Light Reading
Distinguished panel of NFV experts tackle a tricky issue - has the telecom view of open source changed such that it's the new standard?

Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?

Carol Wilson
6/17/2014
50%
50%

CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event 2014 -- Open source may be becoming the next mode of standardization in the virtualization realm, a thought reinforced by the move of the ETSI NFV Industry Specifications Group to establish an open source project under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

In a pre-event Open Networking Foundation workshop here ahead of BTE, a high-powered panel discussed the evolving role of standards, focusing heavily on the increasing efforts to develop open source solutions that can form at least the core piece of early deployments and potentially enable the kind of interoperability that in the past has required well-defined standards.

Marc Cohn, senior director of market development at Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and chair of the ONF market education committee, kicked off the discussion and highlighted the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Network Functions Virtualization ISG's decision to start its own open source project, called Open Platform for NFV, or OPN, with the Linux Foundation , which already runs OpenDaylight .

The idea, Cohn said after the panel, is to develop a framework for an open NFV platform in a similar way that OpenDaylight has created an open source approach to an SDN controller. Participation in the OPN requires a financial buy-in for both network operators and industry hardware and software vendors, and if it follows the Open Daylight model, would also require the contribution of code.

OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques was part of the ONF panel on standards and noted that open source is one way of addressing complex problems that are harder to address in standards.

"What you need is a common code base," he said. "We dovetail very well with standards efforts -- the fact is open source solutions are becoming de facto standards."

There is still a great deal of confusion in the telecom space about the role of open standards, noted Prodip Sen, who chaired the ETSI NFV ISG while at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) but has now joined Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) as CTO of its NFV efforts.

"The intent is not that we replace all the systems the carriers are using with open source -- carriers want supported products and when something goes wrong, they want to be able to call someone," he said. "The way we look at open source is that it is a way to create a sub-strata of interoperability, and a way we get to interoperability and standardization without waiting for a long drawn-out standards process."

As Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Caroline Chappell noted, however, the real gating factor for NFV remains operations. She noted that at the recent TM Forum event in Nice, major European players such as Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) were talking about four to six years of operational development before NFV could be properly implemented.

Both Sen and Don Clarke, formerly of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and now principal architect for network technologies at CableLabs , agreed that operations challenges loom large for operators.

One of the challenges to using open source approaches in that realm is that every operator has slightly different issues to address and somewhat different starting points and goals, Sen noted.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/19/2014 | 10:07:36 PM
Re: NFV Meets Open Source
They won't become your IT dept but they'll probably farm out their services to you if you want. Or even better, subcontract out the services to you for a huge price.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/18/2014 | 5:15:30 PM
Re: NFV Meets Open Source
Carol,

Is it me, or does every effort look like flailing around?

Telecom Executive:  "Hey everybody seems to be able to move faster than us.  We ought to try the way that (enter some idea) works for this other market."

Other Party (Systems Vendor, Middle Management, Consultant):  "Great idea, we will get right on that!"

Some Poor Slob (i.e. One of the Engineers who have to make this stuff):  "So wait a minute they want absolute control over a set of products that are built for free out of infrastructure built by someone else."

Second Poor Slob:  "Yeah, they want to change how products are built but are not going to adopt the other things that happen in the environment that all this stuff comes from.  That is an awesome idea (HEAVY SARCASM)."

Some Poor Slob: "Yeah, I think I will start writing apps.   Lots of VC funding there and when it breaks I can do another one."

Second Poor Slob:  "Already have my resume on Monster."

Look...all this stuff is great.  But it is only going to work if the Carriers become giant IT departments.  Let's peg a date on that....

seven

 
clarkede
50%
50%
clarkede,
User Rank: Lightning
6/18/2014 | 3:08:49 PM
Re: NFV Meets Open Source
Carol, this is a great article thanks for covering this important topic. Just to be clear the ETSI NFV ISG as a body is NOT involved in the formation of any external entities around open source. The open source initiatives that are getting underway are being progressed separately from the ETSI NFV ISG and do not claim any endorsement by the ETSI NFV ISG.

I just wanted to make this point clear to inform any follow-up articles that LR asnd HR might publish on the topic. Best regards - Don Clarke (NFV ISG NOC Chair).
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/18/2014 | 1:39:40 AM
New playing field
Insightful stmt by the ex-VZ guy. This can lead to a new playing field.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/17/2014 | 2:14:35 PM
No surprise
Open source is a no-brainer given that focus in networking is now not on boxes but on software. Glad to see them move in this direction because it makes sense from both cost and development perspectives. Are that issue regarding open source? Yes....but they will be worked out in time. Even the wildly popular Ethernet LAN technology took time before it was adapted for the WAN.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/17/2014 | 7:46:47 AM
NFV Meets Open Source
This is an interesting development - the ETSI NFV ISG decision to create an open source group with the Linux Foundation. That tells me these folks see development of an open source approach to NFV is a high priority. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed