AT&T brings dNOS project to open source community

AT&T announced it is open sourcing its Disaggregated Network Operating System (dNOS) project, which will be hosted by The Linux Foundation.

The purpose of the project is to provide a software framework to accelerate the adoption and use of white boxes, which have been touted as a flexible, cost effective alternative to proprietary networking equipment. AT&T has been a champion of white box hardware for a while, describing it as a critical component of its network. Last year, the company completed a live field trial of a multi-supplier open source white box switch carrying customer traffic.

“Our goal with open sourcing the dNOS project is to create a community around an open framework to software-enable industry-standard white box hardware designs, such as those contributed to the Open Compute Project,” said John Medamana, vice president of packet optical network at AT&T. “We’re excited to work with The Linux Foundation to bring this concept to reality. We invite others to join us to build the community and support this effort.”

AT&T intends dNOS to play a role in reshaping telecom networks along with network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). As the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), a merger of AT&T’s ECOMP with Open-O, becomes the global industry platform for SDN and NFV, AT&T wants the dNOS project to become the common operating system for each individual device in the network.

“The Linux Foundation welcomes the dNOS project to the open source community,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking at The Linux Foundation. “The dNOS project will help create a network operating system community that will benefit existing Linux Foundation projects like FRRouting and OpenSwitch, and pave the way for future projects to help drive innovation at the lower layers of the network stack.”

AT&T said the dNOS project will support existing network protocols as well as expand capabilities to support new tools, such as the open source programming language P4. The company added that the code and collateral transition will begin soon. Additional details about the dNOS project will be provided at The Linux Foundation’s Open Networking Summit (ONS) in March.

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