AT&T to release SDN platform into open source

Telecom network operator AT&T today said it will be releasing the software platform that powers its software-defined network (SDN) into open source.

The availability of the Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform in open source will enable global service providers and cloud developers to meet non-stop network demands, AT&T said.

Technologies like autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality, 4K video and the Internet of Things (IoT) will benefit from the development.

AT&T is currently working with the Linux Foundation on the structure for this open source initiative.

“AT&T invented what we believe to be the most sophisticated, comprehensive and scalable software-centric network in the world. Today, we’re letting anyone use and build upon our millions of lines of software code by committing to releasing it into the open source community,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president, Technology and Operations, AT&T.

AT&T says data traffic on its wireless network grew more than 150,000 percent between 2007 and 2015. Investment in SDN allows AT&T, which competes with Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile US, to manage unprecedented growth in the data traffic.

ECOMP, a VNF platform, lets service providers add features and drive down operations costs. It gives more control of network services, and enables developers to create new services. Consumers benefit because the network better adapts, scales and predicts how to make their connected experiences seamless.

The goal of AT&T is to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020. Controlling the actions of those virtual functions available via software is known as SDN. Managing all virtual network functions (VNFs) and other software-centric network capabilities is easier when they run on what’s called a VNF automation platform.

Meanwhile, AT&T and IBM are working to help businesses accelerate their Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives. The two companies will combine their strengths in cognitive computing and connectivity to create open standards-based tools on the IBM Cloud to enable developers to build and implement IoT solutions.