Nirav Modi is VP & General Manager for Blue Planet at Ciena, where he drives Ciena’s software strategy and Blue Planet software portfolio. Nirav works closely with global network operators to enable network transformation leveraging SDN, NFV and orchestration solutions. You can find him on Twitter at @niravjmodi.

Here at the Open Networking Summit, one of the biggest topics of discussion is the increasing momentum behind the Linux Foundation’s Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) project. Unveiled last month, ONAP represents the fusion of two similar open source projects, AT&T’s ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy), and Open-O, which was previously led by China Mobile and Huawei. The goal in forming ONAP is to take advantage of the best of both projects to build a critical mass of contributors and market momentum.

In my view, this consolidation of projects is good news for an industry that is fractured with multiple open source initiatives that overlap, often compete, and ultimately dilute the progress towards the common goal of software-led network transformation and virtualization.

Given this strong alignment between Blue Planet’s approach and ONAP’s goals, today we are happy to announce that we have joined the Linux Foundation and the ONAP project as a natural extension of our open source strategy.

Ciena Joins the ONAP Project

Our philosophy with Blue Planet is fundamentally based on openness and the concept of “choice”, allowing our customers to select best-of-breed technologies and solutions. Further, the Blue Planet platform has fully leveraged open source innovations from the beginning. Given this strong alignment between Blue Planet’s approach and ONAP’s goals, today we are happy to announce that we have joined the Linux Foundation and the ONAP project as a natural extension of our open source strategy.

Ciena’s Goals and Vision for ONAP

In my discussions with customers and partners here at the show, many of them have asked the question, “What does this mean for Blue Planet?” Let me outline our specific role in the overall industry ecosystem and the role we envision playing within ONAP.

Our vision with Blue Planet has always been to enable our customers to adopt an open approach to networking. Openness has multiple facets; beyond leveraging open source, the key elements of an open solution include the ability for the end user to program and extend the solution, so that it applies across a heterogeneous, multi-vendor and multi-technology networking environment.

“Ciena and The Linux Foundation share a common mission to preserve the open, multi-vendor approach that the industry increasingly embraces. Given Ciena’s successful track record with their Blue Planet platform that leverages open source technologies, we are thrilled to have a member like them that contributes both their experience and expertise in supporting successful customer orchestration deployments.”

- Arpit Joshipura, General Manager for Networking and Orchestration, The Linux Foundation

As we execute on this vision, our belief is that we can provide the most value by leveraging best-in-class software technologies, methodologies and development practices to deliver transformational software solutions. To this end, Blue Planet leverages a variety of open source technologies today at the platform, infrastructure and application layers, and we are constantly identifying, analyzing, and incorporating new open source software technologies. Blue Planet’s microservices-based architecture gives us the ability to rapidly integrate these new applications and innovations, to continuously evolve our portfolio, and ensure we are staying at the leading edge of the software-driven transformation.

Now that we’ve joined ONAP, we are looking forward to getting our R&D team engaged in the project – and we will incorporate and contribute to relevant functional modules to enhance Blue Planet and to further our vision of open networking. As experts in both the network infrastructure and orchestration domains, we anticipate making significant contributions to the community by sharing our ideas, knowledge and best practices. Arpit Joshipura from The Linux Foundation shares this same view:

“Ciena and The Linux Foundation share a common mission to preserve the open, multi-vendor approach that the industry increasingly embraces. Given Ciena’s successful track record with their Blue Planet platform that leverages open source technologies, we are thrilled to have a member like them that contributes both their experience and expertise in supporting successful customer orchestration deployments.” - Arpit Joshipura, General Manager for Networking and Orchestration, The Linux Foundation

Ciena’s Proven Success and Ongoing Commitment to Open Source Initiatives

Through ONAP, and other open source initiatives like ONOS and CORD, network operators and vendors will be able to work together to further accelerate the adoption and standardization (de facto by adoption) of technologies like SDN and NFV that enable network agility, automation and programmability.

As many of our customers are aware, we have established strong partnerships  that gather the deep expertise required for establishing a robust open ecosystem including DevOps, technology, system integration and developer partners. Our comprehensive DevOps Toolkit also enhances operational agility by enabling network operators to gain self-service control over their networks and services, and reduces the need for professional services. The global success of Blue Planet, across both service provider and enterprise customers, is a testament to our approach to open networking. We will continue to execute on our vision and help our customers transform their networks.

If you’d like more information or have further questions on Ciena’s participation in the ONAP initiative, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Ciena representative. For information on Ciena’s Blue Planet software portfolio, please visit us at www.blueplanet.com.