Adtran SDV demo
SDN is object oriented programming brought to telco networks. Adtran showed an impressive but still early version at their press event. Named Mosaic, it is already managing at trials in 65 telcos. The 40 gig NG-PON2 units Verizon is testing also run under Mosaic. From a single console controlling more than a dozen pieces of equipment, Adtran showed they can run "Configure, Deploy and Activate" on any of the boxes, not all of which are made by Adtran. 

Their Huntsville SDN demo was along a long wall. To the left of the picture was an 8086 type of Linux PC, about $5,000 worth, running ONOS and Adtran's Mosaic software suite. Underneath it were off the shelf boxes, 48x10G switches, 32x100G switches, and 16x10G PON OLTs. To the right of the monitor was an Adtran box running SHDSL; a 16 port box, 2 x 10 gig OLTs, 2 CPE, a carrier Ethernet unit, and gateways connected to the 10 gig PON. The switches were leaf and spine, from an obscure vendor in a white box.

The controller could have been a thousand miles away in the cloud.

They showed off tricks like reconfiguring the wavelengths on the PON. Lots of troubleshooting information in Linux apps. Network maps and more are in an alpha release of the software. They claim working systems in customer labs.

The key next step will be to add additional devices that connect through a standardized Netconf/YANG protocol. They claim it's easy to introduce a new box from a different vendor, including white box switches. Adtran's CEO, Tom Stanton, said that almost all the carriers are converging on the open source CORD platform, so I expect Adtran will be making their software compatible with CORD as soon as practical. AT&T is all in with CORD, with Tom Anschutz leading R-CORD, targeting residences.

Verizon, China Unicom, NTT, SKT, and Google are early CORD partners. A dozen more telcos and all the major vendors are interested. The Europeans are in a parallel group organized around ETSI.

40 years ago at Xerox PARC, Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg created a way for large programs to be divided into carefully defined, independent "objects." "Objects" only interacted with each other through standardized "message passing" and "methods." The result: changes in one part of the program didn't muck the other parts. Completely different teams could work on each "object." The structure meant changes and updates were much easier. Hundreds of RFC's, books, and dissertations now cover the area; Many, many refinements have been required for practical results. 

In data centers and now telecoms, a similar system allows you to plug in components from many manufacturers and expect them to work together. You could use a Cisco CRS-1 where you needed it and cheap Asian "White Box" switches elsewhere. Google designed most of their own components and made sure everything worked together. Data centers were no longer stuck with one vendor or needed very expensive integrations of the "element management systems." Michael Howard reports the dream, "Carriers envision a world of multi-supplier SDN and NFV, with centralized orchestration of network services and equipment, and new control mechanisms and network architectures. They’ll use a variety of suppliers to avoid vendor lock-in.” (Hint: This is almost certain to be harder than expected. Ironing out the "small" incompatibilities is likely to be a formidable problem.)

As I went through the plans for ONOS, Open Daylight, and CORD, I realized this is a massive project. It will require hundreds and probably thousands of engineers. For example, the data modeling language, Yang, is defined in a 173 page RFC. There are dozens of equally complex parts to understand, implement, and make practical. Giants like AT&T, Nokia, or Huawei couldn't do this on their own. Working together on the project is essential.

Take a look at ONOS, CORD, and Stanford's ONRC to see what the best minds in networks think will be the future.

I'm working on an article with SDN resources.

Here's a note about Adtran's contribution to ONOS

Collaborative Agreement -- ADTRAN

RESTCONF Connector – 15 June 2016

This is not a legal document. It does not create any kind of legal relationship. It is purely a template to exchange information.

1. Contact

a. Primary contact name – Robert Conger

b. Organization name -- ADTRAN

2. Proposal description

ADTRAN proposes to enhance and expand the functionality of ONOS by adding a RESTCONF NBI connector.

This connector will allow the creation of YANG modeled RESTCONF APIs to the suite of available north-bound interfaces, expanding upon the existing REST capabilities of the current NBI. These

modeled interfaces will adapt the rich Java API to expose ONOS workings to orchestrators north of the control layer.

The connector will allow the creation of general YANG modeled interfaces, but ADTRAN proposes a limited exposure of the point-to- point intents framework as first proof of concept.

