Now that open-source networking and orchestration is gaining momentum, the collective knowledge base is rapidly growing. Building on the success of each project, best practices for open-source networking are beginning to emerge. Figure 10 illustrates the Big Picture perspective on open source success- It’s all in the ‘C’s’:
- Common Cause—Convergence around a common problem statement with a committed set of companies
- Collective Contributions—Code is critical, especially from a diverse set of contributors willing to share seed code, enhance, and support it
- Collaborative Culture—Creating and maintaining a high-degree of comraderie and cooperation, especially among competitors, remains critical to success
- Community—Cultivating a sustainable community is essential towards attaining critical mass and the ultimate goal of a viable ecosystem
Attaining these lofty goals requires a value system focused on the project vs. individual organizations, true openness avoiding domination by a single organization, diversity across up and down the value chain, global participation, and perhaps most importantly trust.
Best Practices for Open-source networking Development
- Involve network operators (applies to both telcos and enterprises) upfront—the sooner the operators can engage, the better, as they can contribute use cases, share priorities, refine requirements, etc. Strong operator participation will also attract significant vendor participation.
- Narrow the project scope—Exercise discipline to avoid features, functionality, and project proposals that deviate from the project mission. Establishment of an architecture committee, with a charter to consider how each proposal fits with the code base is one prudent step successful projects have taken.
- Encourage contributors and not observers—While recruiting large numbers of members can benefit the project, emphasis should be placed on proactively involving organizations who intend to contribute code and development resources.
- Strive for (open source) diversity—An effective means to validate the need for new functionality, and avoid being dominated by a single organization, require all new project proposals include support from 3-5 organizations (minimum) prior to granting approval. In the open source community, this is referred to as open source diversity, not to be confused with cultural, geographic, gender, experience- based diversity, which is obviously also highly desirable.
- Open up the development community to all—To maximize participation, implement governance that allows all individuals to participate without restriction, including the requirement to execute a membership or participation agreement. Contributor License Agreements (CLAs), however, are required to protect contributors and adopters alike.
Best Practices for Open source networking Adoption