05 September 2015

When the Central Office will become a Data Center (or viceversa)

This presentation (by ON.Lab, in partnership with AT&T, at ONS2015) is attracting a growing interest in the international initiatives which are dealing with activities about SDN-NFV innovation and standardization.

In particular, the presentation (CORD or "Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) proposes a software architecture for transforming a Central Office in a Data Center by adopting commodity hardware and open source software.

Personally I believe that CORD is very brilliant approach to exploit enabling technologies such as SDN, NFV and Cloud Computing to simplify architectures and operations of a Telecommunications infrastructure, whilst providing flexibility. SDN, NFV and Cloud Computing will integrate each other around a generalised concept of service.

In fact, the service is becoming the unifying element (for resources, infrastructure and platforms), the unit of orchestration. This is paving the way to the model X-as-a-Service (which is Everything-as-a-Service), the Holy Graal for any strategical role a Service Provider may want to take. 

The core of CORD is the so called "X-Operating System" (X-OS), the equivalent of an Operating System for a SD-Infrastructure. X-OS integrates with OpenStack and ON.OS: the former for the aspects of the management / orchestration of the virtual infrastructure (e.g., Virtual Machines instantiated on commodity servers) the latter for the control of Virtual Networks (e.g., through the scheduling of switching fabric of the equipment).

My take is that technical approaches like CORD will soon pave the way to a world-wide diffusion of "Softwarization" of Telecommunications. This will definitely create new ecosystems and a booming of start-ups at the edge.

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