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Altran Joins the CORD Project to Provide Reference Implementations for AI, Hardware Abstraction, and Network Programmability

Altran’s collaboration with the CORD® community will help communication service providers and multi-system operators accelerate their network transformation for the digital era.

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, Barcelona and REDWOOD CITY, California - February 28, 2017, - Altran, a global design and engineering company, announced today that it has joined the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) community to contribute software, integration and testing frameworks to the CORD reference implementations.

The CORD Project’s mission is to transform legacy central offices by redefining datacenter economics and leveraging the agility of cloud computing. Proprietary hardware is replaced with composable infrastructure, white-box servers, and open-source software. The architecture is designed to support connectivity and cloud-based services for residential, enterprise and mobile subscribers.

Drawing on its 20-year history of datacenter and network equipment design and engineering, Altran helps service providers build tomorrow’s on-demand and digital networks. Altran’s capability portfolio spans network function virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN), microservices and container architectures, open network operating system (ONOS), and OpenStack (infrastructure-as-a-service). Altran is working with key network equipment and service providers to accelerate the adoption of various implementations of CORD including GPON, SD-WAN, Residential Gateways, vCPE, vRouter, and other on-demand resources and network operations.

By joining the CORD Project, Altran becomes part of a diversified open source community that is comprised of leading service providers, vendors, individual contributors, and other collaborators, all working to redefine network access through cloud systems.

An example is CORD’s VOLTHA (Virtual OLT Hardware Abstraction), a project that seeks to develop a software module that acts as an isolator between an abstract (vendor agnostic) passive optical networking (PON) management system and a set of vendor-specific PON hardware devices. Altran is developing a real-time performance monitoring (PM) framework for VOLTHA to enable access networks to stream statistics and counters for analysis. VOLTHA provides a set of abstract APIs, via which northbound systems can interact with the PON network with relative ease. On its southbound side, VOLTHA communicates with the PON hardware devices using vendor-specific protocols and protocol extensions.

“We want to evolve the intelligence of the network to a point where it’s able to improve service quality at the right place and time in the customer experience,” said Walid Negm, Altran’s Chief Technology Officer. “The idea of gaining visibility and insight from distributed network elements is critical to a self-aware and self-steering network,” he said.

“Imagine applications that can subscribe to a data stream of patterns that indicate network congestion, traffic outages, and proactive network diagnosis. Operators can get a better handle on the utilization of network resources and system health that are the foundation of superior customer experience,” Negm said.

In the initial development phase of the VOLTHA project, Altran’s performance monitoring framework will include:

  • Light-weight PM agent that collect the real-time raw data and metrics from lower device driver layers and funnel them to external entities through an Apache-based Kafka interface (on the northbound side)
  • Collection of PM data in the form of metrics, counters, ONT status monitoring, and error signals
  • Southbound support, with generic APIs that can be easily mapped to different hardware devices

These metrics can be used by an analytics framework like Analytics-CORD, or a third-party consumer application, which can have its own intelligence and take network actions and decisions based on machine-learning techniques.

About Altran

Altran is a global design and engineering company innovating for customers for what comes next in North America and beyond. We lead our clients into the future by solving their most complex engineering services needs and mission critical software framework solutions. For decades, we have helped companies connect new things and scale with intention. We bring differentiated value to market faster in focused industries to help transform products, brands, companies, and start-ups. Based in San Francisco, frog, the global leader in innovation and product design, is also part of Altran.

Learn more about Altran at

About CORD

CORD® (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) combines NFV, SDN and the elasticity of commodity clouds to bring datacenter economies and service agility to the Telecom Central Office. An open reference implementation of CORD uses commodity servers and white-box switches, coupled with open-source software that includes OpenStack, Docker, ONOS, and XOS. This reference implementation is a general and extensible platform that supports a variety of domains and business requirements (e.g., residential, enterprise, mobile), and is also sufficiently complete to support field trials.

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