& cplSiteName &

What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?

Craig Matsumoto
5/8/2013
50%
50%

Many people, when they hear "open source," think "oh boy, free software." But making software available under open-source terms sometimes opens up a more powerful possibility: the chance to blow up existing models and rebuild them, piece by piece.

That's what makes Metaswitch Networks' Project Clearwater -- an open-source effort for Internet Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) software, which launches Wednesday -- so promising, says Tom Nolle, principal analyst with CIMI Corp.

As Light Reading reported last week, Clearwater is an attempt to make core IMS software available under open-source licensing, the wrinkle being that this version of IMS will be tailored toward cloud-hosted services. (See IMS Gets Some Open-Source Love.)

Metaswitch is providing the initial code, which is available at projectclearwater.org, and naturally, the vendor is inviting the rest of the industry to get involved. Metaswitch's release does not mention what kind of open-source licensing Project Clearwater will use.

Part of Metaswitch's bet is that the cloud is different enough to warrant building a better IMS from scratch.

In his press-release statements Wednesday, Metaswitch CTO Martin Taylor refers to the chance to "accelerate the promise of the new software telco," breaking free from the "expensive and exceedingly vendor-centric" IMS approaches on the market.

This approach also happens to give Metaswitch an angle against bigger IMS competitors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson AB.

To Nolle, the bigger possibility coming out of Clearwater, and really out of virtualization (the dissolving of hardware-based functions into software components) in general is to redefine certain network functions, "to rework those workflows," he says.

That seems reasonable when adapting networking functions to the cloud, where the basic concept of location -- where is my application running? -- stops being fixed or even predictable.

Nolle sees other avenues where open-source IMS code could be useful, too. The nature of "4G" wireless networking seems likely to change over time, and IMS will have to change accordingly. "It's easier to do that if we've got a componentized IMS that we can diddle with," Nolle says.

His point is that it's good to see a fresh approach germinating. "I think the operators believe a lot of the componentization being done today is just taking devices and mapping them one-to-one to virtual devices," Nolle says.

The idea has been kicked around before; Nolle says he's heard Alcatel-Lucent discuss plans for virtualizing IMS, for instance.

But Nolle likes Project Clearwater because it's not based on existing products. It's starting from the ground up, as if IMS never happened in hardware and can now be crafted for the "best of all possible scenarios."

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Telco
50%
50%
Telco,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/9/2013 | 2:16:51 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
There are three areas to reconcile for the developers in addition to Phil's point of GNU 1) BlackDuck for Code Licensing violations 2) Linux Foundation CGL for submission and support 3) SCOPE/QUEST for new drivers into carrier support -- Of course BrookSeven has also pointed out that the whole existing customer base has an issue with this required divergence to expand scope of MetaSwitch into UCC/OTT channels of advanced telecommunication service providers currently led by Cellular deployment of IMS while legacy wireline and cable are going with SOA.
philharvey
50%
50%
philharvey,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/8/2013 | 5:02:49 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
On the licensing issue, Project Clearwater is offered under the latest version of the GNU General Public License (GPL) -- http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gp...
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/8/2013 | 3:34:00 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
Well, one would have to see how this impacts the RUS firms and their monetization of the networks. LOTS of rules and regulations about switch miles and such.

seven
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/8/2013 | 3:16:33 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
The Alianza solution is optimized for tier 2/3 service providers - telco, mobile, cable, WISP, satellite. The uses cases include: greenfield deployment (non-voice provider), initial VoIP migration, and VoIP 1.0 replacement (due to EoL gear, business case, eroding margins, etc.)
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/8/2013 | 2:03:09 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
I think I like parts of that argument. Is there a "sweet-spot" as to the the type and size of carrier, and type of use-case or end-users, where this makes sense?

Doesn't Broadsoft already do this for smaller and medium enterprise?
Kevin Mitchell
50%
50%
Kevin Mitchell,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/8/2013 | 1:23:27 PM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
Indeed Gabriel. That is where complete outsourcing to a cloud-based voice platform has merit. Don't build a voice network -- in your data center or that of Amazon's -- use one that is built and pay by the seat.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/8/2013 | 11:45:11 AM
re: What's So Great About Open-Source IMS?
A reasonable argument. But who can afford the legions of software architects and developers you need? Not carriers, in the main
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


Light Reading talked to George McGregor of Citrix about the NetScaler Mobile Gateway - an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.