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ONF Launches Ananki

September 28, 2021

Furthering its mission to provide industry leading open source solutions to transform networking, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) launched Ananki™, an independent venture-backed company to deliver open source-based Software-Defined Private 5G as a commercial service to address enterprises’ unique requirements of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is on the cusp of leveraging AI/ML to optimize industrial infrastructure. A combination of intelligent devices, edge cloud and cloud-based AI/ML are poised to enable software-based optimization and innovation, and private 5G is the key to empowering the machine-to-application communications necessary to complete this vision.

Ananki is now delivering software-defined private 5G purpose built for the Industry 4.0 revolution. Ananki’s technological foundation leverages ONF’s open source Aether™, SD-RAN™, SD-Fabric™ and SD-Core™ projects, and melds them together into a commercial offering that is delivered as a SaaS, making private 5G as easy to consume as wifi for enterprises. But more importantly, this open platform is hardened and optimized for industrial applications, and introduces developer APIs to empower the creation of more powerful digital transformation solutions.

Ananki’s Software-Defined Private 5G+ delivers:

Optimized 5G+ Experience - Software-defined, automated, AI powered, application optimized connectivity, with enhanced security enabled by a programmable data plane

Cloud First - pre-integrated with hyperscaler cloud and edge, delivering private 5G as a SaaS service, creating a continuously improving experience running on any multi-cloud platform

Industry 4.0 Ready - Empowering developers to build transformative IoT, IIoT and OT solutions with rich APIs
Ananki’s Inception

From the inception when ONF’s Aether was selected for the $30M Pronto Project, DARPA encouraged ONF to commercialize the platform in order to advance the impact of the project’s secure 5G research. To date, ONF has operationalized and deployed Aether at 15 locations operating as a cloud managed service.

To accelerate Aether’s adoption, the ONF board voted unanimously to create a new separate venture-backed commercial entity to provide an enhanced, hardened solution so vendors and partners can easily incorporate private 5G into the solutions they then build and deliver to enterprises.

This new entity, Ananki, has been structured as a Public Benefit Corporation to support and promote open source. Furthermore, Ananki shares common executives with the ONF, ensuring that a consistent vision and mission keeps the two entities well aligned.

Benefits for ONF

Ananki delivers significant benefits to the ONF community and platforms. ONF projects will directly benefit from significant additional contributions as Ananki brings more focus, funding, developers and contributions to the ONF projects. In addition, Ananki will help grow the ONF ecosystem as it encourages broader adoption of ONF platforms. ONF will continue to drive forward its leading initiatives in mobile, broadband and data center networking, continuing to focus on what is next and advancing the state-of-art for the industry.

Andre Fuetsch, ONF Board Chair and AT&T CTO said, “ONF continues to innovate in ways that magnify the power of open systems and open source across our industry. The ONF board recognizes that the lack of support for open source initiatives from commercial companies remains an inhibiting factor for scaled adoption. To meet this challenge, we have agreed to spin out Ananki as an independent company to pursue commercialization of Aether with a view that this will help accelerate the adoption and impact of open source.”

Guru Parulkar, Executive Director ONF and CEO of Ananki added, “Ananki is broadening the impact of the ONF’s work, and will help ONF’s Aether become much more broadly adopted. By providing a commercially supported option for consuming Aether, many more organizations will be able to easily and economically leverage the benefits of Private 5G for building Industry 4.0 solutions. And in turn, Ananki is committed to contributing back to the ONF open source, helping to advance the Aether platform and broaden the ONF community.”

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