ONOS Delivers Astounding Adoption and Momentum among its Community of Service Providers and Innovators

Delivers accelerating momentum, production ready platform and growth in carrier-grade SDN and NFV software development and deployments

Jan 21, 2016, 08:00 ET from ON.Lab ONOS project

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ONOS' community is pleased to announce its one-year anniversary and remarkable growth and momentum among its community of service providers, vendors and innovators; all have delivered significant contributions to the open source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS). The growth and success of ONOS is a testament to the ONOS project's virtuous-cycle framework to deliver platforms that enable solutions and use cases, enriching the platform through feedback from the community.

In one year, ONOS added five partners that are funding and contributing to the project bringing the total to 13 including three new service providers with China Unicom, SK Telecom and Verizon and two new vendors with Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco joining. The ONOS project partners now include: AT&T, China Unicom, NTT Communications, SK Telecom, Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Fujitsu, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, and NEC. ONOS continues to see significant contributions from its members including Emu contributions from Huawei, Fujitsu and SK Telecom.

ONOS has welcomed 20+ new collaborating organizations outside the ONOS and ON.Lab communities that actively contribute to ONOS' mission - many of them research and education network (REN) operators who are deploying ONOS in their production networks - and has another 10+ collaborators in the pipeline. In addition, the software registered 12,000 downloads, with more than 100 organizations using ONOS globally. ONOS' growing list of collaborators that joined and contributed in the Emu release alone include ECI, ClearPath Networks and FNLab from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT FNL) and the community's contributions and expected contributions continue to increase.

ONOS rapidly evolved from a skeleton platform with a solid architectural foundation to a platform with a rich set of features and functions that is ready for commercial production deployment. Examples of ONOS rapid evolution and adoption during 2015 include Ciena's plan to support ONOS commercially in the first calendar quarter of 2016; Huawei is building POCs, products and solutions using ONOS and doing trials; and NEC has been working together with a telecom carrier on a Transport SDN proof of concept (POC) using ONOS as an SDN controller that was recently demonstrated successfully with future plans for trials. Other vendors also have ONOS-related plans that will become public in 2016.

"The ONOS project continues to bring value to its community of service providers, vendors and innovator partners," said ONOS' Executive Director and Board Member Guru Parulkar. "We made excellent progress in 2015 and look forward to a 2016 where we continue to add features and functions to ONOS to deliver real production use cases. With these strong partnerships and a thriving innovative collaborative community, ONOS is in a strong position to realize its vision and achieve its mission of making carrier-grade SDN and NFV deployments a reality."

Use Cases

ONOS' enabled several new service provider solutions and they are gaining traction across various service provider markets including access, metro and core networks for wired, wireless, and mobile customers. Initial use cases for ONOS focused on new, innovative services and applications for service provider and WAN networks. These include examples such as: the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), Packet-Optical Convergence, SDN-IP Peering, and IP Multicast content distribution. Additionally, many other use cases are being pursued by ONOS partners and collaborators. This uptake drives the virtuous cycle whereby ONOS enables service provider solutions and these solutions help ONOS become a better platform using feedback from the community.

CORD has emerged as a significant use case as it is specifically designed for service providers to reinvent the CO to bring data center economies of scale and cloud-style agility to their networks. As such, almost all service providers find CORD to be an extremely compelling solution. Initially created as a residential subscriber POC (R-CORD) that was demonstrated on a live network at 2015's Open Networking Summit (ONS2015), CORD will be in field trials with AT&T in the first half of 2016 and production deployments this year. CORD continues to evolve with new potential uses including a mobile use case (M-CORD) that is currently driven by SK Telecom and an enterprise use case (E-CORD) in development with new POC's planned for ONS2016 in March.

Similarly, to support multicast use cases and applications the project created the ONOS Multicast Forwarding Application (MFWD) and DirecTV continues to contribute to the project's IP multicast infrastructure. SDN-IP is both an ONOS application and use case that allows Software-Defined Networks to connect to external networks, legacy or software-defined, using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). As such it marks a significant accomplishment and has been among the first ONOS apps deployed, including several deployments connecting RENs around the world.

In 2015, ONOS announced several REN deployments for its SDN-IP app connecting North American institutions with the rest of the world including Internet2 in North America, CSIRO/AARNet to Australia, FIU/AmLight to South America and GEANT/GARR to Europe and there will be more to come including the following updates. FIU/AmLight is now the first to deploy ONOS live in a production network creating a virtual slice of its production network where it is moving real traffic prior to implementation on the legacy network as it connects various RENs from South America to the United States. Europe's GEANT has committed to building a production-ready ONOS-based SDX system by the first quarter of 2016. AARNET in Australia extended its previous SDN-IP deployment to connect three more facilities and that grew to 10 by the end of the 2015.

Rapid ONOS Platform Evolution

The anniversary of ONOS has also brought significant momentum in platform features. The community produced five iterations - Avocet, Blackbird, Cardinal, Drake and Emu - of open source SDN software releases at quarterly intervals, which included new applications, use cases, global deployments in Research and Education Networks (RENs), and POCs with live demonstrations that have led to lab and field trials and successes integrating with other open source distributions and standards.


From beginning to end 2015, ONOS delivered several improvements on the northbound that enabled expanded capabilities and interactions to simplify service creation, especially with other open source projects and protocols, as well as delivering measurably improved performance. Individual platform highlights, to include:

    • Avocet—The first release of ONOS delivered a robust Application Intent Framework to make it easier for a network engineers to specify needs at a high level and let the system do the rest.
    • Blackbird—ONOS extended and improved the intent framework by adding cluster-wide app deployment capabilities and improved performance, delivering new, repeatable metrics to test performance of SDN systems.
    • Cardinal—Brought MPLS and tunnel intents support including enhancements to deliver high performance, network conflict resolution capabilities and a new flow-objective subsystem in the distributed core to enable device agnostic SDN deployment.
    • Drake—Added login authentication and virtualization basics including the building blocks for a new northbound intent abstraction to simplify the setup of cross domain constructs, or flows, to allow users to more easily address a particular domain with an intent.
    • Emu—ONOS improved the resource reservation API, supporting a single, consistent interface and semantics for different types of resources and making it more easily extensible to new types of resources that operators may wish to bring under ONOS' control. This includes efforts to integrate Yangforge with ONOS to make it easier to develop services using YANG models. Emu added support for gRPC, dynamic REST interfaces, support for enforcing bandwidth resource mechanism via meters in the southbound as well as support for multicast RIB information and new intent domains with capabilities including a set of new northbound APIs based on the IETF's Service Function Chaining protocols.


During the year, ONOS built on its solid core architecture to support new applications, solutions, POCs and use cases desired by service providers, to include:

    • Avocet—Starting with a solid distributed core architecture ONOS was able to deliver scalability, high availability and high performance to support carrier-grade production deployments.
    • Blackbird—Included an addition of RAFT for maintaining replicated state across a collection machines and the addition of more consistent network mapping capabilities.
    • Cardinal—ONOS strengthened the core and, more importantly, created primitives and APIs so that other services and apps could use the distributed state management for achieving the performance required of carrier-grade networks.
    • Drake—Added TLS support for security and began laying the foundation for IGMP snooping with PIM-SSM and Multicast forward app enhancements from DirecTV; OpenFlow (OF) QoS meter support; and the initial work on a metrics collection subsystem to collect information from devices and ports in the data plane.


Southbound momentum included command and protocol interface capabilities supporting other open source distributions, protocols, standards and applications including security, OPNFV, OpenStack and the ability to model external traffic and new services, to include:

    • Avocet—ONOS started with support for OF 1.3 and with the architecture's flexible capability to add other plug-ins for other protocols.
    • Blackbird—Continuing additions, the project added OF multi-table support to enable more complex capabilities such as handling IPv6 traffic, providing better multipathing, and separating logical concerns into different tables as well as allow for a more future-proof OF table pipeline that can more closely match the capability pipelines in real networking ASICs.
    • Cardinal—Added TL1, NETCONF and PCEP interfaces to support solution POCs.
    • Drake—Further refined southbound support and functionality for PCEP and TL1, including the addition of OVSDB, VXLAN and device configuration capabilities.
    • Emu—Added Border Gateway Protocol with Link State Distribution extension (BGP-LS) as a plug-in to the ONOS controller to collect topology information from the network and make it available to other apps. ECI enhanced ONOS' optical application to support ODU Multiplexing and ODU Cross-Connect services based on OF Optical Transport Protocol Extensions with OCH and ODU Multiplexing with the southbound interfaces based on ONF standards.  

GUI Momentum

ONOS' Web UI is designed to provide a visualization of network and device state as well as traffic flows and other useful information. Momentum through the year included:

    • Avocet—ONOS began with a single view GUI targeted towards end-users, displaying the network topology and providing basic traffic and flow information.
    • Blackbird—The UI Framework migrated to AngularJS. Displaying port numbers on highlighted links was added to the Topology View and a Device View was added, listing known devices and their attributes. A UI Extension mechanism was also implemented to facilitate the ability of apps to inject their own content into the UI.
    • Cardinal—Provided GUI support for all the POCs demonstrated at ONS2015 including SDN enabled Multi-layer Network Control, the SDN-IP peering application, Internet2's real-world deployment showcase, and CORD comprising an SDN enabled data center fabric and VNFs at the central office (vCPE, vOLT, vBNG). Views displaying information about links, hosts, intents, applications and ONOS instances were added as well as flows, ports, and groups per device. A toolbar was added to the Topology View to support display of the UI on tablet (touch) devices.
    • Drake—Included topology overlays allowing apps to programmatically highlight links and customize the content of the Summary and Details panels of the Topology View. With Drake, ONOS' GUI interfaces became secured by default.
    • Emu—The UI adds new archetypes for views to facilitate the rapid development of custom or tabular views as well as topology overlays. Node badging was added to the topology overlay mechanism to facilitate the ability to customize the user's view of the network. A sample application was also added, demonstrating UI content injection techniques.