3. Resources to be committed to the project. List the people to be committed to work on the collaboration.

One ADTRAN development team (four to six people). The team would work with ONOS architects on proposed design and could become lead committers on resultant connector.

Architects, system engineers and test resources would work with the team on definition. Test assets would be made available for the team as well.

4. Deliverables and expected release. List the proposed deliverables to be provided by the collaboration and which release they are targeted for.

New applications tested and integrated into ONOS mainline for release by end-of-year 2016.


ADTRAN Unveils Mosaic - Industry’s First Open Software Defined Access Services Architecture

Mosaic spans cloud edge to subscriber edge to accelerate self-directed service delivery

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--(July 27, 2016)— ADTRAN®, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADTN)), a leading provider of next-generation open networking solutions, today announced the release of the market’s only open Software Defined Access (SD-Access) architecture capable of supporting rapid service creation and the delivery of business and residential broadband services at Web scale. The new SD-Access architecture, ADTRAN MosaicTM, combines modern Web scale technology with open source platforms to facilitate rapid innovation in multi-technology, multi-vendor environments. This architecture serves as the foundation for all of ADTRAN’s next generation platforms, including its NG-PON2 and solutions currently being trialed by leading Tier 1 carriers around the world. Mosaic is designed to expedite service providers’ transition to open, programmable and scalable networks. The key components of Mosaic include:

  • Mosaic Cloud Platform™ – combines modular apps that have been developed in a microservices software architecture with open source control and orchestration platforms to create open, SDN-based network programmability;

  • Mosaic OS™ – modular OS that has been optimized for SDN-programmability, virtualization, high availability and multi-vendor app integration; and

  • Programmable Network Elements – multi-vendor networking solutions that integrate natively with open, SDN-controlled access networks.

In order to reduce operating expenses and improve customer experience, service providers need to transition towards user-driven networks that enable a subscriber self-service model. To realize this future network state, service providers are migrating to agile, software-centric networks that are built around an open networking ecosystem. Open source control and orchestration platforms are key components in this SD-Access network as they provide the development environment that will facilitate crowdsourcing of new features and functionality while also being inherently vendor neutral.

Mosaic simplifies and accelerates the deployment of these open networking platforms with a complete set of cloud-based applications and programmable network functions that are needed for carrier-grade deployment environments. For those service providers that need more time before undertaking OSS transformation initiatives but want to ensure that their underlying network is SDN-ready, ADTRAN’s Mosaic Cloud solution provides a set of translation applications that allow natively SDN-controlled access architecture to be deployed with the existing OSS. This approach allows service providers to fast forward their adoption of SDN without incurring significant changes to their existing systems. Mosaic OS complements Mosaic Cloud with an access technology and chipset agnostic OS that supports component-based, multi-vendor applications that can be deployed and upgraded on programmable access devices in a hitless, operationally-friendly model.

“SDN provides network operators the opportunity to move away from a hardware-centric view of deploying services," said Scott Raynovich, VP of Research and Analysis, SDN Central. “Customers, both residential and business, have told us they want greater control and flexibility with the services they buy and the only way to deliver that is with an open, software defined services infrastructure.”

ADTRAN was an early adopter of the Agile development model, making it the basis of all of its R&D over the past five years. Modular software, with package-level test automation, is a prerequisite in order to realize the continuous delivery benefits that are offered with Agile development methods. The Mosaic architecture is the culmination of work done at ADTRAN, in partnership with its customers, to deliver an industry-leading SD-Access solution that is built on this long-running investment in modular, Web scale technology. The key market benefit to carriers is that they can now rapidly create, deploy and upgrade applications independently for increased operational efficiencies, regardless of what device, technology or service a carrier has deployed.

“Service providers today are tasked with delivering dynamic service portfolios, and ADTRAN is dedicated to supporting their needs for agile, open, software-based network solutions that enable them to swiftly keep pace with demands for cloud connectivity, the Internet of Things and bandwidth-rich services,” said Jay Wilson, senior vice president of technology and strategy, ADTRAN. “Mosaic will enable a fundamental transformation of the access network, streamlining service innovation, eliminating vendor lock-in, optimizing network programmability and creating the framework for user-defined service creation