Telco central offices could be in for open source makeover

Google hosting first CORD summit in support of open networking backed by Cisco, Ciena, AT&T, Verizon and others

A first-of-its-kind gathering dedicated to re-inventing telco central offices as open source-infused data centers will take place on Friday at Google's Sunnyvale Tech Campus.


The CORD Summit, hosted by the Open Networking Lab (On.Lab) and The Linux Foundation, promotes the use of technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN) and the cloud "to bring datacenter economics and cloud agility to service providers' Central Office." CORD is kind of an acronym for Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter, and is designed to benefit enterprise, residential and wireless networks. A mini version of this event was held in March as part of the broader Open Networking Summit.

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This week's event brings together business and technical leaders, developers and engineers, and among other things, will lay out a CORD roadmap. The first open reference implementation for CORD has also been released, and the project will be hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Service providers including AT&T, China Unicom, NTT Communications, SK Telecom, and Verizon, and product vendors such as  Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Intel, NEC, and Nokia are among the supporters of CORD, which relies heavily on merchant silicon, white boxes and open source platforms such as OpenStack and Docker.  The Broadband Forum this week pledged to work with On.Lab to speed development of broadband requirements and standards in close alliance with open source projects, including CORD.

Speakers at the CORD Summit include keynoter Craig Barratt, Google's SVP of Energy and Access, as well as those from AT&T, the Linux Foundation, Ciena and the University of Arizona.

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