Light Reading

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
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Beach Petroleum on eLTE & Mining

4|8|15   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


Network systems integrator Jeremy Hamlyn explains how Huawei's secure packet-based trunking communications system, eLTE, can help remote communities and companies in the mining, oil and gas sectors, deploy efficient communications networks that are perfect for video and data as well as voice.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
Can WiFi Calling Find Its Voice?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/13/2015
Senator Proposes New 'Title X' for Net Neutrality
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/13/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.