OSM will be center stage at the Network Transformation Congress event

After starting the month with an in-depth look at ONAP at the Open Networking Summit event, April closes out with Open Source MANO (OSM) taking the center stage at the Network Transformation Congress.

The Layer123 Network Transformation Congress kicked off in San Jose, California, today with workshops and will run through Wednesday with OSM as one of its key themes. OSM is an ETSI-hosted project to develop an Open Source NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) software stack that aligns with ETSI's network functions virtualization (NFV) vision.

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OSM traces its roots back to Telefónica's OpenMANO project, Canonical's Juju generic VNF manager and Rift.io's orchestrator. OSM's lineup of service provider members includes Amazon Web Services, BT, Bell Mobility, Sprint, Telenor, and Verizon. OSM's vendor partners include ADVA, Canonical, Intel, Mavenir Systems, NetScout, Procera Networks and Sandvine.

"I think it's going to be a smaller, service provider-centric show," said Roy Chua, founder and principal of research service AvidThink, who will deliver the introductory address tomorrow morning at the Network Transformation Congress. "I think it's to be a lot around Telefónica and OSM's progress. It's going to be a mix of Telefónica, VMware and Intel with regard to OSM. So that's going to be a big part of it fundamentally on the first day.

Telefónica's Francisco-Javier Ramón, head of virtualization and OSM chairman, will follow Chua to deliver his keynote address.

In addition to OSM, Chua said NFVi's role in network transformations would also be featured at the conference.

"I think it's going to be what's reality, what have we learned, what elements work today, what elements don't, and what is the gap between where we are and where we have to get to in practice to get to a fully transformed network," Chua said.

DriveNets' Ofer Weill, director of product marketing, is also scheduled to speak at tomorrow's conference. Cloud-native router startup DriveNets came out of stealth mode in February when it announced a $110 million first round of funding. Earlier this month, DriveNets announced its virtualized routing software, Network Cloud, can support 400G-per-port routing and be scaled up to a 768 Tbps, which DriveNets would make it the highest capacity router on the market.

"There are some people pushing the boundaries into cloud-based routing because they feel that traditional routing with BGP (border gateway protocol) is too slow, and that we need a more intelligent layer," Chua said. "DriveNets is one company that's doing it. Some of the SD WAN companies are running their own core to try to improve connectivity with their own call over to the public Internet. Then there's another company in that space called Mode that has a different way of approaching routing as well.

"There are multiple approaches that claim a better, more efficient way of providing networking than traditional networking. We'll see how that plays out."

As for the overall theme of network transformation, Chua said a transformation is underway at the bottom of the stack with the underlying virtualization layer that runs on the data center side of networks as well as core networks and the radio access network.

"So, there's going to be a transformation from the hardware side of things into a more open or disaggregated view," he said. "Then from there, when you go up the stack, you would see more of the same thing. Transformation in a more SDN-way, a more virtualized transport network from the core network all the way to the edge as well.

"Then, above that, the applications are going to be more containerized. The orchestration systems, whether it's MANO or something else, will become more autonomous and more closed loop. The idea there being that as we get to scale, it's going to be intent-based and it's going to be policy driven. It (the network) is going to be more user-centric and more flexible. It's going to be a mix of those things."

Other topics at this week's show include blockchain, edge, uCPE, and packet processing.