Orange has unveiled its new lab dedicated to network virtualization and cloud computing, called I/O Lab. It’s targeting an open and accessible environment for collaboration with the wider industry.
In a particularly buzzwordy announcement, the telco has claimed the new testing environment for NFV and cloud tech will enable advances in the development of 5G, IoT and Big Data; while also referencing “fog” computing – a form distributed cloud computing where near-user network edge devices are utilised for storage – and Mobile Edge Computing.
“The networks… will undergo a radical transformation in the next decade as a result of the progress of virtualization techniques,” Orange said in a statement. “General purpose servers will be able to use software to incorporate more and more network functions, all while meeting the networks’ growing needs for capacity and reliability. At the same time, cloud computing techniques will contribute to the development of flexible storage and processing capacities in data centres and even within networks and their peripheries, including connected devices and objects.” This trend could be strengthened by the increased momentum of the Internet of Things and Big Data processing”
“The I/O Lab’s vision is to develop a coherent, flexible and reliable management structure for the networks of the future, seen as distributed communication, storage and processing infrastructures. This will be achieved by virtue of the dual distributed network and software culture of its partners and a large contribution of the worldwide Open Source communities.”
The lab has been developed in partnership with Inria, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation, and the two companies say the test-bed will be dedicated to contributing heavily to relevant Open Source communities.
Orange also claims the lab will promote and develop a broad scale network OS, called “Global OS”, which will be designed to support a variety of app development for the infrastructure, including security, performance, availability, cost and energy efficiency management. It has also targeted 2020 for tangible outputs from the lab in terms of network infrastructure ready for 5G-compatible deployment.