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Is Open Source Becoming the De Facto Standard in the Data Center?

open source data centerIs open source positioned to become the next mode of standardization in the virtualization world?

It appears that might very well be the case following the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group’s decision to move forward with an open source project designed to meet that end. The group hopes that open source solutions can be leveraged to provide businesses with the interoperability in their data centers that previously resulted from standardization.

The group’s project—Open Platform for NFV—would fall under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. As OpenDaylight, a similar open source project, took an open source approach to the SDN controller, Open Platform for NFV, like its name suggests, aims to develop an open source platform for NFV.

During a panel discussion about the changing role of standards at the Big Telecom Event, Neela Jacques, executive director of OpenDaylight, said that open source is simply a more efficient way of solving complex problems, and because of that, programmers are increasing turning toward the technology.

“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.”

Open source solutions aren’t out to put all proprietary companies out of business, according to Prodip Sen, CTO at Hewlett-Packard. At the end of the day, businesses still want to be able to call someone when there’s a problem with their hardware or software. 

“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,” Sen explained.

Still, it appears we are a few years from NFV becoming pervasive in the data center. That’s because operations need to catch up, as every organization and employee has different needs and skills sets. But thanks to open source, that education might be finished sooner than later.

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More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.