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What is Sylva?

Aware of the need for a Telco friendly platform, the main carriers in Europe, together with network function providers, joined under an MoU, to initiate the Sylva project addressing Telco and Edge use cases.

The Sylva project has two main objectives:

  • Release a cloud software framework, which shall:
    • Identify and prioritise telco and edge requirements
    • Develop solutions to the specific technical challenges identified on the infrastructure layer of the telco ecosystem
    • Integrate these solutions with existing open source components
    • These solutions and the integrated cloud software framework are not “production ready” software, but aims to be “production grade” in order to be used by third parties such as operators, network function vendors, and cloud providers to create commercial products
  • Develop a Reference Implementation of this cloud software framework and create an Integration and Validation program to:
    • Develop a Reference Implementation of this cloud software framework and create an Integration and Validation program to: o Validate the commercial network functions against this cloud software framework
    • Validate implementations based on the released framework and its components
    • Accelerate commercial adoption of network functions and their compliance with this cloud software framework

The main characteristics of this Open-Source project are the following ones:

  • The roadmap is driven by European Telecom ecosystem needs
  • The project is open to any participant
  • The project leverages on existing cloud native community driven open source projects, reference implementations and conformance test frameworks

The Open Source releases resulting from this project will incorporate the capabilities that are required for a CaaS to address specific use cases identified by European Telcos (such as 5G, O-RAN and Edge) and will be the basis for a common infrastructure among European operators allowing the federation and integration of edge applications. Having a common framework for Operators, NF vendors will be able demonstrate, at once, that their functionality can work on such general-purpose infrastructure with the assurance that it can be deployed on any compliant platform (saving time and costs to both vendors and operators). Additionally, a common reference framework will foster digital innovation across Europe for the digital ecosystem.

What Sylva is not?

Sylva is not a product and is not “production-ready”. The cloud framework developed within Sylva can be “productized” by any company (operator, network / cloud vendors, etc.), to create a production-ready cloud platform.

Sylva is not limited to European contributors. The roadmap should be focused on the European telco ecosystem needs, but any player can contribute to the development of the technology, and any player can benefit from this technology by using it for its own purpose.

Sylva is not a duplication of Anuket. Sylva is a production-grade cloud framework implementation compliant with the reference architecture (RA2) and the conformance test suites (RC2) from Anuket.

How does it fit with other projects and initiatives?

There are already other initiatives covering cloud native technology stacks such as Kubernetes and the Anuket Reference Architecture for Kubernetes (RA2) and other initiatives covering the specifying, integrating and verifying Telco-specific stacks and the validation of Telco applications such as with the Anuket Assured and CNF Certification Programs. The Sylva project is not intended to replace those, but to leverage them and cover those requirements that are specific for the Use Cases that European Telcos are working on, and other initiatives that are still not addressed. If needed, the Sylva project will contribute to those initiatives some specific extensions that could otherwise become duplications.

What are the main requirements of the stack?

The following is a list (not exhaustive) of some of these extended capabilities required by Sylva use cases:

  • Enhanced performance support (e.g.: EPA capabilities, DPDK
  • Specific synchronization cards support for O-RAN (PTP)
  • Cloud Native support for L1 RAN acceleration network interface cards
  • GPU hardware support
  • Bare Metal automation provisioning
  • Multi-Clustering support
  • Service mesh support
  • Enhanced security (e.g.: Internal ciphering and multi-tenancy)
  • Lightweight (all in 1 server)
  • Energy efficiency

More details on the technical requirements and on the technical principles of Sylva can be found here in the “Sylva Technical Principles” architecture document.

To whom would this project be of interest?

The founding members are Nokia, Ericsson, Telefonica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Telecom Italia.

The Sylva project is open to any participant. Joining this program will allow:

  • Hardware vendors to prove they enable the capabilities and to provide resources for the validation program
  • CNF vendors to demonstrate their solutions can run on top of any implementation of the Open Source released framework
  • Stack Editors / Stack Integrators to have a reference for the capabilities required by European Telco use cases and, when adopting the outcome of the project in their solutions, to demonstrate they meet the requirements identified
  • Operators to have a reference for a Cloud platform addressing specific use cases and having insights on the providers that have demonstrated they can work on top of this platform, saving efforts in market scanning and certification.

Why choose Linux Foundation Europe?

The founding companies are all strong European actors in the Telco ecosystem, and they wanted to join the Linux Foundation Europe to be under European laws and to manifest their will to develop the open-source ecosystem in this continent.

When is the first release expected?

The first commits are expected in 2023. A first version (V1) of the cloud framework is expected to be released mid-2023.