We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how the telcos are embracing open networking, network functions virtualization, and software-defined networking in an effort to become more agile so they can spin up new services and capabilities as fast as their over-the-top competitors are doing. But we hear a whole lot less about what the cable TV giants are doing in these realms.
That’s starting to change, at least a little, as ON (News - Alert).Lab late last month announced that Comcast Cable is now part of both the CORD and ONOS efforts. And just last week I spoke with Brian Scriber, principal architect for security at CableLabs (News - Alert), who is also the chair of the Open Connectivity Foundation’s security working group; CableLabs and OCF, he said, are working together to build a groundswell around security within the Internet of Things device manufacturer community.
CORD stands for Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center. This concept combines the cloud, commodity infrastructure, NFV, open building blocks, and SDN to bring the agility of the cloud and the economies of scale found in the data center to service provider networks – spanning from the equipment at the home or office customer premises, to the access part of the network, to the telco’s central office.
ONOS, which stands for Open Network Operating System, is an SDN operating system for service providers. It allows for abstraction, high availability and performance, and better scalability.
“Software-defined networking and network functions virtualization are powerful, fast-evolving tools for network transformation,” said Nagesh Nandiraju, director of network architecture at Comcast. “We look forward to bringing our perspective and experience to the fantastic community of technologists already working on these open source projects.”
Comcast reportedly paid a total of $500,000 to become part of the CORD and ONOS efforts, both of which now fall under The Linux Foundation and ON.Lab. Other members of these groups include service providers AT&T (News - Alert), China Unicom, Google, NTT Communications, SK Telecom, and Verizon; vendors Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson (ONOS only), Fujitsu, Huawei (ONOS only), Intel, NEC (News - Alert), Nokia, Radisys and Samsung; and a long list of system integrators.
“The mission of these open source initiatives is the enablement of service delivery platforms for creating and deploying new services at cloud-like speed, independent of the access network architecture,” said the Nov. 30 ON.Lab press release announcing Comcast’s membership in CORD and ONOS. “As an open source service delivery platform, it combines SDN, NFV, and elastic cloud services. Comcast, like the many network operators and service providers, is leveraging these emerging technologies as it evolves its network to meet next-generation demands.
Of course, Comcast is also one of several large cablecos that has long been part of CableLabs, the MSO research and development consortium. And that consortium is also playing an active role in the Open Connectivity Foundation. The OCF, by the way, is also contributing to the Linux Foundation’s (News - Alert) IoTivity effort to create a platform with common communication and security models that IoT companies can build upon, said Scriber.
Edited by Maurice Nagle