Telecoms copying cloud providers make beeline for open source, say analysts


The supersonic growth of Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers in the past few years owes much to open-source communities that fed them cutting-edge tech free-of-charge. Now telecom is mimicking this strategy through involvement with the Linux Foundation, according to Scott Raynovich (@rayno) (pictured, right), guest host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio.

“Telecoms for decades built their proprietary networks,” he said during the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California. They often took several years to bring a design into reality, he added.

Now a seismic shift in this research and development model at telecoms and mobile carriers is underway.

“They’ve looked at cloud, and they want the speed,” he said. “Cloud leaders like Google were very aggressive with open-source, and the telecom players saw how fast they moved by sharing code and having more of a grass-roots approach to building the code base,” he said.

Companies like AT&T Inc. have signaled serious interest in using open source to speed up progress in the network.

Legacies and startups sit at open-source table

AT&T and other telecoms are actively collaborating with the Linux Foundation. This open-source community is providing a home and a set of resources for network innovators, said theCUBE co-host Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) (pictured, left).

“They can now leverage all the smarts and ingenuity and innovation coming out of a sea of startups that they may or may not have ever had a direct relationship with,” said Frick.

AT&T’s recent unveiling of its white box switching system with help from open source is a case in point, said Raynovich. “From the chip coming out of the foundry to developing the box, the software and the service, it took them three to four months,” he stated, adding that the traditional route would have taken years.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Open Networking Summit.

Photo: SiliconANGLE