Linux Foundation launches DANOS project

The Linux Foundation recently introduced the Disaggregated Network Operating System (DANOS) project, with a code release slated for the second half of this year.

DANOS is based upon AT&T’s “dNOS” software framework, which the company first unveiled last year. It was developed in an effort to accelerate the adoption and use of white boxes in the infrastructure of service providers. In January, the company announced it was open sourcing its dNOS project through the Linux Foundation. DANOS is the same project under a different name. It serves as an operating system for the white boxes that compose a network.

Network operating systems have been historically difficult to create on account of the complexity and magnitude of software and hardware requirements, the Linux Foundation noted upon announcing DANOS, with each device in the network requiring its own operating system. Nevertheless, it said the growth of open source and advancements in software and hardware have produced an ecosystem capable of supporting an open and flexible network operating system. Under the project, the Linux Foundation will incorporate contributions from complementary open source communities to build a standardized distributed network operating system.

“We are pleased to welcome DANOS to The Linux Foundation community of open, collaborative innovation,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking, the Linux Foundation, in a statement. “DANOS will provide an open NOS framework that leverages existing open source resources and complementary platforms such as switches and white box routers. We invite others in the broader ecosystem to join the effort to accelerate innovation and creation of an industry-standard disaggregated NOS.”

Among the Linux Foundation groups and members to support DANOS include Broadcom, Inocybe, Metaswitch and Silicom. It also includes operating systems from Free Range Routing (FRR), SONiC SAI, Open Switch, Stratum and P4.

“Metaswitch is a committed supporter of the Linux Foundation’s DANOS project and AT&T’s dNOS software framework,” said Shriraj Gaglani, EVP of business development at Metaswitch. “Our carrier-grade routing and control plane protocols install and operate as binary applications on top of these open network operating systems to enable true software disaggregation. Together, this will increase reliability and flexibility for white box switching solutions while lowering capital and operating expenditures.”

In other AT&T related news, the carrier recently announced plans to replace the routers at 60,000 cell towers with white box hardware over the next several years in an effort to support its 5G plans. These white box routers will use AT&T’s dNOS. AT&T has said it intends to deploy mobile 5G services in 12 markets this year.

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