Lumina Networks is proud to announce its Founding Gold-level membership for the Linux Foundation’s new networking fund. This is a major consolidation of LF’s networking projects into a larger umbrella networking group. While it won’t change the individual projects for OpenDaylight, ONAP, OPNFV, and others, it will definitely raise the stature of networking as one of the Linux Foundation’s primary areas of focus.
As a key contributor and leader of OpenDaylight, I’d like to comment on Lumina Networks’ experience on how open source is playing a role in the generational change we are seeing in networking.
Open Source is Fast
Open source is the quickest way to take ideas from concept to testing. In the past, ideas would be argued within the IETF or ETSI, sometimes for years, before vendors would create a compliant derivative. In the open source world, the whole approach is to write code first to prove concepts and try things that others can build upon. The bottom line: if you build your PoCs and ultimately production systems on open source platforms, you’re going to move quicker.
Open Source Changes the Balance of Power
Second, open source is a mechanism you can use to influence your vendors. If the vendor is supporting a platform, you should insist that platform be based on (or be compliant with) the open source platform. If your vendor creates applications that run on a platform, you can insist that the application run on the open source platform and be portable to different distributions. This clarifies the work needed by the vendor and reduces the need for behemoth RFI/RFP documents to specify platform functions.
Open Source Attracts Innovation
Third and perhaps most important, open source will beckon a new class of innovators and technologists within your organization. Let’s face it, most of the “movers and shakers” in the industry are now involved in open source projects. When an open source community thrives, there’s no better way for the thought leaders in your organization to contribute their ideas at an industry-level and sharpen their skills as technologists.
All of these benefits—faster development cycles, increased influence on the vendor community, and advancing the technology skills of your organization are essential in order to compete in the new software-defined world. Think of open source first; it’s one of the best ways to get to where you are going quickly.