10 July 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
Coriant has launched its Network Operating System (NOS), a carrier-class, disaggregated IP/MPLS software solution for carrier, enterprise, and cloud networks.
The Coriant NOS solution is based on an open and modular
software architecture that operates on industry-standard COTS
white boxes as well as application-optimised white boxes.
Speaking exclusively with Capacity, Robert Shore,
senior vice president of global sales enablement at Coriant,
explained the concept of disaggregated routers was by liking it
the mobile phone industry.
"If you look at what’s
going on in the router space its very akin to the smartphone
industry not long ago. It started off where blackberry really
was the dominant smartphone and it had all of these
proprietary, full integrated solutions in the hardware, the
software and all the applications all from the same vendor.
That was the way it was for a while until you had the iPhone
and even more so the android come along and what they
essentially turned this proprietary ecosystem into an open
ecosystem, where there was disaggregation between the hardware,
the operating system and the application. So these things
suddenly became independent and you could buy them from whoever
you wanted. Though it drove costs down a little bit, what it
really did was introduce a whole new bunch of people to the
market to innovate."
Shore says that Coriant is doing exactly the same in the
network router space, meeting the needs of network operators
who as he says may only want the hardware or the software. But
he it keen to add that Coriant is one of only a number of
telco’s pushing for the open type network
ecosystem with players like AT&T, Telefonica and Orange
also championing this concept, saying that they are looking for
the same benefits that enterprises like Facebook, Amazon and
Google, who have already broken this proprietary hold over that
part of their network.
The Coriant NOS solution offers hardware-independent
flexibility and disaggregated software components including
Open Network Linux operating system, hardware abstraction
layer, IP stack and network protocol suite. It is built for
modularity allowing customers to easily and quickly integrate
and innovate with new functionality.
"By separating the NOS from the routing hardware, Coriant
provides network operators the chance to break the vendor
lock-in constraints of traditional IP routing solutions," said
Uwe Fischer, CTO and executive vice president of R&D and
PLM at Coriant. "The Coriant NOS leverages over 20 years of
IP/MPLS networking expertise and deployed Tier 1 experience,
and delivers on the promise of an open, disaggregated approach
to packet-based networking that accelerates innovation by
maximising best-in-class functional blocks."
Shore says that it has been a 18 month process of
disentangling its software from the hardware, which he said
"takes a little bit of time as it’s not a
completely simple process" especially when trying to make it
environmentally agnostic. Unlike other NOS offerings that are
designed more so for smaller, self-contained insular style
networks, Shore says Coriant has the advantage of large scale
networking capabilities and IP functionality for wide scale
In addition, the NOS solution includes a hardware
abstraction layer that supports standalone and multi-unit
forwarding architectures, as well as support for a broad set of
protocols required in carrier networks and Data Centre
Interconnect (DCI) applications. It uses Coriant’s
IP/MPLS stack for applications that require high performance,
scalability and resiliency. It has been designed with open APIs
to simplify integration into existing environments and to give
operators the benefits of a programmable infrastructure.
With all the openness of this new ecosystem, Shore says that
from a security perspective, while there may be more
operational effort in this area, you also have more options for
security as a whole because it’s not just
proprietary. He adds that the parallel efforts taking place in
the area of automation can and should simplify and streamline
this type of thing.
With announcements like its
Coriant Groove G30 solution that enhances the capabilities of
the network disaggregation platform, Coriant Vibe, the
Carrier-class White Box Platform Enabled by Flexible
Programmable Packet Technology and now its NOS solution, Shore
says all feeds into Coriant’s wider goal which is
"commitment to open networking solutions concept."
Network Operating System,