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Carrier Grade Linux: Adoption and Deployments - page 2

CGL is Real and Building Momentum...

  • July 14, 2005
  • By Ibrahim Haddad

Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) stands at the center of the move to open architectures. About three years ago, representatives from platform vendors, Linux distribution suppliers, and network equipment providers, set out to define how "Carrier Grade Linux" could enable environments with higher availability, serviceability, and scalability requirements. As a result, the OSDL CGL working group was formed.

Since its formation, the working group has produced three versions of a specification to define these required capabilities. In response, Linux distribution suppliers are now demonstrating that they can meet the emerging needs of telecommunications by registering (disclosing publicly) how their Linux-based software platform products address the requirements as defined in the Carrier Grade Linux Requirements Definition.

Today, the CGL working group has grown to include over three dozen representatives from platform vendors, Linux distribution suppliers, network equipment providers, carriers and development community members worldwide. This expanded group has now released the Carrier Grade Linux Requirements Definition version 3.1. For clarity and ease of use, the specification has been split into seven separate topical documents: Availability, Clusters, Serviceability, Performance, Standards, Hardware, and Security.

The initiative started with the vision that communication services will be delivered using open standard carrier grade platforms. A Linux kernel with Carrier Grade characteristics is an essential building block component of such platforms and architectures. The focus with CGL (Figure 5) is to enhance the capabilities of Linux in several key areas such as availability, security and reliability, with the goal of making Linux an attractive alternative to proprietary operating systems for telecom servers.

As for mobile networks, CGL is targeted for all types of servers nodes running at all layers of a next generation network: service, control and connectivity layers:

  • The user application layer contains services for which the end user will be willing to pay.
  • The control layer with MSC servers, support servers, HLR etc. These servers are needed to provide any service to a subscriber.
  • Connectivity layer supports high quality voice & data delivery.

At the time of writing, multiple providers are offering CGL-based server nodes for Service Providers and Carriers to deploy. Most deployments today are concentrated at the control layers and some deployments at the application layer.

As the work progresses on the CGL requirements and CGL has more capabilities and advanced features areas of RAS, security, performance, and real time, we expect the deployment of CGL to expand to the connectivity layer.

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