Linux Foundation Europe (LF Europe), the recently launched European branch of the open source Linux Foundation, today announced the launch of Project Sylva, which aims to create an open source telecom cloud framework for European telecom companies and providers. This is the first project organized by LF Europe and it is a good example of what the organization is trying to achieve.
The project aims to create a production-grade open source telecom cloud stack and a common framework and reference implementation to “reduce fragmentation of the cloud infrastructure layer for telecom and edge services.” Currently, five operators (Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Orange, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom) and two providers (Ericsson and Nokia) are working on the project.
“There are already plenty of Linux Foundation networking projects that have brought telecommunications into the open source era,” Arpit Joshipura, general manager of Networking, Edge and IoT at the Linux Foundation, he told me. “All these projects are under what is called the [LF] Network Foundation. […] So whatever work the telcos are doing, Sylva will leverage and build on it with these European providers to solve specific EU requirements. Those are security, power, federated computing, edge, and data trust.”
At the core of Sylva is a framework for a computing platform that can be independent of whether a workload is running on the telecommunications access network, at the edge, or in the core. The project aims to build a reference implementation, leveraging all the work already being done by LF Networking, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (the home of Kubernetes and other cloud-native infrastructure projects), LF Energy, and others.
All of this, of course, is done with a focus on EU goals around security, data privacy and energy management, but while the project has this EU focus, the overall ambition is wider and goes far beyond the European Union. Many of these regulations will, after all, reach other markets as well.
“Linux Foundation, Europe allows us to focus more on specific regional requirements, but without those silos and fragmentation that foster that techno-nationalism, if you want to call it that, by being able to really encourage local collaboration and then drive those things forward. upstream gives us this incredible conduit to cross borders,” explained Gabriele Columbro, general manager of Linux Foundation Europe.
All of the providers joining the project argue that they do so to reduce fragmentation as the industry moves toward a cloud-centric model and to enable interoperability between different platforms.
“The Telco Cloud ecosystem today is fragmented and slows down the transformation of our operating model. Despite the transition to cloud-native technologies, actual interoperability between workloads and platforms remains a challenge,” said Laurent Leboucher, CTO and Group SVP, Orange Innovation Networks. “In fact, operators have to deal with many vertical solutions that are different for each provider, leading to operational complexity, lack of scalability, and high costs. Sylva, by providing a homogeneous industry-wide telecom cloud framework, should help the entire ecosystem to use a common technology, which will be interoperable, flexible and easy to operate.”