data centerAT&T and Orange will be collaborating to develop open source standards for software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technology. The mix of proprietary SDN and NFV standards that characterize the market today make for more complex, costly investment and deployment processes, conditions that AT&T and Orange want to address as they work together to develop open-source standards acceptable industry-wide, the companies said in a press release about the AT&T and Orange SDN/ NFV initiative.

AT&T and Orange SDN/ NFV
More specifically, the AT&T and Orange SDN/NFV initiative will focus efforts along the following lines:

  • Make customer premises equipment (CPE) and services truly universal by creating common specifications for premise-based devices, allowing them to work in different NSP environments and with different network function software providers.
  • Streamline the onboarding process for virtual network functions (VNFs) by introducing common guidelines and templates that will mature the VNF provider ecosystem and make VNFs more plug and play.
  • Develop standardized APIs that will enable SDN architectures from different NSPs to interoperate with each other, making deployment of virtualized network services and functions faster and easier.

“We’re committed to defining a framework that will accelerate the adoption of SDN. Driving the industry toward a standardized approach will reduce the cost and complexity created by proprietary implementation of equipment in the network and on the customer premise,” AT&T Business Solutions SVP, Offer Management and Service Integration Roman Pacewicz was quoted as saying.

“Everyone benefits when network services and functions are designed around a common ecosystem that is delivered on open platforms. Innovation can happen faster and more easily, and this model will also help improve reliability and security,” added Orange Business Services SVP, Global Solutions Didier Duriez.

Along the same lines, a week ago UNH-IOL announced the launch of the SDN Consortium, which will serve as a ¨one-stop shop¨ for SDN and NFV equipment and device testing and standards conformance.

Though it will take a few years, AT&T expects to realize opex savings of 40%-50% as a result of deploying SDN and NFV, AT&T Labs president Krish Prabhu told attendees at the Cowen and Company Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in June.

In May, IHS Technology issued a bullish SDN and NFV market forecast, predicting that annual global revenues will soar from $289 million in 2015 to $8.7 billion in 2020, a 98% CAGR.