Abel Tong (@EnableBlue) is part of Ciena's Blue Planet division and is responsible for helping network operators transform their networks by leveraging SDN and NFV to create new services while simplifying their network operations. 

In what is sure to be this week’s biggest release in our own galaxy, Ciena and ON.Lab today announced that the two were joining forces in the ongoing resistance against the Dark Side of closed and inflexible networks.

Every open source Jedi knows the promises of SDN and NFV – new services, new sources of revenue, lower CapEx and OpEx, and new business models.  But getting there requires SDN and NFV to be production-ready, easily deployable and ready for operationalization.  Fear is the path to the dark side, and with these struggles, even those strong in The Force can be led astray.

Thus, the introduction of Blue Planet ONOS, a commercial version of the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) open source SDN control plane software that is backed by Ciena’s world-class development, service, and support. 


Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Ciena’s commercial sponsorship of ONOS represents a tremendous step forward for open networking because users now have access to a hardened, commercial grade, fully supported version of ONOS to use in production environments.

Ciena will be providing enhancements, service and support for Blue Planet ONOS much like Red Hat does for Enterprise Linux, Mirantis for OpenStack and Cumulus Linux for embedded Linux on data center switches. 

Unlike “forked” or proprietary efforts that we often see by the vendor community when it comes to open source, any enhancements or bug fixes that we make to ONOS will be fed back into the open source community. Ciena’s Blue Planet ONOS will align with the ONOS Falcon release, which is projected to be available in the first calendar quarter of 2016.

“Having a commercially hardened version of ONOS that is fully backed by Ciena software, service and support personnel will instill confidence in our customers that they have the right combination to adopt network virtualization technologies with greater ease,” said Francois Locoh-Donou, SVP & COO of Ciena and head of the Galactic Alliance.

A commercial ONOS means service providers have a solid and supported foundation from which to launch new mission critical SDN and NFV offerings. And ultimately, it’s the customer that benefits from these dynamic services.


The Force is strong with this one.

The Blue Planet network virtualization, orchestration, and management software platform has always been flexible and evolves as a result of customer demand and engagements.  Blue Planet also heavily leverages open source projects, combining the best open source components with distributed web-scale methodologies and IT software best practices to create a highly flexible and scalable orchestration platform.

Now, Blue Planet ONOS offers an open source approach for those wanting to leverage SDN, particularly in the datacenter network domain.  Blue Planet ONOS is initially focused on the CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) use case, which aims to replace the proprietary infrastructure of the traditional central office with open, commoditized software and hardware building blocks. This complements and extends Blue Planet’s multi-domain and NFV service orchestration capabilities.


Blue Planet ONOS gives network operators more choice in how they implement management and orchestration.  And ultimately, Blue Planet ONOS will help accelerate mainstream adoption of SDN and NFV, which is a clear win-win for everyone – service providers, developers and especially end-customers.


Fear is the path to the dark side.

“This is a validation of the power of open source innovation,” said Guru Parulkar, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ON.Lab and Chairman of the ONOS Board, in today’s press release.

That’s why Ciena is commercially sponsoring ONOS.  May the force be with you.