Comcast has become the first service provider to join the OpenDaylight Project, an open source platform for software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies aimed at building more automation and programmability into the network.
OpenDaylight also announced that Lenovo has become a member of the initiative.
“We have been testing ODL since the project launched to see where it might fit in and have been impressed by the improvements in functionality and stability with each successive release,” Chris Luke, senior principal engineer at Comcast, noted in this blog post about the MSO’s involvement. “We have also been participating with our partner CableLabs on the OpenDaylight sub-project PacketCable PCMM, which aims to develop a southbound plugin for ODL that can manage service flows across Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) devices.”
“With an ever-growing number of endpoints to manage, evolving our SDN and NFV capabilities becomes increasingly important,” said Rakesh Puri, executive director of network applications and systems at Comcast, in a separate statement.
Comcast, Luke emphasized in the blog, is motivated to reduce the operational complexity of its networks, noting that the near-term work involves making improvements to network automation under the operator’s Programmable Network Platform, a framework that outlines a stack of behaviors and abstraction layers that software uses to interact with the network.
“It is our hope that by harmonizing on a common framework and useful abstractions, more application groups within the company will be able to make use of better intelligence and more easily interact with the network,” noted Luke, who is also part of an OpenDaylight Advisory Group formed to provide technical and strategic guidance to the ODL community on the challenges of running real-world networks. “Longer term, we’re working toward creating an architecture where the core of the network is not intimately involved in the operation of virtual networks.”