skip to main content
Close Icon

In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. By continuing to use this site and access its features, you are consenting to our use of cookies. To find out more about the way Informa uses cookies please go to our Cookie Policy page.

Global Search Configuration

Ovum view


On.Lab – in cooperation with AT&T, NTT Communications, Huawei, and others – recently launched Open Network Operating System (ONOS), an SDN controller that essentially goes head to head with OpenDaylight (ODL), a vendor-driven open source initiative. Several skeptics have expressed doubts about vendor legacy and influence in ODL. ONOS seeks to become a viable alternative to ODL and will in any case accelerate the development of a carrier-grade SDN controller.

Vendor influence and openness

On.Lab, a non-profit corporation started by Stanford SDN experts, recently announced the availability of Open Network Operating System (ONOS), essentially an open source SDN controller that is being developed for telecom networks. Although new, ONOS is not alone: other open source SDN controllers include OpenContrail (hosted by Juniper), Ryu (hosted by NTT Communications) and last but not least OpenDaylight (ODL). The latter has been receiving increasing interest in the telecoms industry and has been considered the controller of choice for SDN, NFV, and anything in between by many vendors. In fact, Ericsson, Cisco, and Juniper are a few of ODL’s Platinum members, and several other vendors, including HP and Huawei, are Gold members.

Some may ask why there is a need for a new open source controller for telecom networks when so many are already available. Many industry insiders consider ODL to be heavily vendor-influenced and fear its breadth is too wide to provide a consistent framework that will also be stable across several network domains.

ONOS, on the other hand, was launched by AT&T, NTT Communications, Ciena, Huawei, and others. Its academic roots may bring forth a new type of framework that is not hampered by legacy telecom network design practices and breathe fresh air into SDN/NFV network design. Indeed, ONOS is focusing on northbound interfaces to application development environments/orchestration systems and southbound interfaces to network elements.

Another major differentiation for ONOS is that it is endorsed by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which has been skeptical about – and has publicly questioned – the true intentions of ODL.

One thing is for certain: ONOS gives more choice to telecom operators and will surely accelerate the development of a carrier-grade, distributed SDN controller.


Further reading

“MWC 2015: NFV gets real,” TE0006-001035 (March 2015)

Open Source for Telecom Networks, TE0006-000957 (November 2014)


Dimitris Mavrakis, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks

Recommended Articles

  • Enterprise Decision Maker, Enterprise IT Strategy and Select...

    2017 Trends to Watch: Big Data

    By Tony Baer 21 Nov 2016

    The breakout use case for big data will be fast data. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing the urgency for enterprises to embrace real-time streaming analytics, as use cases from mobile devices and sensors become compelling to a wide range of industry sectors.

    Topics Big data and analytics IoT

  • Service Provider Technology

    Cloud ambitions are fueling another round of data center investment

    By Ian Redpath 25 Oct 2017

    ICPs' cloud service ambitions are fueling the current round of data center investment. Serving the high-performance, mission-critical, low-latency cloud market necessitates a change in the optimal data center site selection.

  • Service Provider Technology

    5G – Deployment and Commercial Considerations

    By Daryl Schoolar 24 Nov 2017

    <p style="text-align: left;">In a few years, operators will start rolling out commercial, standards-based 5G networks. In doing so, these operators will face a variety of deployment scenarios based on spectrum and other various factors. The deployment decisions they make will impact what the network looks like and the types of services offered.</p>

    Topics 5G


Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700

Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - Call us at +44 7770704398 or email us at

Contact marketing -

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now