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ONF Releases First Reference Designs

Operator-backed open source projects take shape to simplify and optimize carrier networks

MENLO PARK, Calif., April, 4, 2019 – Today at the Open Networking Summit #ONS2019 (San Jose Convention Center, booth #501)) the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced the public release of the first three Reference Designs (RD’s): SEBA, Trellis and ODTN.

Reference Designs (RDs) were first announced in the ONF 2018 Strategic Plan describing operators’ intention to drive open source solutions into mainstream deployments.  RDs provide the blueprint for how a collection of open source components can be assembled to address specific needs as a deployable platform.  Since RDs are only pursued if multiple operators agree to invest in and back the initiative, RDs demonstrate operator consensus and make clear to the industry how operators will use open source – thus creating critical mass and making it easier for vendors to invest in solutions knowing that each solution will be suited for multiple operators.

Each Reference Design released today was first conceived by ONF’s operator partner members. Then supply chain partner members were brought in to help collaboratively develop a draft that then went into review with the broader ONF membership for iterative enhancements.  Today, with board approval, these RDs are now publicly released whereby they become referenceable public specifications that can be used during design and procurement of network transformation projects.

All ONF Reference Designs are paired with an open source Exemplar Platform (EP).  Both the RD and EP proceed in parallel, and RDs are not released unless a paired EP is available to prove out the architecture and accelerate adoption.  Today three Reference Designs are being released, two as Final and one as Informational because its EP is not yet mature enough for production deployments.

Virtualized Broadband – SEBA

SEBA (SDN Enabled Broadband Access) is a lightweight virtualized broadband platform originally based on a variant of ONF’s R-CORD. It supports multiple virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network (e.g. PON, G.Fast, DOCSIS), allowing each access technology to be controlled by OpenFlow®.  Furthermore, mediation software is provided to help operationalize the access devices and connect the SEBA implementation to OSS/BSS systems.  SEBA supports both residential access and wireless backhaul and is optimized such that traffic can run ‘fastpath’ straight through to the backbone without requiring VNF processing.  See ONF Reference Design TS-100 SEBA v1.0

NFV Fabric  – Trellis

Trellis defines a solution for an open multi-purpose L2/L3 spine-leaf Ethernet switch fabric for edge data centers and for interconnecting multiple sites.  It supports Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) running on servers, network functions implemented directly within the switch fabric itself, and the interconnection of local and remote resources all in a single solution. Trellis builds a non-blocking fabric using OpenFlow® controlled white box switching hardware and open source software. The Trellis fabric does not run any embedded control protocols on the switches (e.g. BGP, OSPF or RSTP). Instead, intelligence is moved into applications running on a clustered ONOS controller.  Fabric switches are thus simplified, and the fabric can be optimized by leveraging a holistic view of all activity while new features and functionality can be deployed without upgrading the switches. See ONF Reference Design TS-101 Trellis v1.0

Optical Networking – ODTN (released as Informational)

ODTN (Open Disaggregated Transport Networking) describes a blueprint for constructing open source solutions for multi-vendor optical networks mixing transponders from multiple suppliers as well as Open Line System from yet a different source.  ODTN is being released as an “Informational” Reference Design. The ONF wants to share publicly the status of this work, but given that a paired open source Exemplar Platform is not yet available in a sufficiently mature state ready for deployment, this RD is being published as Informational.  See ONF Reference Design Info-1002 ODTN v0.4

Operator Supporting Quotes:

“We are excited to see the first formal release of the ONF’s first Reference Designs.  SEBA is experiencing fantastic traction and AT&T has live field trials with additional plans to scale the network moving forward.  We are also pleased to see growth in both the developer community and in the number of interested operators.” said Eddy Barker, AVP- Design & Architecture, Converged Access Systems, AT&T Labs.


“Deutsche Telekom’s SEBA implementation called Access 4.0 creates edge data centers supporting broadband Internet using FTTH/B,” said Robert Soukup, Program Manager for DT. “This is true next generation edge access using SDN. It helps us to realize our vision on many fronts, including the case for cost reduction, increased automation, and reduced time to market. This year we are bringing the project into an extended field trial and strongly drive productization. The results benefit the entire community and this is at the heart of ONF’s mission for open source.”

“NTT Communications is pleased to see ODTN as an exploratory project, as it enables the dynamic management of multi-vendor, multi domain transport network environments using open technologies including ONOS. The benefits are many, including dynamic configuration, more automated operations and enables value-added functions in open-innovative way. It has great potential for shorting time-to-market and TCO reduction, said Dai Kashiwa, Vice President of SDN/NFV Technology Development for NTT Communications.

About the Open Networking Foundation:

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group and Turk Telekom, the ONF is driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit http://www.opennetworking.org

Media Contact:

Greg Cross
PR for the ONF
email: greg@opennetworking.org