MENLO PARK, Calif. - December 3rd, 2020 -- Today, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced that ONF’s Aether™ 5G Connected Edge Cloud platform is being used as the software platform for the $30M DARPA Pronto project, pursuing research to secure future 5G network infrastructure.
DARPA is funding ONF to build, deploy and operate the network to support research by Cornell, Princeton and Stanford universities in the areas of network verification and closed-loop control. ONF will enhance and deploy its open source Aether software platform as the foundation for the Pronto research work, and in turn the research results will be open sourced back into Aether to help advance Aether as a platform for future secure 5G network infrastructure.
Aether - 5G Connected Edge Cloud Platform
Aether is the first open source 5G Connected Edge Cloud platform. Aether provides mobile connectivity and edge cloud services for distributed enterprise networks as a cloud managed offering. Aether is an open source platform optimized for multi-cloud deployments, and it simultaneously supports wireless connectivity over licensed, unlicensed and lightly-licensed (CBRS) spectrum.
Aether is a platform for enabling enterprise digital transformation projects. Coupling robust cellular connectivity with connected edge cloud processing creates a platform for supporting Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT) and Operational Technology (OT) services like robotics control, onsite inference processing of video feeds, drone control and the like.
Given Aether’s end-to-end programmable architecture coupled with its 5G and edge cloud capabilities, Aether is well suited for supporting the Pronto research agenda.
Aether Beta Deployment
ONF has operationalized and is running a beta production deployment of Aether. This deployment is a single unified cloud managed network interconnecting the project’s commercial partners AT&T, Ciena, Intel, Google, NTT, ONF and Telefonica. This initial deployment supports CBRS and/or 4G/LTE radio access at all sites, and is cloud managed from a shared core running in the Google public cloud.
The University campuses are being added to this Aether deployment in support of Pronto. Campus sites will be used by Pronto researchers to advance the Pronto research, serving as both a development platform and a testbed for use case experimentation. The Aether footprint is expected to grow on the university campuses as Aether’s 5G Connected Edge Cloud capabilities are leveraged both for research on additional use cases as well as for select campus operations.
A growing ecosystem is backing Aether, collectively supporting the development of a common open source platform that can serve as an enabler for digital transformation projects, while also serving as a common platform for advanced research poised to help unlock the potential of the programmable network for more secure future 5G infrastructure.
“At Google Cloud, we are working closely with the telecom ecosystem to help enable 5G transformation, accelerated by the power of cloud computing. We are pleased to support the Open Networking Foundation's work to extend the availability of 5G and edge capabilities via an open source platform.”
Shailesh Shukla, VP and GM, Networking, Google Cloud
“Cornell is deploying Aether on campus to bring private 5G/LTE connectivity services with edge cloud capabilities into our research facilities. We expect private 5G/LTE with connected edge cloud to become an important and integral part of our research infrastructure for many research and operational groups on the campus. We also see the value of interconnecting a nation-wide leading infrastructure with Stanford, Princeton and ONF for collaborative research among university researchers across the country.”
David Lifka, Vice President for Information Technologies and CIO, Cornell University
“Princeton University is deploying Aether on campus in the Computer Science Department in order to support the Pronto research agenda and offer it as an experimental infrastructure for other research groups. This deployment will enable private 5G/LTE connectivity and edge cloud services and will complement Princeton’s existing P4 enabled infrastructure on campus. We plan to also explore how some of our mission critical production use cases can be supported on a private 5G Connected Edge Cloud.”
Jay Dominick, Vice President & CIO, Princeton University
“Ciena is pleased to be an early collaborator on the ONF’s Aether project. We have an Aether site running in our 5G lab in Montreal, and we are excited by the prospect of helping enterprises leverage the 5G and edge cloud capabilities of Aether to help build transformative solutions.”
Stephen Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ciena
“Intel is an active participant of the ONF’s innovative Aether project to advance the development of 5G and edge cloud solutions on high volume servers. ONF has been leading the industry with advanced open source implementations in the areas of disaggregated Mobile Core, e.g. the Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC), and we look forward to continuing to innovate by applying proven principles of disaggregation, open source and AI/ML with Aether, the Enterprise 5G/LTE Edge-Cloud-as-a-Service platform. As open source, Aether will help accelerate the availability of innovative edge applications. Aether will be optimized to leverage powerful performance, AI/ML, and security enhancements, which are essential for 5G and available in Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, network adapters and switching technologies, including Data-Plane Development Kit (DPDK), Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX), and Intel® Tofino™ Programmable Ethernet Switch.”
Pranav Mehta, Vice President of Systems and Software Research, Intel Labs
The Aether ecosystem is open to researchers and other potential partners who wish to build upon Aether, and we welcome inquiries regarding collaboration. You can learn more at the Aether website and the Project Pronto.
ONF is also hosting the live virtual event 5G Connected Edge Cloud for Industry 4.0 Transformation, December 8-10th, where several of the talks will provide insight into Aether and Project Pronto. Featured speakers include:
Andre Fuetsch, President & CTO, AT&T
Yousef Khalidi, CVP, Microsoft
Kang-Won Lee, VP & Head of Cloud, 5G MEC, SK Telecom
Nick McKeown, Professor of EE AND CS, Stanford & PI for Project Pronto
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF
Shailesh Shukla, VP/GM, Google
Click here to register for free.
About the Open Networking Foundation
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Group and Türk Telekom, the ONF is driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit https://opennetworking.org