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Linux Foundation Europe Announces Project Sylva to Create Open Source Telco Cloud Software Framework to Complement Open Networking Momentum

  • 5 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 28 Nov 2022
  • Last modified 21 Nov 2022
Leading European telcos and vendors Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone collaborate on creation of open source cloud software framework to reduce the infrastructure fragmentation, within the European context.

Linux Foundation Europe, an independent trusted supporter and vendor-neutral home for open source projects in Europe, today announced the formation of Project Sylva. Designed to create a new, open source production-grade Telco Cloud Stack, Project Sylva's common cloud software framework and adjacent Reference Implementation will reduce fragmentation of the cloud infrastructure layer for telecommunication and edge services. Sylva is the first project hosted by LF Europe, less than two months into its launch.

Born out of a desire to reduce complexity and accelerate cloudification of the network within the EU's privacy, security, and energy efficiency requirements, five European carriers (Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom) and two vendors (Ericsson and Nokia) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form the Sylva project to address challenges associated with telco and edge use cases within the EU and globally. Project Sylva will build on top of existing open source projects to provide implementations and extensions. Despite the specific European needs, the Sylva project has broader ambitions, and should be seen as a global player within the Telco Cloud ecosystem, as it's open to collaborators outside the European Union as well.

"I am beyond excited to see Sylva become the first community project hosted under Linux Foundation Europe. It directly delivers our vision to accelerate the impact that European-centric collaborations can have in the global ecosystem," said Gabriele Columbro, general manager, Linux Foundation Europe. "Sylva is the perfect example of the high-impact open collaborations we see flourishing under LF Europe, as it brings together leading telco stakeholders to deliver innovation to address a concrete industry-wide business challenge."

"We are pleased to collaborate closely with leading European telcos and vendors eager to more fully harness the power of open source to accelerate cloudification of the network within EU privacy and security guidelines," said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. "A unified approach to hosting 5G deployment applications from the Core to the RAN is critical for fostering innovation for broad digital transformation, augmenting work in LF Networking and LF Edge communities."

Specific goals of Project Sylva include the following:

  • Release a cloud software framework to prioritise requirements, develop solutions to be integrated within existing open source components, and produce production-grade solutions to be leveraged within commercial products.
  • Develop a reference implementation of this cloud software framework and create an integration and validation program to accelerate adoption of network functions within the cloud.

Members of Project Sylva will collaborate on development using GitLab; learn more about Project Sylva at https://gitlab.com/sylva-projects/sylva.

Support from Founding Members:


"Sylva is yet an example of the telecom industry's rapid transformation to cloud native technologies, Ericsson welcomes Sylva as means to improve efficiency as well as accelerating the deployment and onboarding of 5G Cloud Native Network Functions", said Anders Vestergren, Head of Strategy, Portfolio & Technology at Ericsson.


"Nokia has long been a vocal supporter of open and interoperable technologies and we are proud to see the official unveiling of Project Sylva today with our European partners. It is critical we work together to reduce any unnecessary complexity and fragmentation as the industry accelerates the adoption of Cloud-based networks. A collaborative approach with a common infrastructure and underpinned by an ecosystem of strong partners will drive efficiency, innovation, openness and scale", commented Pasi Toivanen, Head of Partner Cloud RAN Solutions Business Unit at Nokia


"The Telco Cloud ecosystem today is fragmented and slowing down our operational model transformation. Despite a transition to cloud native technologies, a real interoperability between workloads and platforms remains a challenge. Indeed, operators have to deal with a lot of vertical solutions that are different for each vendor, leading to operational complexity, lack of scalability, and high costs. Sylva, by providing a homogenous and open telco cloud reference implementation for the entire industry: interoperable, flexible and easy to operate, should help all the ecosystem (Europe and beyond). Orange strongly supports this initiative," said Laurent Leboucher, group CTO and SVP, Orange Innovation Networks.

Telecom Italia

Daniele Franceschini, Head of Technology and IT Planning, Engineering & Innovation for Telecom Italia, said: "Telecom Italia is committed to the transformation of the network with the adoption of Cloud Native technology. We believe that the Sylva project will contribute to the development of an open and interoperable Telco Cloud infrastructure that will support both cloud native network functions and IT applications. This infrastructure will be a key element for the creation of the Telco Edge Cloud platform, enabling a new generation of digital services thus creating new business opportunities for both telco operators, telco vendors and application developers."


Juan Carlos García, SVP Technology Innovation and Ecosystems in Telefónica, said "We support this initiative strongly believing it will help in pushing the migration of our networks to cloud-native solutions enabling its full digitalization. The lack of a harmonized and performing cloud environment, now fragmented and heterogeneous and not built-for-purpose, is slowing down the network evolution process towards the cloud. Sylva aims at providing a solution for this, offering a common place to validate cloud-native functions and applications, and is hosted in the right place, the Linux Foundation, the home of open-source breakthrough cloud technologies".


Santiago Tenorio, director of Network Architecture for Vodafone, said, "Sylva has the potential to accelerate the cloudification of telecommunications platforms and network functions to boost security, reduce energy consumption and deliver cross-border applications such as connected car safety systems to more end users. It is the framework on which we can solve complex technical problems in a collaborative and open way by re-using and building on the excellent work delivered in existing open source projects such as Kubernetes, Anuket, and the CNF Certification Program."

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