Open Source Networking Accelerates with ONAP Dublin

The Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project is releasing its “Dublin” milestone update on July 9, marking the fourth major release for the open source networking effort.

The ONAP Dublin release adds new stability and features to the platform including enhanced capabilities for 5G deployment. It also marks a major milestone for adoption and deployment of ONAP which is now being used by multiple global operations including Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Swisscom, Telstra, TIM, AT&T and Orange. ONAP now also benefits from the consolidation of multiple open source networking projects under the LF Networking umbrella, of which it is a part.

“The community has grown, there are a lot more cross project features in the ONAP releases,” Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Orchestration, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation, told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.

ONAP got its start in 2017 after the merger of the AT&T-led ECOMP and China Mobile-led OPEN-O network automation projects. The first code from ONAP debuted in April 2017 and the first full release in November 2017

Originally ONAP was a standalone effort operated as a Linux Foundation Collaboration project. In January 2018, the Linux Foundation announced that it would be collecting many of its networking project under a new umbrella organization known as LF Networking.

Joshipura said that as part of LF Networking, ONAP has seen an increase in diversity and committers. Overall he noted that the biggest impact is seen in the commercial adoption as vendors and system integrators align to one de-facto network automation platform. 

LF Networking Project Integration

There are also multiple new integrations in the ONAP Dublin release and other LF Networking projects.

Joshipura explained that there is now with the OPFNV project and Data Collection, Analytics and Events (DCAE) integration with PNDA big data analytics platform for networks.

Additionally, he noted that the ONAP Dublin release includes OpenDaylight Fluorine in the Common Controller Software Development Kit (CCSDK) project that forms the foundation for the ONAP application controller (APP-C) and the Software Defined Networking Controller (SDN-C).

“Fluorine improves scalability, security and reliability to support our large end user deployments,” he said.


Among the most significant items that have landed in ONAP Dublin is the 5G release blueprint.

Joshipura explained that 5G brings a whole new set of scaling requirements to operators such as number of connections, database, latency, use cases etc.  that require data collection engine and software platforms to be agile, scalable and zero touch. ONAP Dublin completes the second part feature work for enabling 5G that started in prior ONAP release dubbed Casablanca.

“In the Dublin release, the 5G blueprint added new capabilities in the areas of PNF support, optimization, and modeling improvements setting the stage for future network slicing capabilities,” Joshipura said.

A PNF is a vendor provided network function to enable specific hardware. He added that new PNF support features includes PNF package pre-onboarding and onboarding (using SDC), configuration using NETCONF, better PNF plug and play support, and PNF software upgrade with rollback (using Ansible). Optimization features include enhanced bulk performance measurement and more precise Virtual Network Functions (VNF) placement based on the physical cell ID (PCI) while including optimization for ANR (Automated Neighbor Relations).

The next ONAP release slated for the end of 2019 is code named El Alto.

“It will be a minor release with penetration testing for improved security, more thorough documentation, and CI/CD test automation,” Joshipura said. “El Alto will also pave the way for shorter release cycles moving ONAP to a more agile workflow.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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