& cplSiteName &

Is Open Source the New De Facto Standard?

Carol Wilson

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 HP Inc. (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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/18/2014 | 5:15:30 PM
Re: NFV Meets Open Source

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....


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).
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
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
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. 
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.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
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.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
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.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.