Reference Designs

Reference Designs (RDs) represent a particular assembly of components that are required to build a deployable platform. They are “blueprints” developed by ONF’s Operator members to address specific use cases for the emerging edge cloud.

ONF’s operator leadership expanded ONF’s mission to create a new strategic plan to deploy open source solutions into their production networks. By committing to take open source solutions into production, ONF’s operator members are enabling a new supply chain ecosystem to help realize the full potential of SDN, disaggregation and open source.

RDs are the vehicles to describe how a collection of projects can be assembled into a platform to address specific needs of operators. By defining RDs, ONF’s operator members are showing the industry the path forward to solutions they plan to procure and deploy.

Each RD is backed by specific Operator partner(s) who plan to deploy these designs into their production networks and will include participation from invited supply chain partners sharing the vision and demonstrating active investment in building open source solutions. The RD thus enables a set of committed partners to work on the specification and a related open source platform.

Assembling the set of selected components defined by the RDs into a platform enables a proof-of-concept to allow the test and trial of the design. These platforms are called Exemplar Platforms and each of them will be based on a Reference Design and will serve as reference implementations. These platforms are designed to make it easy to download, modify, trial and deploy an operational instantiation and thereby speed up adoption and deployment. 

Reference Designs are now available for membership review and can be accessed here.

Deployment Plan & Path to Production Networks

Current multi-layer Networks

The TLT determines the priorities and resource allocations for the Reference Designs Teams.

Reference Designs & Exemplar Platforms

Listed below are the currently approved RDs and the Exemplar Platforms enabled by them.
Current multi-layer Networks

SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA)

Lightweight platform based on a variant of R-CORD. Supports a multitude of virtualized access technologies at the edge of the carrier network, including PON, G.Fast, and eventually DOCSIS and more. Supports both residential access and wireless backhaul, and optimized such that traffic can run ‘fastpath’ straight through to the backbone without requiring VNF processing on a server.

Includes NEM - Network Edge Mediator, which leverages the XOS toolchain to provide mediation to different operators’ backend management/OSS systems and FCAPS support to operationalize the platform.


Exemplar Platform: SEBA

Component Projects: VOLTHA, ONOS, ONOS SDN Apps, OSAM, OCP and NEM

Supply Chain Partners:

NFV Fabric

SDN-native spine-leaf data center fabric optimized for edge services and applications.


Exemplar Platform: Trellis

Component Projects:  ONOS, ONOS SDN Apps, OF-DPA, ONL, OCP

Supply Chain Partners:

Unified, Programmable & Automated Network (UPAN)

Next generation SDN reference design, leveraging P4 to enable flexible data plane programmability and network embedded VNF acceleration.


Exemplar Platform: UPAN

Component Projects:  Stratum, P4, ONOS++, ONOS SDN Apps, Trellis, OpenConfig, gNMI, gNOI, ONL, OCP

Supply Chain Partners:

Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN)

Open multi-vendor optical networks, starting with point-to-point and expanding to multi-point ROADM networks.


Exemplar Platform: ODTN

Component Projects: ONOS, ONOS SDN Apps, TAPI, OpenConfig

Supply Chain Partners: