Using OpenNESS to Unleash Innovation at the Network Edge

The power of workload-optimized data center infrastructure in fulfilling hardware-to-software transformational demands.


  • OpenNESS is a flexible, open source platform that allows communication service providers (CoSPs) to develop and launch new services in the network edge.

  • Software developers don’t need to consider the access technology or underlying compute platform.


Discover OpenNESS and innovate at the network edge.

The communications network is set to become more intelligent. The shift from proprietary network hardware to virtual network functions means there is general purpose compute capability spread throughout the network now.

As 5G brings low latency and wide bandwidth connections to mobile devices, the new bottleneck could prove to be the backhaul across the network to the cloud. Processing workloads closer to users, at the edge of the network, can cut round-trip latency dramatically. It also cuts the cost of sending data across the network.

There is a significant opportunity, then, for application developers to bring their software to the network, where it could run alongside network functions, and enable new use cases that take advantage of the low latency and high bandwidth of 5G. Creating software for the network introduces several complexities that developers won’t have seen in the cloud. For example, depending on where the app will reside in the network, it may need to use different approaches to ingest data. Existing cloud service providers have capabilities to host some functionality at the edge, but these capabilities may be relatively limited, and would tie the developer in to a proprietary technology.

That’s why OpenNESS was created. It provides a flexible, open source platform that enables developers to write software for the network edge as easily as they write for the cloud. It abstracts away the complexity, so developers don’t need to know where their app will reside in the network (or treat it any differently depending on where it will be), and don’t need to think about the access technology or the underlying compute platform. OpenNESS can be used to make software, for example, that runs in customer premises equipment (CPE), the next generation central office (NGCO), or base station, among other locations.

For communications service providers, OpenNESS makes it easier for them to develop and launch their own services, and helps them to welcome third-party developers to the network, too.

OpenNESS includes a lightweight resource orchestrator for on-premises or Internet of Things (IoT) deployments and an application-aware way to orchestrate apps to edge platforms. It works in collaboration with Kubernetes, which is used to provision and configure edge resources.

The OpenNESS platform has been designed for today’s developer. It’s based on microservices, so it’s easier to manage upgrades and updates; and it includes cloud connectors for AWS Green grass, Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, and Baidu IntelliEdge, so it can be integrated with existing cloud applications. The Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit can be used to bring computer vision capabilities, and the Intel® Media SDK assists with video transcoding.

To find out more about OpenNESS and how it can help communications service providers build an ecosystem of developers, download our eGuide: Using OpenNESS to Unleash Innovation at the Network Edge.