In a joint announcement made via the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project's official website, Verizon and The Linux Foundation have now revealed that the carrier has joined the ONAP project as a Platinum member. The move essentially marks Verizon's commitment to open platforms and open source as a way to drive innovation – particularly in regard to software-defined networks and network function virtualization. The project itself is designed to bring together carriers and vendors from around the globe in order to transform the service delivery lifecycle for network, cable, and cloud providers. Verizon hopes to further that goal in three key areas, the company said.
First, Verizon wants to both accelerate the process of bringing network functions online, as well as simplify it. Simultaneously, the service provider plans to expand on how interoperable it is with other software-defined or virtual networks. Beyond that, the company also hopes to improve the speed and precision with which it handles network management tasks, service creation, and "provisioning" in order to better serve its customers and their needs. Finally, Verizon also hopes to drive the creation of reference standards for its vendors and partners in order to maintain consistency across its entire array of network deployments. Those are relatively ambitious goals but, according to the joint announcement, Verizon is particularly well-placed to address them. Verizon has already pushed for the adoption of both SDN and NFV across its network.
Moreover, the company is large enough and has enough influence in the industry that executives at The Linux foundation believe its leadership could help accomplish still another, larger goal. Namely, according to Arpit Joshipura, who fills the role of General Manager of Networking and Orchestration at The Linux Foundation, the company's leadership could result in further efforts from other globally situated carriers in adopting open standards and technologies at an accelerated rate, especially as that pertains to SDN and NFV services, virtual functions, edge computing, and 5G applications. Essentially, Verizon's position in the market could spur further action toward the same goals from other carriers. Meanwhile, the use of open platforms such as ONAP could help networks advance both more rapidly and cost-effectively.