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Carrier Grade Linux, Up a Level - InternetNews.
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Carrier Grade Linux, Up a Level

Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) released the Carrier Grade Linux Requirements Definition, version 3.0 (CGL 3.0) and OSDL Data Center Linux Capabilities version 1.1 (DCL 1.1).

The two sets of requirements aim to further the quality and capability of Linux products for certain enterprise workloads and tasks.

OSDL's Carrier Grade Linux Requirements Definition, version 3.0 (CGL 3.0) is the latest version of the definition that is intended to provide a set of Carrier requirements against which products are measured. Among CGL 3.0's requirements are 99.999 percent availability, serviceability, performance capabilities, and compliance with specifications like LSB and POSIX as well as clustering abilities.

The OSDL boasts that there are already 22 companies that produce products based on the previous Carrier Grade Linux requirements. CGL 3.0 compliant products are expected to be available in 2006.

One of the most significant challenges facing carriers today is the rise of VoIP over their networks, which is something that is addressed indirectly by CGL 3.0.

"The CGL spec itself doesn't implicate VoIP but it provides the infrastructure for quality IP networking and the quality of service the VoIP builds on," OSDL's Bill Weinberg told internetnews.com. "The most significant addition in 3.0 towards that end is handling more capacity as well as an explicit mention of a requirement for clustering, which was absent from earlier versions."

Analyst Stacey Quandt of the Robert Francis Group said she thinks the specification is still missing a crucial element: real-time support.

"Despite the promise of CGL 3.0 for service providers and network equipment manufacturers, the lack of real-time support in the specification will lead to divergent implementations and this has the potential of furthering carrier grade Linux fragmentation," Quandt told internetnews.com.

"Telecommunications service providers may hold back from deploying CGL until they discern viable market opportunities for 3G wireless and the readiness of Intel's Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture."

OSDL also published its Data Center Linux Capabilities version 1.1 (DCL 1.1). The focus of the latest mandate in DCL 1.1 include security, hot-plug, clustering and storage improvements in Linux.

The OSDL's Weinberg explained that the OSDL membership would help to drive the improvements forward. According to statistics quoted by Weinberg, 70 percent of all open source development happens under the auspices of corporate employment or sponsorship. The OSDL's membership represents a substantial number of those that are on those payrolls.

"Our membership constitutes a very large open source development capacity," Weinberg explained. "There are well over 10,000 open source developers employed by our members."

"So while the community in its totally independent way is not likely to accept a mandate, our members are likely to encourage their developers to fill the gaps themselves," he added.

The OSDL claims to be the center of gravity for the Linux industry and according to Weinberg, the latest developments are part of that goal.

"We are helping to filter and focus what can be a cacophony of divergent requirements and really understand what the serious requirements are and present them in a unified fashion."