CenturyLink is blazing its own trail with Central Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) with a specific focus on DSL and, down the road a bit, GPON.
CenturyLink announced on Wednesday that it was the first service provider to deploy its own virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (vBNG) for DSL services for residential and business customers using CORD. (See CenturyLink Is First Carrier to Deliver Broadband Services on CORD Platform.)
Adam Dunstan, CenturyLink's vice president of SDN and NFV engineering, said that while CenturyLink's flavor of CORD may have borrowed some elements of ONOS' CORD, it was largely done in-house to meet the telco's specific needs.
"We are not specifically using any of the ONOS packaged software, this was all done with our own software," Dunstan said. "What CORD does is separate access and routing functionality, and that's exactly what we do here. It allows us to move functions around in a very different kind of way. That allows us to decompose the platform to make it much simpler, and turn it into microservices so we have much smaller failure domains."
While the open source Cord Project
would refer to this type of use case as residential CORD, or R-CORD, Dunstan says CenturyLink views its version of CORD as more along the lines of unified access.
CenturyLink is using white box routers, switches and servers from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). CenturyLink's SDN access controller is based on OpenDaylight's software that works with legacy operations support systems (OSS) and the latest generation orchestration platforms. For this reason, Dunstan said the CORD implementation didn't impact the company's current OSS/BSS. With a unified platform, Dunstan said that CORD provides CenturyLink with simplicity and reliability, as well as the ability to automate functions.
Dunstan said CenturyLink's CORD has been deployed in a production central office and that it was currently being moved around to other locations. CenturyLink will continue deploying CORD in central offices for DSL throughout the rest of the year, but CenturyLink's Bill Walker, director of network architecture for NFV, SDN and Cloud, said it wasn't necessarily the right fit for all of the telco's 3,500 central offices.
CenturyLink CEO Aamir Hussain said in a prepared statement that the CORD deployment was "a significant milestone on our path to achieve full network virtualization." CenturyLink has set a target of late 2019 for full virtualization of its IP core network.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation