Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Karyn Jeffery, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Four Attributes of Openness in Modern Communications

By

Openness is one of the most-cited advantages of cloud-based applications, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).  In this context, what does open really mean?  I posit that there are four key attributes that define openness in this context: documented, standardized, open sourced and inclusive. Any claims of openness by suppliers should be evaluated against these criteria if for no other reason than to clarify their position.

A Beginning of Openness – Documented and Supported

The most narrow and basic criteria for openness is that the interfaces to a software application are well-documented and accessible by someone other than the author or publisher.  For example, a proprietary application like an email program might have application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow another application to send an email.  This aspect of openness usually comes as a result of the popularity of a proprietary software program leading to a desire to interact with it programmatically. A good example of this type of openness is the Microsoft Outlook Messaging API (MAPI).  This API is documented on the Microsoft web site, including a getting started guide, a concepts document, sample programs, and programming reference.  Many software suppliers provide this kind of open API as a means to drive the adoption of their software. However, the API is subject to change by the supplier, and users of such APIs are then stuck with ongoing maintenance challenges that may affect compatibility.

Moving Forward – Standardized Openness

The desire for stable multi-vendor interoperability often leads a consortium or a standards body defining a standardized interface or protocol.  This effort may take years, but if successful, drastically increases the likelihood of smooth interoperability among different implementations of the interface.  Such interoperability can also lead to an ecosystem of compatible and complementary programs. An example of a standardized protocol is the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).  SMTP was originally defined by the IETF in RFC 821 as a standard for e-mail transmission across Internet Protocol (IP) networks.  SMTP has been adopted not only by standardized email programs, but also by proprietary email programs such as Microsoft Outlook. Because it is standardized by the IETF, changes to SMTP take place in a controlled and technically sound manner.

A Milestone – Open Source

Driven by market need, industry momentum or the success of a standardized protocol or interface, a group of developers may choose to create an open source implementation of a design in order to multiply the efforts.  Such an implementation has the advantages of being free (usually) and suitable for augmentation and/or incorporation into larger projects.  Software developers will also cite an added benefit of open source – an improved ability to understand the operation and interfaces of a piece of software, as well as the possibility of looking inside the software to analyze and fix issues. There are numerous examples of open source software, but the most important is Linux and its family of drivers, utilities and applications.  The popularity of Linux has driven a virtuous cycle of innovation followed by increased usage, which continues to drive the innovation cycle.

OpennessThe End Goal – All of the Above, and Adoption by an Inclusive Ecosystem

The proof of success for any open system is its adoption and use by an ecosystem of suppliers that seeks to include, rather than to isolate or exclude participants.  Again, Linux is a prime example. Thousands of products, components and applications have been developed around the Linux operating system. Its success has been a key enabler of cloud-based computing, which itself has led to other developments such as OpenStack and OpenFlow. One might argue that Linux is open but not standardized.  However, its popularity and open source nature have led to de facto standardization under the auspices of linux.org.  For most people, the most important factor in standardization is the adoption and control by a neutral organization rather than the pedigree of the organization. What does all of this mean for a classic communications equipment supplier such as Overture?  This is a very timely question for us we roll out our Ensemble Open Service Architecture, which features a set of a software components designed to optimize service creation, activation, and assurance.  Our customers are demanding open, standard and interoperable solutions.  The challenge for us is to support that demand, and to work with an inclusive ecosystem of partners and industry forums to do so.  Of course, that is exactly what we are doing.

Join The Conversation

See what others are saying about this topic on LinkedIn.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@CloudExpo Stories
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...