The Changing Role of Standards
With the realization that software is eating the (networking) world, open source will play a major role in virtually all large-scale applications (and many small ones). Consequently, the technology adoption lifecycle is being revamped to reflect the role of open source in networking.
Traditionally, standards drove new technology adoption for telecommunications and networking, with venerable bodies including the ITU, 3GPP, IETF, IEEE, among others publishing the standards that defined a range of technologies with the intent of achieving multi-vendor interoperability. Such efforts required years from specifications to implementation, and were most suitable for hardware, where the cost of rework remains high, and updates are infrequent.
The familiar waterfall model breaks down for software-centric solutions, especially as the update cycle is converging on continuous, and systems are designed to be tailored into distinct environments. A more iterative lifecycle is needed that blends specification with implementation and accelerates the overall process. While a radical change is necessary, the end goal remains the same: multi-vendor interoperability.
Figure 8 illustrates the traditional technology adoption cycle (in the outer ring in blue) along with the proposed new technology lifecycle (inner ring), which turns the model upside down.
Challenges with Open Source