& 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
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.
To ensure the best possible customer experience, service providers must find ways to make more performance metrics available to users.
How cable operators can prepare to grasp the mobility opportunity.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    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.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    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.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    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
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    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

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.