& cplSiteName &

Be Open to the Freedom of Openness

Kelly Herrell
8/29/2014
100%
0%

"Open." In the history of networking no single word has ever invoked such a jangling of the architectural senses. The word invites visceral attacks and defenses. Is "open" possible? What does it even mean? Sure, it sounds good, but as Thoreau penned, "Be not simply good; be good for something."

So why does open matter? The answer is that open is an environmental description, not a specific statement of value. An open environment is a better environment.

It's like freedom -- free of what? It's a long list: freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of religion, freedom to innovate and other freedoms. Individually each attribute may have both benefits and drawbacks. But taken collectively, it's freedom from tyranny, the environmental basis of human success.

Similarly, open is the sum of many attributes. Each can be challenged individually, but together they enable control over our own destinies and create an environment where progress can flourish. Interestingly, the most critical attributes of openness have remarkable parallels to attributes of freedom.

Open Standards: This is democracy in action, a community's articulation of specific expected behaviors. Standards are the common rule by which we are all measured. While they do not guarantee the same outcome, they do ensure a common starting line.

Open Source: This attribute brings triple benefits. One is a global licensing model with the potential of eliminating the risk of being force-fed from a higher power with proprietary control. The second is the benefit of peer review of code, a constant and vigilant community process that makes it very difficult for nefarious schemes to be invisibly inserted. The third is pace of innovation; history has proven the "force multiplier" effect when developer communities lock arms and share code to drive change.

Open Systems: By decoupling hardware and software, the world is presented with choice. This eliminates the all-or-nothing totalitarianism of the black box model. This invites an ecosystem of options and competitors that makes supplier markets efficient and increases the potential for the end-user to innovate at the system architecture level.

So in response to the question: Yes, open is possible. Yes, open can be defined. And yes, open matters -- because an environment of freedom is a superior construct.

NFV and SDN are networking's new land. It's a land full of promise, and we must actively assert the freedom of openness within it. Passivity is not a form of advancement; this is the chance to fight entropy, to be bold… and to take control of our destinies.

-- Kelly Herrell, VP and GM of Software Networking, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/1/2014 | 8:57:53 PM
Use
of open - either the source directly or architectures using open stds have some use. Other cases are mostly just marketing.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/1/2014 | 9:22:43 AM
Re: Openness in Practice
Verizon would tell you they're one of the most "open" companies in telecom, and that caused them to spearhead their open development initiative years ago. Yet they're one of the most closed of all the telecom carriers, especially when it comes to their wireless network and competing hardware and services. Words on this front are but wind...
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 8:30:39 PM
Open Standards are a Nice Idea in Theory...
Open Standards are a great idea in theory, but in practice they seem to take a long time to actually come to light due to their very nature of being open.  Maybe it's just for a few projects I heard about last, but I think it's the double-edge of openess.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 6:12:56 PM
Re: Open source? More like open SORES. AMIRITE???
I tend to agree with joe that the term has been abused lately and that open has been overrated. When it comes to real support(in the case of open source), you just cant count on a quick reply.
briandnewby
50%
50%
briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 8:07:48 AM
Re: Open source? More like open SORES. AMIRITE???
Joe, I agree. I think an open architecture, connecting disparate devices, has much more value. I'm in the election industry and open source software has been a buzz phrase for several years. It sounds good, but the security is significantly reduced in the name of more security. It's a great idea on paper, flawed in practice.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 11:23:28 PM
Open source? More like open SORES. AMIRITE???
IMHO, open source is very overrated.  It's certainly great for some things and has its benefits, but it's not nearly as secure as it is often touted to be (TrueCrypt debacle, anyone?).  Not to mention the fact that it's extremely difficult to verify that the version of the open-source software you are using is in fact what it purports to be.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 11:21:44 PM
Re: Openness in Practice
@brooks7: Apple is a terrific example that you provide.

Their whole company operates -- very successfully -- on their tightly closed model.  Here's a fascinating, in-depth look I just read, for instance, at the company's PR machine.  The whole company, in fact, seems to operate in this way -- and that's a big part of the reason why they are one of the most valuable companies in the world today.
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 7:28:51 PM
Openness in Practice
 

To me, the entire point of Openness is completely undermined.

When I want Open, I want the ability to build products to standards that meet the needs of different customer bases.  I want to build them to interoperate with other products in a way that is useful to a customer.  What I see is that the versions of Open that you have defined are those of contribution and not of use.

Let me give you an example:  Would you say a set of Old Fashione Telcorida Standard like say TR-57 or GR-303 were Open?  Yet, in practice products that addressed completely diverse needs were created and executed under that set of closed systems.  

The reason boils down to architecture.  The reason that all these products worked is that they fit into a drop in spot in a network.  The "Job" of that spot in the network was defined and shared amongst a relatively large customer set.  Multiple independent teams developed products to meet the requirements of the "Job".  Customers benefited because entire product categories were plug and play.

In the IT world, there is a bubbling of creation where "standards" become acclaimed by popularity.  That popularity comes from effectiveness as deployed not as designed.  Other products/standards/systems just as Open fade away into oblivion.  You can see that through the number of abandoned Open Source Products.  Nobody would say the LAMP stack is optimal for anything.  However, it has turned out to be useful and has become something of an architecture.  So has VMware.  And AWS.  

The problem in the Telecom world is the customers (aka the carriers) don't dabble.  So its hard to make the dozens of failures so that the one success is created.

My view is simple.  Carriers need to create architecture and use standards.  Tell the vendors that I want "one of these things".  Let the vendors make them.  If they use Open Source or Open Systems to do so, that may create a market advantage in some places.  It may not in others.  What the "Open" thing should do is reduce your development time and cost.  It may or may not improve your Quality or your Functionality over custom development.

But see Open Folks, don't REALLY want to be Open.  What they want is everyone to think the way they think.  They need people to build things the way they define them.  If you don't then you are wrong/bad/evil/closed.  Just another way to gain control.  

So, how about we tell Apple they should be completely Open.  They should do iPhones, iPads, and iPods on top of x86 servers right?  Hunh....they do really well as a completely Closed company.

seven
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 3:59:27 PM
A True "Call to Action "
You lay out a fantastic justification to help transform our world as we know it.   The problem is that the mainstream players are somehow stuck in the past and experience has shown that when they embrace openness, the possiblities become even more limitless.    If only such common sense prevailed.     A recent story in CRN on the trials and tribulations of Cisco is testament to this as it continues to adjust to a software-driven, open world today.  

Onward!!

Wishing you a Fab Labor Day W-End. 

 

 

More Blogs from Column
Spectrum sharing is becoming a bigger issue as the 5G radio specification evolves.
Addressing current and future app demands while laying the foundation for mobile's next big network transition.
Broadcasters can no longer rely on pulling audiences to the TV screen; they need to pursue their audiences on digital, wherever they are.
Why advanced data analytics are the future for streaming video services.
5G could ride the traditional wireless hype cycle, or – quite possibly – break the chain, suggests Nokia's North American CTO.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BT’s Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.