Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Victoria Livschitz, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

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, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...