolution. We’re very pleased to have now completed our metamorphosis. We are also humbled by the success and impact our projects are having worldwide, and excited to embrace the work ahead.”

Roz Roseboro, of peerless analyst house Heavy Reading, reckons CORD is the future. “CORD, unlike many other projects that only address parts of the puzzle, offers a holistically-designed, fully-integrated, end-to-end solution ready for deployment. It’s a way for service providers to prove that this whole new architecture and process can work.

“Heavy Reading forecasts that the majority of CSPs will use CORD by 2020 to at least some degree, and nearly 40% of all end-customers (residential, wireless and enterprise, collectively) will have service provided by COs or their equivalents using CORD by mid-2021. We expect CORD will enable service providers to more effectively compete with web-scale operators while speeding network automation and innovation.”

The ONF has also taken this opportunity to make a few other organizational announcements. Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T LABS and CTO, has been elected as chair of the ONF Board, AT&T having been a founding member of ON.Lab. In addition, Turk Telekom is also joining the partner as a partner member and lastly there have been more membership layers added to reflect the ONF’s renewed focus on embracing the open source community.

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