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MontaVista joins telecom standards group

Oct 8, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

[Updated Oct. 11] — An embedded Linux vendor that helped pioneer Carrier Grade Linux has joined a group of network equipment providers (NEP). MontaVista claims its six years of experience integrating highly reliable Linux OSes will help the Scope Alliance promote the interoperability of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware and software for infrastructure equipment.

MontaVista arguably helped pioneer the use of Linux in telecommunications infrastructure equipment. Its third-generation carrier-grade OS was the first to comply with the Carrier Grade Linux specification created by the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs), for example.

Subsequent to the merger of the OSDL with the FSF to create the LF (Linux Foundation), the role of the CGL standard at the LF has seemed less prominent. That's because “part of the merger included drastic reductions in our marketing budgets,” said John Cherry, LF spokesperson.

Cherry added that the registerability of the Carrier Grade Linux 4.0 spec was announced only on his blog, and an internal mailing list.

Despite it's lower profile, CGL remains relevant, Cherry insisted. He said, “All of the main telco distos are preparing to announce their registrations [with CGL 4.0], but it takes some time to get through the testing.”

Meanwhile, the Scope Alliance has gained a higher profile. It added eight new members this summer, including Red Hat, which had long acknowledged the importance of Scope profiles, while resisting affiliation with CGL specs. Another important new Scope addition this fall is Enea, second to Wind River (also a Scope member) among telecom RTOS providers.

MontaVista claims that its currently shipping MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition 4.0 product is used by four of the top five NEPs. The company also quotes William Weinberg, former OSDL liaison to the CGL working group, as characterizing MontaVista as the “most widely-deployed Linux” in the carrier grade market.

Scope is an IEEE-ISTO organization that maintains about half a dozen “profiles,” most aimed at disambiguating standards published by other groups, such as Carrier Grade Linux. Although not Linux-specific, Scope works closely with CGL maintainers, who use Scope's “gap analysis” documents to improve their CGL specifications.

Scope was founded in January of 2006, by Alcatel, Ericsson, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, and Siemens. Today, it boasts about 20 members, including not only NEPs, but also embedded Linux and middleware vendors like Enea, MontaVista, Red Hat, and Wind River. Scope last updated its Linux profile in April.

Scope chairman Magnus Karlson stated, “MontaVista will add additional breadth and expertise in areas of great interest to the Alliance.”

— by Henry Kingman

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