ECOMP, OPEN-O Orchestration Efforts to Merge

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  November 21, 2017

ECOMP and Open Orchestrator Project (or OPEN-O) are merging under the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project of The Linux Foundation.

AT&T (News - Alert), Amdocs, Bell Canada, Cisco, China Telecom, China Mobile, Ericsson, GigaSpaces, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Nokia, Orange, VMware, Tech Mahindra, and ZTE are the founding members of ONAP. ARM (News - Alert), BOCO Inter-Telecom, Cloudbase Solutions, Canonical, China Unicom, Metaswitch, and Raisecom are also involved.

“The merging of open source ECOMP and OPEN-O will create the de facto industry standard for NFV/SDN automation and accelerate industry adoption by service providers and the vendor ecosystem,” said Anthony Goonetilleke, group president at Amdocs (News - Alert) Technology. “Open source ECOMP brings a holistic approach based on production-proven software – the foundation upon which ONAP is being developed.”

AT&T has been the driving force behind ECOMP, which stands for enhanced control, orchestration, management, and policy platform. Bell Canada and Orange have also been testing the software. And suppliers Amdocs, Brocade, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Intel (News - Alert), and Metaswitch have also been involved with ECOMP. The release of ECOMP as open source was announced earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Orange Polska was working with Amdocs on tests to support the preparation and creation of a set of virtual customer premises equipment services for residential customers. That includes managing those vCPE features with an ECOMP platform.

“Virtualization of the network is an inevitable process,” Piotr Muszynski, Orange Polska vice president of strategy and transformation, said in late January. “By testing ECOMP at Orange Polska, we are preparing ourselves to become a software-driven company. In the future, these cutting-edge technologies will give customers completely new possibilities, such as the ability to self-activate and deactivate services, or to enjoy flexible rating, based on the time they consumed the service. The operator, on the other hand, will receive tools that allow real-time adaptation to meet the customer needs.”

ECOMP can help enable network operators to automate configuration and management of their networks, implement master service orchestration, do rapid service design, and have a single view of both physical and virtual network assets and services. And I’ve been told that ECOMP’s strength is that it covers the entire lifecycle of management, identifying fault management, policy, redundancy issues, and more.

But some industry players, like Appledore Research Group, have questioned whether ECOMP can support cloud native. Appledore wrote that, “while ECOMP is moving toward that end-to-end view, we have seen little that suggests that AT&T and its suppliers have made significant progress on re-architecting and de-composing VNFs to be truly cloud-native. We believe this is a critical step, because higher availability, better capex utilization, and greater automation are driven from principles of cloud-native that allow the platform to optimize itself. This increases capacity utilization, allows for proactive healing, and entirely takes humans and higher-level orchestration out of significant segments of the lifecycle process.”

OPEN-O, meanwhile, is the open source orchestration project that the Linux Foundation has been backing. Release 1.0 of OPEN-O was announced in November. And OPEN-O members included China Mobile, China Telecom, Hong Kong Telecom, and vendors Ericsson, GigaSpaces, Huawei, Intel, and ZTE (News - Alert), as well as Canonical, Cloudbase Solutions, InfoBlox, Raisecom, and Red Hat.

Then there’s ARIA, an open source, open governance library of orchestration tools for TOSCA orchestration led by Cloudify. Open Source MANO Community is yet another orchestration effort out there. It’s an ETSI-hosted project. 

Edited by Erik Linask