Thursday, June 18, 2015

#ONS2015: AT&T Envisions its Future as a Software Company

Over the new few years, AT&T plans to virtualize and control more than 75% of its network functions via its new Domain 2.0 infrastructure.  The first 5% will be complete by the end of this year, laying the foundation for an accelerated rollout in 2016.

In a keynote at the Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara entitled "AT&T's Case for a Software-Centric Network", John Donovan provided an update on the company's Domain 2.0 campaign, saying this strategic undertaking is really about changing all aspects of how AT&T does business.

Donovan, who is responsible for almost all aspects of AT&T's IT and network infrastructure, said AT&T is deeply committed to open source software, including contributing back to open source communities. The goal is to "software-accelerate" AT&T's network.  In the process, AT&T itself becomes a software company.

Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:

  • Since 2007, AT&T has seen a 100,000% increase in mobile data traffic
  • Video represents the majority of traffic on the mobile network
  • Ethernet ports have grown 1,300% since 2010
  • AT&T's network vision is rooted in SDN and NFV
  • The first phase is about Virtualizing Functions.
  • AT&T's Network On-Demand service is its first SDN application to reach customers. It went from concept to trials in six months.
  • The second phase is about Disaggregation.
  • The initial target of disaggregation is the GPON Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), which are deployed in central offices for supporting its GigaPower residential broadband service.  AT&T will virtualize the physical equipment using less expensive hardware.  The company will release an open specification for these boxes.
  • AT&T will contribute its YANG custom design tool to the open source community.
  • AT&T is leading a Central Office Re-architected as Data Center (CORD) project.

The ONS2015 keynote can be seen here: