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Free Software in Telecom

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  • ONS 2019: the balance is shifting from telco thinking to open source
  • New group pushes open disaggregation to chip level, with 5G in its sights
  • The ONF and P4.Org Complete Combination to Accelerate Innovation in Operator-Led Open Source
  • Opening Up for 5G and Beyond: Open Source and White Box Will Support New Data Demands

    As much as some people might think it’s just a question of bolting some new radios to towers and calling it a day, the truth is that 5G requires an entirely new approach to designing and building networks.

  • Why the mobile edge needs open source to overcome its pitfalls (Reader Forum)

    Edge computing dominated MWC 2019 along with 5G and all the robots at the show. In fact, according to some analysts, edge computing could be worth almost $7 billion within the next three years. Much of the new architecture’s advantages stem from the capacity offered by 5G to deploy scalable, typically cloud-based, compute platforms at the edge of the network. However, a growing number of operators are coming across a challenge when they look to scale services to the edge – portability is a headache.

  • Q&A: T-Systems' Clauberg says industry needs more collaboration

    t last week's Open Networking Summit in San Jose, California, Axel Clauberg spoke about the need for collaboration between the open source groups and SDOs ahead of a Friday morning panel that was comprised of many of the leaders of those organizations.

    At this start of this year, Clauberg slid over from his role as Deutsche Telekom's vice president, aggregation, transport, IP (TI-ATI) and infrastructure cloud architecture, to Deutsche Telekom's enterprise division, T-Systems. At T-Systems, Clauberg holds the title of vice president, strategic portfolio management and CTO of telecommunications services.

    Clauberg serves as the chairman of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and he also worked at Cisco for 13 years. All in all, Clauberg has seen the industry from various points of view over the years, which validates his call for more industry collaboration.

  • 10 operators, including AT&T and Verizon, align around creating task force for NFVi

    There are numerous attempts afoot to wrestle NFV into a more manageable and workable approach to virtualization.

    Last week at the Open Networking Summit, some of the carrier members of a new effort around simplifying network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) presented their approach on a panel.

    The group, which is called Common NFVi Telco Task Force, is comprised of AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Jio, Orange, SK Telecom, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone.

    Currently, there are too many types of NFVi floating around, which means virtual network functions (VNFs) vendors need to create multiple versions of their VNFs to work with the different flavors of NFVi. The Common NFVi Telco Task Force is taking aim at reducing the number of NFVi implementations down to three or four versions, according to AT&T's Amy Wheelus, vice president of network cloud.

  • Ericsson and AT&T give network slicing an open source boost

    The Linux Foundation’s annual Open Networking Summit (ONS) has become of rising interest to the mobile and telco community as the open source organization has become increasingly focused on telecoms networks. There will be coverage of the highlights in next week’s edition of Wireless Watch, but one development caught our eye even before the event started on Wednesday. This was a demonstration of network slicing, harnessing the capabilities of the open source ONAP (Open Network Automation Protocol) software, which handles the management and orchestration (MANO) of all the components in a virtualized network.

  • Telcos need to take ownership of open source or risk losing a golden opportunity

    Of the 14 keynote sessions at last week’s Open Networking Summit (ONS) North America in San Jose, only two featured communications service providers. AT&T CTO Andre Fuetsch spoke about open source’s role in 5G, and China Mobile Chief Scientist Junlan Feng spoke about open source for network-based AI. This is no means a criticism of organisers The Linux Foundation and its LF Networking group, but it is a reflection of how the broader telco community has yet to fully accept the strategic importance of open source. Yes, many CSPs are involved in various open source projects, and some are heavily invested and supportive, but as yet there has been a reluctance to step up and take more control over the direction and scope of these projects. Whether it is fear or ignorance that is holding them back, CSPs must do more. After all, the majority of these projects are specifically aimed at, or relevant for, telecoms networks – ONAP, OPNFV, Akraino, Open Daylight, etc – with many others about to become essential, such as Kubernetes and the work of the CNCF. And there are many other open source foundations and groups focused on telecoms to consider.

  • Telco white-box switches receive a boost as ONF takes on P4

    AT&T, which has been leading the use of white box switch and routers and seeding much of the source code to the open source community, developed its own home-rolled dNOS network operating system, which has now become the DANOS project within The Linux Foundation. But there is a second option available, which has been developed by the P4.org group. The eponymously named P4 programming language describes how switches, routers and NICs process packets across white box hardware.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME Devs Mull Making Dedicated System Info Tool

Would you find the GNOME desktop more useful if it could tell you more about the system you’re running? If so, you may be interested to hear about a new app mooted by GNOME design team member Allan Day. Day proposes the creation of a new hardware diagnostics tool that would, in his words: “show technical details about the system and the available hardware. It would also include information about the firmware for your hardware, and allow blacklisting certain firmware versions.” Now, call me wrong — I usually am — but doesn’t that sounds like it would be mightily useful? Read more

Android Leftovers

OSS: Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW), Molly de Blanc on 'Breaking Up', Apache Software Foundation News and Beancount Examined

  • Business models and open source
    One of the more lively sessions that was held at the 2019 Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW) was Heather Meeker's talk on open-source business models and alternative licensing. As a lawyer in private practice, Meeker worked on a number of the alternative licenses that were drafted and presented over the last year or so. But she is also part of a venture capital (VC) firm that is exclusively investing in companies focused on open source, so she has experience in thinking about what kinds of models actually work for those types of businesses. The LLW is organized annually by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). It is meant as a gathering for lawyers, engineers, and others interested in licensing topics. By default, sessions are run under the Chatham House Rule, which means that participants cannot be identified, either by name or affiliation. Meeker waived that rule for her talk, though those from the audience who made comments may or may not have waived the rule. Meeker acknowledged that her topic was controversial, but that she would be "your Beatrice [from the Divine Comedy] to the miasma of venture-backed open-source companies". Her slides were entitled "What color are your razor blades? FOSS business models". The title is referencing the famous What Color is Your Parachute? book for job seekers. The idea is to imagine an idea with specificity, so open-source companies need to imagine what they are selling (their "razor blades") with specificity in order to be successful. Otherwise, she said, they end up with the business model of the Underpants Gnomes ("1. Collect underpants, 2. ?, 3. Profit"). For a long time, there was a tendency for open-source entrepreneurs to equate "lots of downloads" with profit, which is more or less the same thing. That is not really going to happen unless a lot of thought is put into how the business will actually function.
  • Molly de Blanc: breaking up
    FLOSS is about choice (among other things). One of the things we get from developer freedom is the ability to specialize or have specialized technology — the development of features and tools, the fixing of bugs and anti-features.
  • Apache Software Foundation Advances Enterprise App Development With Top Level Projects
    The open source Netbeans Java Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) and SkyWalking application performance monitoring (APM) project efforts move forward. Open source is often at the core of modern enterprise applications and few if any organizations have as much impact as the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The Apache Software Foundation runs its open source projects on a hierarchy of principally three levels, top-level projects (TLPs), sub-projects and incubated projects. Achieving the TLP status is a major milestone for an open source effort. Among the projects that have recently achieved TLP status is the Apache Netbeans Java Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) and the Apache Skywalking application performance monitoring (APM) efforts.
  • Counting corporate beans
    Some things simply take time. When your editor restarted the search for a free accounting system, he had truly hoped to be done by now. But life gets busy, and accounting systems are remarkably prone to falling off the list of things one wants to deal with in any given day. On the other hand, accounting can return to that list quickly whenever LWN's proprietary accounting software does something particularly obnoxious. This turns out to be one of those times, so your editor set out to determine whether beancount could do the job. Beancount was already covered here almost exactly one year ago, but that review was focused on personal finances; company accounting has a different set of requirements. That article is worth reviewing, though, as the material covered there will (mostly) not be repeated here. Here, instead, the emphasis will be on what a simple business needs. At the top of the list is the ability to import data into the system and to get it back out again. An ongoing business has a long accounting history that needs to be present going forward. Beancount keeps all of its data in a plain-text file with a well-documented format, so both import and export are relatively easy. Building on the the tools written to extract data from QuickBooks, your editor was able to write a script to import the accounting database into beancount over the course of an hour or two.

Security: Updates, Windows Issues, GNOME Security Internship and Slackware Security Updates

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Microsoft blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on PCs that use USB storage or SD cards
  • Windows Malware ‘Aggah’ Infects Your PCs Through Microsoft Word Docs
    The latest in a series of online attacks is ‘Aggah’, a global malware campaign with roots in the Middle East. The Windows Malware comprises a commodity Trojan script being spread via an infected Microsoft Word Document. The perpetrators are tricking users into downloading and activating the malicious code using RevengeRAT. Since RevengeRat is comprised of several open source Trojan builds, it is very difficult to pinpoint the actual spammer. The people involved in this are using the alias name ‘haggah’ to carry out their operation.
  • Ludovico de Nittis: After GNOME Security Internship - Update 7
    I received a few code reviews in the GNOME Settings Daemon MR that I’ll try to address in the next days. Also I’m going to widen the requirements for allowing keyboards when the screen is locked. Right now if the lock screen is active we authorize a keyboard only if it is the only available keyboard in the system. It was a good idea in theory but not that much in practice. For example let’s assume that you use an hardware USB switch hub between your desktop and your laptop with a mouse and a keyboard attached. If you have a “gaming” mouse with extra keys it is not only a mouse but also a keyboard. That means that when you want to switch from your laptop the the desktop, the mouse and the keyboard will be connected nearly simultaneously and if the mouse goes first the real keyboard will not the authorized. So you’ll be locked out from your system. The gaming mouse is also only an example. If you have a yubikey shared in this USB hub there will be the same problem explained above. For this reason in the next days I’ll edit the current implementation so that every USB keyboards will be authorized even if the lock screen is active. However we will still show a notification to explain that we authorized a new keyboard while the screen was locked.
  • MATE 1.22.1 Brings Sharper Icons and Security Updates
    It's been a month since the final release of MATE 1.22.0 and the developers has pushed a new update MATE 1.22.1 which fixed some issues, including security fixes in the code that still uses unsafe functions such as strcat or strcpy. The new mate-icon-theme is also featuring a sharper icons for some MATE components as can be seen in the git log. The icons are now built using latest inkscape version so you will notice some differences once you upgrade your MATE components and logout from your X and login again or reboot your machine. For this new update, i had to patch the upstream source a bit to remove a dependency of inkscape in order to build mate-utils. It was introduced in this commit, but i revert some of the changes in the latest commit here. It won't have any effect at all for users as inkscape is only used as a build dependency, not as runtime dependency.