DT is one of the backers of new open source community for next-gen carriers

This article was published in Fierce Telecom on April 24, 2020. You can read the original article here  

Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with EWE Tel, Reply and RtBrick to launch a new open source management community called Leitstand. The goal of Leitstand is to develop webscale type tools for telco networks.

Currently, the four companies are the only members of Leitstand, but they are a blend of network operators (Deutsche Telekom and EWE Tel), a system integrator (Reply) and a routing software vendor (RtBrick.)

Leitstand's to-do list includes some of the biggest buzzwords that are currently being tossed around the industry. The open source community will develop the “tools needed to operate the underlying infrastructure in a disaggregated telecoms network, including zero-touch provisioning of infrastructure, inventory management, operational visibility of network elements, alarm monitoring, fault diagnosis and software version management.”

Some of those elements appear to mirror efforts in other open source groups, including ones under the Linux Foundation's umbrella.

"Linux is an important underlying technology option for a lot of cloud-native infrastructure, including disaggregated telco networks, and the Leitstand community will re-use existing Linux resources if they are applicable," said Hannes Gredler, the founder and CTO of RtBrick, in an email to FierceTelecom. "But Leitstand’s scope is mostly complimentary to existing Linux Foundation resources, as it focuses on the operational and management systems that are needed to deploy and run a carrier-scale disaggregated IP/MPLS network."

Leitstand is being created to break up vendor-specific management systems that help carriers operate their networks.

“Although common protocols and interfaces emerged, these tools were usually optimized for the vendors’ own equipment," Gredler said in a statement. "This resulted in inefficient use of development resources within equipment vendors and complex integration challenges for carriers operating multi-vendor networks.”

By building an open-source based operational toolset, Leitstand is looking to increase the efficiency of producing, maintaining and enhancing carriers' tools and operational processes for both vendors and carriers. Leitstand's tools will be made available a no charge to other operators and system integrators.

According to a statement by Robert Soukup, senior program manager for Deutsche Telekom, Leitstand will allow developers to spend their time and energy on "solving higher value problems, rather than 'reinventing the wheel' for every system element."

In order for an open source community to be successful, there needs to be an ecosystem of vendors, carriers, system integrators, software developers and hardware companies. Leitstand is seeking additional organizations to join and contribute to the new community.

For now, Leitstand is banking on the expertise of the founding four companies to get the open source group off of the ground.

"These companies are already involved in some of the world’s first large-scale disaggregated IP access network projects and have recognized the need for a collaborative effort on the operational systems required," Gredler said. "The founders hope that others will join them in this open-source initiative.

For more information, go to Leitstand.io