comcastComcast announced it’s joining ON.Lab, a non-profit industry association that aims to advance Software-Defined Networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and cloud computing. ON.Lab SDN and NFV initiatives are open source-based. The organization was founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley.

More specifically, Comcast is joining ON.Lab’s Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) development communities, which are comprised of leading service providers, vendors, individuals and other contributors, a Nov. 30 press release explains.

The guiding force for the two groups is employing SDN and NFV to develop a new generation of standardized, open source information and communications networks that industry players can leverage to launch new cloud services quickly and easily regardless of access network architecture, ON.Lab explains.

According to recent market research, SDN is well on the way to achieving ubiquity among carriers. Three-quarters of carriers surveyed said their organizations already had deployed or will deploy SDN in 2016. One-hundred percent said they intend to deploy SDN at some point, according to IHS Markit.

ON.Lab SDN and NFV
“Software defined networking and network functions virtualization are powerful, fast-evolving tools for network transformation,” Dr. Nagesh Nandiraju, director, Network Architecture at Comcast said in a press statement. “We look forward to bringing our perspective and experience to the fantastic community of technologists already working on these open source projects.”

Added Guru Parulkar, ON.Lab and ONF executive director and board member: “New mobile, IoT and analytics applications are pushing businesses in every industry to embrace a more flexible, open and scalable infrastructure. The addition of Comcast to the ON.Lab community signifies the technology’s relevance to companies beyond telecommunications.”

As the newest member of the ONOS and CORDTM groups, Comcast will participate in key aspects of ON.Lab’s endeavor – software distribution of a platform stack that incorporates ONOS, which is envisaged as an open source SDN operating system (OS) that can provide the scalability, availability, performance and abstractions that enable quick creation and launch of new cloud apps and services.

Comcast joins AT&T, China Unicom, Google, NTT, SK Telecom and Verizon among ONOS and CORD’s service provider partners. Vendor partners include Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson (ONOS only), Fujitsu, Huawei (ONOS only), Intel, NEC, Nokia, Radisys and Samsung.

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