Looking to the Future

In 2016, the ONOS project expects to accelerate momentum and with growth in the community as well as the functionality and capabilities of the platform, leading ONOS to become the SDN OS of choice for service provider solutions and deployments. The community anticipates other ONOS-based solutions such as CORD to become their own platforms, enabling many new services with large and startup companies alike inventing new business models around ONOS and its solutions for service providers. The project expects ONOS-based solutions to quickly move from lab trial to field trial to production deployments especially R-CORD, E-CORD and SDN-IP peering with M-CORD particularly generating interest among mobile providers.  Additionally, the ONOS and CORD communities expect to be completely functioning and self-sustaining open source communities.

Partnering with Linux

ONOS joined the Linux Foundation in 2016 as a Collaborative Project. ONOS anticipates an extended reach to the community and accelerated innovation and growth on an even larger scale by joining the Linux project. The Linux Foundation provides the global reach, experience and infrastructure for open source community development to enhance and further grow ONOS' thriving community. The Collaborative Project will advance and bring together the community for ONOS to build open source platforms, solutions and ecosystem for service providers to monetize SDN/NFV, while helping vendors and service providers invent new business models.

To find out more about ONOS use cases, partners or how to contribute as a collaborator please visit, www.onosproject.org. For further information on ON.Lab or to learn more about becoming a partner, collaborator or member of the open source community visit http://onlab.us/ or email us at info@onlab.us.

About the ONOS project

ONOS is the open source SDN networking operating system for Service Provider networks architected for high performance, scale and availability. ONOS' ecosystem comprises ON.Lab and organizations that are funding and contributing to the ONOS initiative. These include AT&T, NTT Communications, SK Telecom, China Unicom, Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel and NEC; members who are collaborating and contributing to ONOS include ONF, Infoblox, SRI, Internet2, Happiest Minds, KISTI, KAIST, KREONET, NAIM, CNIT, Black Duck, Create-Net, Criterion Networks, ETRI, ClearPath Networks, ECI, BUPT FNL and the broader ONOS community. Learn how you can get involved with ONOS at onosproject.org.

ONOS is a Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation. Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects are independently funded software projects that harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. www.linuxfoundation.org

Press Contact

ON.Lab & ONOS Contact

Bill Snow, Vice President of Engineering at ON.Lab, bill@onlab.us

Partner Quotes

"In its first year, ONOS has gone from an interesting concept to a critical tool in developing applications like Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter, or CORD," said Senior Vice President of Domain 2.0 architecture and design at AT&T Andre Fuetsch. "We at AT&T are big believers in collaborating with the open source developer community as we build out our SDN and NFV capabilities and move into emerging fields like the Internet of Things. A collaborative approach has worked great with ONOS. Now we're looking for developers and other carriers to help us push ONOS forward, particularly using tools like the development and test pod for CORD to create new applications."

"China Unicom looks to open source SDN and NFV to facilitate network transformation to meet the dynamic needs of its large subscriber base," said Dr. Shao Guanglu, Senior Vice President at China Unicom's Network Technology Research Institute. "ONOS as a scalable, highly available and high performance SDN OS is a critical platform of our open source SDN/NFV infrastructure. We have developed ONOS-based Layer 3 VPN services POC for our enterprise customers that enables them to get bandwidth and networks on demand cost-effectively while significantly reducing provisioning times. We look forward to jointly developing more SDN and NFV innovations in the future."

"Ciena is proud to be a contributor and key supporter of ONOS," said Mike Hatfield, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Ciena's Blue Planet Division. "Our customers continue to demand open, multi-vendor solutions that not only simplify networks, but also help them transform to a more agile, on-demand business model. This is greatly accelerated by organizations like ON.Lab and the ONOS project." 

"Huawei commends all partners and contributors to the ONOS community on open source achievements in the past year including five code releases. We expect the ONOS project to continue leading the community in enhancing the network operating system to enable service providers to solve their SDN requirements," said Ayush Sharma, CTO and Senior Vice President of Networks at Huawei. "Huawei is committed to the ONOS project, by continuing to prioritize the use case requirements of our customers and provide ONOS open source solutions in our products. Congratulations to the entire ONOS community in reaching the one-year milestone!"

"NTT Communications has been a leader in SDN deployments within its datacenter and in its transport network and looks forward to deploying ONOS and ONOS based solutions in its transport SDN infrastructure for scalability, high availability and performance," said Tatsuya Yamashita, Senior Vice President at NTT Communications. "We are committed to contributing to the ONOS community and look forward to reaching a second-year milestone."

"We have been very pleased with our collaboration with the ONOS Project," said Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO and Executive Vice President at SK Telecom. "Our team has been working with the ONOS project and our team is able to contribute features and functions to ONOS and we are also actively developing Mobile-CORD together as a solution for our central offices to support mobile subscribers and services. We expect to deploy ONOS based solutions in our data centers sometime soon." 


SOURCE ON.Lab ONOS project