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February 23, 2017

Largest network merger in open source history creates new ONAP Project

ECOMP and OPEN-O to Form New Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project.

By Ellie Burns

The Linux Foundation made open source history, announcing the largest networking merger to date.

The merger sees open source ECOMP and Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) come together to create the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project.

ONAP will enable end users to automate, design, design, orchestrate, and manage services and virtual functions.

The new project has some formidable names driving it forward, with operators such as AT&T working with a who’s who of network leaders including Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Orange and VMware.

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“By combining two of the largest open source networking initiatives, the community is able to take advantage of the best architectural components of both projects,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation.

“We’re excited to see the industry coalesce around ONAP with this unprecedented merger. Such a broad effort and investment will expedite our vision to deliver an open platform for network automation.”

linux foundation open source history

The end-goal behind the merger of ECOMP and OPEN-O was to enable software, network, cloud providers and developers to rapidly create new services. By creating a harmonized and comprehensive framework for real-time, policy-driven software automation of virtual network functions, ONAP hopes to deliver on this goal.

By consolidating member resources, ONAP will be well positioned to deliver a unified architecture and implementation, with an open standards upstream focus, faster than any one project could on its own.

“Collaborative initiatives, like the Open Network Automation Platform, will help us further drive NFV innovations in the marketplace,” said Steven L. Canepa, General Manager, Global Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment, IBM.

“ONAP provides a framework for service providers and system integrators to advance cloud-based network solutions adoption. IBM will provide strong cloud capabilities, cognitive solutions, agile and open development environments and NFV-specific products.”

The Linux Foundation will now set about establishing a governance and membership structure for ONAP, with a Governing Board set to be appointed to guide business decisions and ensure alignment between technical communities and members.

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“The movement up-stack in Open Source Networking is a fantastic path towards a full umbrella architecture for Service Providers and Enterprises,” said David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect at Cisco.

“ONAP is a great opportunity for the industry to work together towards the goal of a new operational model that includes network-wide orchestration and automation. This project along with other projects like ODL,, OPNFV and PNDA that we have invested heavily, have proven the value of open innovation and created a developer community around networking. We are very excited to be working with our colleagues and the developer community and enabling ONAP.”

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