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Telecom Giants Join Open Compute Project

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Telecom Giants Join Open Compute Project

February 02, 2016

  By Tara Seals, Contributing Writer

The Open Compute Project (OCP) has created the OCP Telco Project, focused on data center technologies for telecom companies. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom (News - Alert) and Verizon are the initial participants.

OCP focuses on encouraging open-source contributions for networking, servers, storage and Open Rack. The OCP (News - Alert) Telco Project continues this trend, as an open forum to advance the following objectives: Communicating telco technical requirements effectively to the OCP community; strengthening the OCP ecosystem to address the deployment and operational needs of telcos; and bringing OCP innovations to telco data center infrastructure for increased cost-savings and agility.

“OCP community momentum is strong, and we get closer to our vision of better and more open hardware development each time a new industry embraces the principles of openness and customization,” said Jason Taylor, president and chairman of the OCP Board and VP of infrastructure at Facebook (News - Alert). “Leaders in telecommunications embracing OCP signify the start of a new and exciting chapter as we work together to enable better designs, easier adoption, and efficiency gains across the board.”

Service providers are increasingly embracing open hardware approaches, which abstract the software layer from the server, paving the way for network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN). This shift to cloud-based architectures allows carriers to support personalized, flexible services that dovetail with customer demand for an ever-widening array of smart devices, ubiquitous mobility and data-driven business strategies.

When implemented with carrier-grade best practices, including using open standards and approaches, NFV allows exponentially greater service agility, so that offerings are provisioned in seconds instead of days. It also boosts data flow velocity and data analytics velocity to support fresh revenue generation, increased competitive viability, and operational optimization and cost-savings.

Some carriers are first-movers in this: AT&T (News - Alert), for instance, has said that it will virtualize 75 percent of its network functions by 2020.

“To do that, we need to move to a model of sophisticated software running on commodity hardware,” said Andre Fuetsch, SVP of architecture and design at AT&T. “We’re becoming a software and networking company. As a result, our central offices are going to look a lot more like data centers as we evolve our networking infrastructure.”

He added, “The Open Compute Project is innovating rapidly in this area, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with the community of engineers and developers that are driving the evolution. We look forward to our vendors and other industry players supporting this initiative, as well.”

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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