Re: [Nsaas] OpenSource v.s. IETF standards

Linda Dunbar <> Thu, 11 September 2014 22:49 UTC

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From: Linda Dunbar <>
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Thread-Topic: OpenSource v.s. IETF standards
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Subject: Re: [Nsaas] OpenSource v.s. IETF standards
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Recently there have been  a lot of discussion centered around OpenSource vs. IETF and IETF's role in the industry OpenSouce momentum.
This writing has really good suggestion. Looking for feedback.


From: Nsaas [] On Behalf Of DIEGO LOPEZ GARCIA
Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:13 PM
Subject: [Nsaas] OpenStack, open source and NSaaS


Linda pointed to me to some of the participants at the Toronto gathering mentioning that OpenStack was addressing related problems, and so asking what the role of the IETF would be here. I know this is a recurring discussion, but let me share my view on this here.

The standardization processes in the industry are very much influenced by the nature of the items being standardized: complex pieces of machinery combining software and hardware, suitable to be provided by any party. A delicate and well balanced process is required to guarantee both producers and users of these pieces are sure the specifications and the products based on them are suited to their purpose, and to guarantee prototyping and testing efforts are efficient. On the other hand, the IT industry has embraced in the latest years the model of open-source where a community of developers contribute and integrate pieces of software under terms that allow everybody to (re-)use them without restriction. The process of building elements based on these open pieces is guided by practical testing and re-coding, adapting them to the particular purpose their authors see fit. Certainly, there is a need of coordination within the teams working in open-source, but this can be driven by much faster and practical guidelines, according with short code-build-test cycles of software prototypes and less strict agreement rules. Many initial prototypes on which to-be-standardized concepts are based owe in fact a lot to several of these open-source initiatives.

Open-source initiatives are not to be considered as an alternative to formal standardization processes. On the contrary, they are complementary, with the former acting as an enabler and accelerator of the latter. Open-source provides an ideal mechanism to quick prototyping and validating contending proposals, and demonstrating the feasibility of disruptive ideas that could otherwise not be considered. In this respect, open-source facilitates the engagement in the standardization process of small (and typically more dynamic) players such as start-ups and research groups, that would see better opportunities of being heard and a clearer rewards to their efforts. An open-source approach is extremely useful as well for the production of open reference implementations of the standards at the same (or even faster) pace they are defined. The availability of such reference implementations translate into much simpler interoperability and conformance assessments for both providers and users, and can become the basis for incremental differentiation of a common solution, thus allowing a cooperative competition ("coopetition") model.

Be goode,

"Esta vez no fallaremos, Doctor Infierno"

Dr Diego R. Lopez
Telefonica I+D

Tel:    +34 913 129 041
Mobile: +34 682 051 091


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