The ONOS Project says it has developed an open reference implementation of Central Office Re-architected as Data Center (CORD), the initiative to bring cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), and network functions virtualization (NFV) concepts to carrier access networks. The reference implementation leverages merchant silicon, "white box" hardware, and open-source software platforms such as ONOS, OpenStack, and XOS.
The reference implementation will be used for research and trials with an eye toward future deployments, the organization says. These activities likely will focus around the service provider partners, vendor partners, and "collaborators" the ONOS Project says have stepped up to support the CORD effort. They include:
- Service provider partners: AT&T, China Unicom, NTT Communications, SK Telecom, Verizon
- Vendor partners: Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NEC, Nokia
- Collaborators: Accton, AirHop, Broadcom, Cavium, Celestica, Ciena, Cobham, Flextronics, NetCracker, PMC-Sierra/Microsemi, Radisys.
CORD has potential application to several use cases. Three are being demonstrated this week at the Open Network Summit:
- Enterprise (E-CORD), designed to enable delivery of SDN-WAN and MEF Carrier Ethernet services. (ON.Lab, which developed ONOS, and the MEF have announced a collaboration around E-CORD and the MEF's OpenCS [Open Connectivity Services] and OpenLSO [Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration] projects.) E-CORD will enable multi-site virtual networks on demand with customer-specified services such as intrusion detection and WAN acceleration, among others.
- Mobile (M-CORD), which aims to integrate disaggregated and virtualized radio access networks (RANs), disaggregated and virtualized evolved packet cores, and mobile edge computing.
- Residential (R-CORD) combines virtualized CPE and virtualized wireline access technologies (e.g., GPON, 10GPON, G.fast) with cloud-based subscriber services. AT&T participated in a proof of concept of R-CORD last year (see "AT&T, ON.Lab to lead CORD proof-of-concept demonstration").
"AT&T supports the goals and achievements that are embodied in CORD," said Andre Fuetsch, senior vice president of Architecture and Design at AT&T. "The work is pushing the boundaries of many technologies and architectures, as well as open source and open spec hardware. We are learning from the CORD experiments and trials and using this knowledge to refine AT&T's Integrated Cloud. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with ON.Lab and others in advancing NFV and SDN technology."
Other network operators said they plan to deploy CORD elements in their infrastructures.
"Equinix, as it works with partners and customers to drive innovation and interconnection, will be enabling OCP [Open Compute Project] hardware and open source software across our global network of data centers," said Ihab Tarazi, chief technology officer at Equinix. "In this regard, Equinix plans to collaborate with the CORD project and deploy the CORD software stack on OCP hardware."
"We find CORD a very promising service delivery platform built using commodity hardware and open source software," said Dr. Tang Xiongyan, chief technologist at China Unicom and ONOS board member. "We are interested in deploying E-CORD to offer our enterprise customers services, such as networks on demand with the the ability to observe, control, and program the network. We look forward to open collaboration to push CORD forward to trials and deployments."
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