ONF announces first certified products, launch of ONF Marketplace

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced its first batch of certified products, which are now available on its new ONF Marketplace. The certified products passed muster on ONF’s Continuous Certification Program, which was first announced in May.

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The Continuous Certification Program is enabled across the ONF's entire portfolio, which includes broadband, mobile and software-defined networking (SDN) infrastructure elements. Specifically, the ONF open source platforms that are part of the certification program include Aether, which was announced in March, Stratum, SEBA and VOLTHA.

Aether pulls together various open source components to deliver connectivity-as-a-service over wireless spectrum such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and licensed 4G or 5G.

SEBA uses a disaggregated white-box approach for building next generation access networks by using open source. It also describes how to assemble a collection of open source components to build a virtualized PON network to deliver residential broadband and mobile backhaul.

The ONF’s VOLTHA is an open source software project, which is a component of SEBA, abstracts a PON network to make it manageable as if it were a standard OpenFlow switch. Stratum is a silicon-independent switch operating system for software-defined networks that runs on a variety of switching silicon and various white box switch platforms.

The Continuous Certification (CC) Program offers the ONF's supply chain members the abilty to embed their products for ongoing test and compliance certification with ONF's open source projects.

Traditionally, testing and certification required crafting a standard, which can take months or even years, writing a test plan and then testing the actual product in a lab, and then a field trial, among other steps.

The CC program integrates products directly into the CI/CD development pipeline cycle for the projects, providing real-time certification against the latest platform software. By using this method, certification remains current with the most recent software releases, which makes it easier and faster for the ONF to meet the needs of ongoing certification with open source in an ever-evolving era.

Operators and end-users can check the ONF Marketplace to readily identify products that have been certified with specific ONF project releases, which helps ensure that operators have access to an ecosystem of pre-tested and certified hardware options for short-listing vendors and deploying the ONF open source platforms.

The Aether project has certified small cell products from Accelleran and Sercomm while Stratum has certified switches from Edgecore Networks and Inventec. VOLTHA has certified PON equipment, including OLTs and ONUs, from Edgecore Networks and Sercomm.

Operator backers for the ONF certification program include AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, T-Mobile, Google, NTT Group and Turk Telekom.

Also on Thursday, the ONF announced the second version of its skills certification program. The ONF Certified SDN Associate (OCSA) program was designed to familiarize and certify engineers with the key components of disaggregated SDN networks, from white box switching to network operating systems, northbound and southbound interfaces, P4 and next-gen SDN interfaces, open source platforms, among other areas.

Since its launched four years ago, more than 1,300 engineers have been certified through the ONF’s skills certification program.  

The ONF said OCSA-2.0 was the first major upgrade to the program. OCSA-2.0 updates the content and will replace the original OSCA exam to ensure that "certified individuals have a strong foundation and fundamental knowledge of current and relevant networking tools, technologies and trends," according to ONF.

ONF collaborates with a group of authorized training providers to offer skills training and testing with online and in-person options available worldwide. The new OCSA-2.0 exam is available immediately. The first OCSA exam will continue to be available until August of next year.