Calix announces a Linux-based OS and software platform

Calix, Inc. has announced AXOS, or Access eXtensible Operating System, a Linux-based network operating system and software platform built for the specific needs of the access network.

Completely hardware independent, AXOS allows for “software defined access,” where all software functions in the access network can be developed and run without relying on the underlying hardware and associated silicon chipsets. With an always-on architecture and consistent provisioning services, AXOS accelerates time-to-revenue, eliminates service disruptions, and reduces operational complexity for service providers.

Three core principles define the AXOS platform: 

  • Fast – Modular, reusable software components with the ability to run on technologically diverse hardware without modification, reducing software qualification time, increasing new service velocity, and mitigating upgrade risks.
  • Always On – In-service upgrade capabilities and built-in logic that eliminate service disruptions, constrain and automatically recover from faults, and prevent side effects caused by new software functions or human error.
  • Simple – Open, standards-based, fully programmable management and control APIs that reduce operational complexity, enable automated workflows, and provide compatibility with SDN-aligned operational support systems for maximum interoperability.

“The same SDN and NFV concepts that are enabling improved economics, scale, velocity and agility in the data center apply to the access network. Both environments seek to rapidly deliver new services, meet customer demand 24/7 and contain operational costs,” said Julie Kunstler, principal analyst at Ovum. “The application of SDN and NFV in access requires the replacement of monolithic software architectures with virtualized, componentized, extensible and optimally distributed systems that support access networks from subscriber premises all the way to the access edge of the data center. Major service providers have been upfront about their respective plans to pursue this direction. This evolution is becoming a key competitive advantage and AXOS supports this evolution.”

Within AXOS, containerized software components ride on top of a unique hardware abstraction layer that preserves software independence from the underlying hardware. Independent, fine-grained software components can be inserted unmodified into any access network location in an efficient, consistent, and cost effective manner – no re-testing, no re-certification. AXOS software components also support virtualized operation of management and control functions, giving service providers maximum flexibility in network design and deployment models. The result: Accelerated service delivery, minimized software qualification time, and lower operational expense.

AXOS software components run in separate processes so any fault is isolated and contained, delivering the highest levels of network reliability and availability in an era of shrinking “maintenance windows.” The platform’s “stateful” operation maintains all computing state information separately from system processes, providing powerful self-auditing and automated self-healing capabilities, including the ability for individual processes to be upgraded “on the fly” without impacting the system, the network, or subscriber services. The result: Elimination of costly service disruptions and time-consuming software re-certifications.

All components and operational functions within AXOS use standard NETCONF protocol and YANG data models that enable AXOS powered systems to readily fit into any open SDN orchestration and control framework. Open, published APIs also allow customers to directly program unique network applications and services. The result: Significantly reduced operational complexity.