Open is as Open does
Einstein never really said the pop-culture expression “everything is relative”. Although, he did say that: “There is no absolute space-time coordinate system, so there are no absolute positions in time and space. All times and positions are relative.”
Space-time continuums aside, the whole market perception of what is ‘open’ from a telco and cloud computing standpoint has always been ‘relative’ and so-to-speak ‘open’ to debate. The last few years has shown us the different vendor approaches to deliver anti-‘Locked-in’ solutions for the development of network functions virtualization (NFV).
But were they really open? Why then has the service provider market bemoaned the slow progress behind NFV (and by some extent, SDN)?
At the NFV foundation has always been OpenStack. And yet, this open source, community-built cloud management software tool has in many cases been tweaked, forked and superimposed with additional layers to ensure it could meet the various operator requirements. But the result is it became closed off.
It also led to another problem – how do you maintain OpenStack updates to an older version that has been altered? It’s tricky and non-productive. So while the intent to be open was good, it wasn’t good enough.
Instead, the commitment to go one (huge) step further needs to be made by the various hardware vendors, especially from the COTS whitebox crowd. It requires supplying fully validated and production-ready OpenStack solutions that are part of a continuous integration life cycle of OpenStack. Service providers, particularly those with fewer in-house resources, could then take full advantage of all the heavy lifting done by the vendor and accelerate their deployments of virtualized services. It eliminates one complex bottleneck.
The entire process of evaluating, buying and deploying OpenStack environments demands simplification. The outcome will be a new willingness to transition services from legacy physical networks to virtual-built ones, and rolled-out at a time-capex schedule that makes the most sense to the provider.
This is what Kontron has committed to with today’s release of its SYMKLOUD OpenStack Platform. Via its partnership with Canonical, Kontron has pre-validated and pre-configured Ubuntu OpenStack solutions with options for 6WIND Virtual Accelerator DPDK (data plane development kit) Juju Charm.
As a start, this fulfills many market expectations of what an integrated OpenStack platform should be — deployable in hours not days, priced at a reasonable entry point, and upgradeable with new OpenStack releases to reap the continual advancements made by its global community of code contributors.
For CSPs this will form a solid foundation for how they will define their SDN/NFV plans and take advantage of a newfound openness towards using whatever VNF-based services that exist on the market.
Any communication service providers, cloud providers and enterprises building private clouds can read more here — and if in Barcelona Feb 27 to March 2 — can meet with Kontron during Mobile World Congress at Stand 5H41, Hall 5. Our SYMcafé will be ‘Open’. Barista-crafted caffeine concoctions are always on us. See you there.