March 26, 2017

Carrier Grade Linux: Linux in Telecom - page 4

Linux and the Telecommunication Industry--Overview

  • June 23, 2005
  • By Ibrahim Haddad

The CGL requirement definition document version 3.1 consists of seven chapters each covering one area of the requirements. Below, a quick overview of the CGL specifications area is provided:

  • Availability: The CGL Availability Requirements Definition is a collection of requirements that addresses the robustness of a single computing node. Availability is further enhanced by clustering individual computing nodes so that a node cannot represent a single point of failure.
  • Clustering: These requirements support the use of multiple carrier server systems to provide higher levels of service availability through redundant resources and recovery capabilities, and to provide a horizontally scaled environment supporting increased throughput.
  • Serviceability: The CGL Serviceability Requirements Definition specifies a set of useful and necessary features for servicing and maintaining a system. The serviceability requirements support servicing and managing hardware and software on carrier server systems. These are wide-ranging set requirements that, when combined, help support the availability of applications and the operating system.
  • Performance: The CGL Performance Requirements Definition is a collection of requirements for the Linux operating system that describes the performance and scalability requirements of typical communications systems. Key requirements include a system's ability to meet service deadlines, to scale to take advantage of Symmetrical Multi-Processing (SMP), hyper-threading technology, and large memory systems, and to provide efficient, low latency communication.
  • Standards: One goal of the CGL effort to achieve high Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS), and application portability is to leverage mature and well-established industry standards that are common and relevant to the carrier-grade environment and include them as part of the CGL requirements. Open standards are important because they are freely available for any organization to use and because open standards can evolve with wide community feedback and validation. The CGL WG is actively working with recognized standard bodies, such as the Linux Standard Base (LSB--a workgroup of the Free Standards Group) and the Service Availability Forum (SA Forum). These organizations are producing standards and specifications that address the RAS and application portability gaps between Linux as it exists today and where it needs to be to support highly available communications applications.
  • Hardware: The CGL Hardware Requirements Definition specifies a set of generic requirements that are common across platform types. It includes support for blade servers, for hardware management interfaces and for blade hot swap events. To address the need to manage highly available carrier grade systems through hardware out-of-band mechanisms, management capabilities such as those found in the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) are also described.
  • Security: The security requirements are aimed at maintaining a certain level of security while not endangering the goals of high availability, performance, and scalability. The requirements support the use of additional security mechanisms to protect the systems against attacks from both the Internet and intranet, and provide special mechanisms at kernel level to be used by telecom applications.

As for beyond 3.1, the priorities of the CGL working group as identified based on the market input and the feedback received from participating companies in the CGL initiative are: Real-time capabilities, testing CGL workloads and device driver hardening and availability.

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