In Milton’s Lost Paradise there is a choir of demons, called Pandemonium, in which each sings a different melody. Those who listened closely could only hear a horrible noise. However, backing away long enough to hear all demons simultaneously, a song – composed from the several distinct melodies – could be heard.
Similarly in the networking market. Standards cannot be inflexible and constrain innovation. Therefore, it is highly beneficial that each vendor can sing a distinct melody. However, in order to accomplish a single solution based on multiple vendors, it is essential that a single song can be heard.
This song is made possible by standardization. For a long while the network market has been producing music based on engineering standards such as IEEE, ITU-F and IETF. However, these network specialists have always focused on components with localized autonomy and information exchange protocols. These standards have had their historical moment but nowadays they are quickly losing significance against large Open Source Frameworks.
Open Source initiatives have taken over the role once played by standard-setting associations (such as IEEE). Their focus is quite different. Now there is a centralized control layer, aware of the whole infrastructure, hosting all the control processes. In turn, infrastructure components while being subject to the control layer, are now smart enough to execute commands from the centralized control layer. Information exchange is via APIs, no longer based on exchange protocols. The outside world now only interacts with the control layer and through its API.
OpenStack has been hailed as the most successful framework with the highest rate of adoption. As such it works both as an orchestration for smaller frameworks and as a base for others. For example, Open Daylight has a plugin for Neutron, enabling it as OpenStack network component. On the other hand, OPNFV, which aims to be a platform for network functions in Telcos, uses OpenStack as baseline.
Gustavo Mitt - Vice President of Innovation