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Is Aether a Managed Service?

Aether was originally designed as a managed cloud service, with a dedicated ops team at ONF supporting 24/7 service at multiple edge sites. From 2019 through 2023 sites joined Aether by working jointly with the ONF ops team to bring up a local Aether cluster. Today, Aether has been re-packaged as an open source software platform that anyone is free to download, deploy, and operate on their own hardware, with OnRamp providing the deployment machinery users engage to configure their local installation.

Does Aether support Private 5G?

Yes. Aether is designed to provide local breakout for enterprise deployments, with the 5G User Plane running on-prem and the 5G Control Plane running either locally or in a central cloud. An API gives enterprises control over a cloud-managed Connectivity-as-a-Service, including the ability to add devices, create slices that connect select devices to edge applications, and set both slide-wide and per-device QoS parameters.

Are SD-Core and SD-RAN stand-alone components?

Yes. Both SD-Core and SD-RAN are implemented as Kubernetes workloads that can be installed on their own, or in combination with other components to build an end-to-end Aether connectivity service. Each possible combination, including both emulated and physical radios, corresponds to an OnRamp blueprint. Users are also free to directly download the Helm Charts and Docker Images that implement SD-Core and SD-RAN, respectively, and install them using their own deployment machinery.

What is Aether's backstory?

Aether was originally developed by the engineering team at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) as part of a DARPA-funded program to build a programmable and verifiably correct 5G network with closed-loop control. In collaboration with researchers at Stanford, Princeton, and Cornell, the ONF team leveraged its decade long experience building SDN solutions and platforms, including ONOS (Open Network Operating System), CORD (Central Office Rearchitected as a  Datacenter), and the P4 programming language. The Aether Project moved from ONF to the Linux Foundation in February 2024.

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