AT&T's ECOMP code to land soon at Linux Foundation

Giant going MANO et MANO with pygmies

AT&T says it's just about ready to release its virtualisation automation software, amounting to more than eight million lines of code: its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy platform – ECOMP – will soon land at the Linux Foundation.

The company says the platform is the basis for its target to virtualise 75 per cent of its network by 2020, something chief strategy officer John Donovan says is necessary to respond to huge and unpredictable traffic growth.

The promise to set ECOMP free was first made in March, with AT&T saying the release would include software defined networking (SDN), WAN optimisation tools, virtual machine management and cloud service management.

An as-yet-unnamed third party has been engaged to provide support for the platform, and Donovan reckons other carriers have responded positively to ECOMP.

ECOMP's role is virtual network function (VNF) automation, and it sits in the same space as existing management and orchestration (MANO) efforts like ETSI's Open Source MANO and the yet-to-go-live Open Orchestrator project.

And, of course, ECOMP also runs similar operations to proprietary systems from the vendors that already supply the carrier market – Cisco has its Elastic Services Controller, Ericsson has Cloud Manager, Juniper has Contrail Cloud and so on.

That might make ECOMP look like a threat to the majors, but talking to LightReading Donovan said there's been no push-back.

That's not surprising, since in a network as large as AT&T's, multivendor architectures will be an eternal reality.

It's more problematic for the other open source efforts, since AT&T says what it will be publishing is a mature and field-hardened code base. ®

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