& 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. 

 

 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
Edge computing is a compelling option for telcos looking to balance tightening finances with increasing demands for bandwidth and processing speed. 
The conclusions of a new survey, commissioned by OpenCloud and conducted by Heavy Reading, suggests that the move towards converged service layers is now well underway.
WiFi is offering a challenge to the network-centric cellular status quo and that's something that mobile network operator CEOs recognize, believes Devicescape CEO Dave Fraser.
NFV can bring operational headaches as well as operational gains, argues Andy Huckridge.
5G is about so much more than just very high bandwidth and low latency – and SDN is going to play a key role in enabling 5G full potential, argues ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
The Real-World View of Service Provider Innovation
Executives from Deutsch Telekom, Facebook, AT&T, Vodafone, and Masergy share insights from their company’s major transformation efforts and updates on key issues including open source, managed cloud connections and 5G.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
European 2020 Digital Agenda

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Anacom's Fatima Barros discusses the plan to bring ultrafast broadband to Portugal by 2020.
Upcoming Live Events
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
Eurobites: Be More European, EU Tells Streaming Services
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/20/2016
Google Doubles Down on Machine Learning, AI
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/19/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.