The Rise of Open Source Network Technologies in China

China is currently the third largest contributor to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and its contributions to the open source and cloud markets are continuously growing. A number of emerging technologies are making open source technology more attractive to Chinese companies, and new projects are emerging.

Of particular use to companies are the SDN and NFV technologies that are emerging from China, and being used by companies such as China Telecom. These SDN and NFV frameworks are community led, many of them being supported by the Linux Foundation, and being used by the international community.

Open-O by the Linux Foundation: A New Orchestration Project

Open-O, by the Linux Foundation, is a new management and network orchestration project that may make it easier for Chinese developers to move into open source deployments. Backed by Chinese companies such as China Telecom, Open-O seeks to address problems such as the language barrier, which have historically made it more challenging for developers in China to engage with the open source community. Open source communities are highly communicative by nature.

Since its initial inception, Open-O has been merged with ECOMP, and the new initiative has been renamed the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).  China Telecom is already creating use cases for Open-O technology, which could include using it as an orchestrator for VPN services, crossing between domains and connecting data centers and WANs.

OPNFV: An Integrated Linux foundation Technology

Meanwhile, China Telecom is also working on OPNFV, a project that will help with NFV components within a number of environments and platforms. This open source NFV project is also supported by companies such as Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm, Inc. This NFV platform will be usable in both service provider and enterprise networks, and it’s currently being developed by a total of 55 companies.

Since 2014, OPNFV has been in development as an integrated platform that can produce valuable services and products to companies quickly. Through solutions like OPNFV, companies have been able to move away from commercial and proprietary solutions, and to find solutions that are more universal and well-supported.

China and Kubernetes Adoption

In terms of Kubernetes adoption in China, Microsoft Azure outperforms AWS, which is globally unusual. Designed by Google and maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Kubernetes is an orchestration and deployment system. Kubernetes makes it easier to deploy applications in architectures that support microservices, and it’s leading the way in making open source more accessible.

The OpenDaylight City Tour

OPNFV isn’t the only highly publicized, open source NFV solution. Hosted by companies such as Baidu and Tencent, the OpenDaylight City Tour went through four cities in China, bringing awareness and adoption to OpenDaylight technology. OpenDaylight is currently being used by Tencent, Baidu, China Telecom, Huawei, HBC, and more.

OpenDaylight is a software-defined networking solution and network functions virtualization platform (SDN and NFV). Through OpenDaylight, organizations are able to acquire a complete network stack. A popular Linux Foundation project, OpenDaylight is a modular, scalable, and extensible solution, which is suited even to the largest of enterprises.

The Made in China 2025 Initiative

Technological innovations from China are accelerating, due to the Made in China 2025 initiative which is encouraging Chinese companies to invest in technological innovation. This is encouraging companies to make additional contributions into the open source space. With new frameworks and strategies available to Chinese developers, China’s contributions into the open source arena are likely to continue to grow.

Currently, there are a number of interesting new technologies being developed in China, especially in the areas of networking and telecommunications. China Telecom and other tech-based companies are leading the way for new collaborative solutions, and there should be a number of innovative technologies emerging in the coming years.