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NEP’s Linux distro nears CGL 4.0

Jun 19, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The first network equipment provider (NEP) to roll its own Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) distribution has launched a new version. Performance Technologies, Inc. (PTI) says NexusWare version 12 adds support for PowerPC processor architectures, along with features aimed at CGL 4.0 readiness.

Most NEPs primarily sell hardware — for example, to TEMs (telecommunications equipment manufacturers), aerospace and defense contractors, and other systems integrators focusing on vertical markets. In contrast, PTI's embedded systems group focuses on “application-ready platforms” that come with operating system software pre-installed. PTI's product line includes blades, compute modules, and chassis management systems, and the 25-year old company has maintained its NexusWare Linux implementation for seven years.

PTI joined the OSDL and registered NexusWare with the Linux Foundation's (then the OSDL's) Carrier Grade Linux 3.2 specification in Oct. of 2006. The company also expects to register the new NexusWare 12 release with the CGL 4.0 spec, once the Linux Foundation finalizes the registration process.

John Grana's license
(Click to see John, too)

Steve Wigent, product manager for NexusWare, commented, “We think CGL registration is important, and we want to make sure we have it.” He noted that John Grana, who heads up PTI's embedded group, actually has “CGLINUX” on his license plate (pictured at right).

What's new in NexusWare 12?

The primary new feature in NexusWare 12, according to Wigent, is support for the PowerPC architecture — not only on I/O modules, as in the past, but also on compute nodes and chassis management systems. This addition appears to reflect PTI's growing focus on the aerospace and defense (A&D) market, where PowerPC has traditionally been strong. Wigent commented, “Historically, we've done lots of telecom, but recently we've won more A&D bids.”

Specific target applications for NexusWare-based products, as listed by PTI, include “media gateways, managed WAN gateways, voice over IP (VoIP), lawful intercept, radar servers, wireless and IMS infrastructure equipment, high availability communications systems, monitoring solutions, TDM switches, and signaling gateways.”

NexusWare V12 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

NexusWare 12 is based on a 2.6.20 Linux kernel, and supports IPv6, as well as IPv4. Several available add-on modules bring support for specialized protocols, such as:

  • MTP2 — used in telecom signal switching
  • SIP — used in VoIP
  • Frame relay
  • HDLC — used in military monitoring applications
  • x25 — used in radar systems

Additionally, PTI offers NexusWare with a “NexusWare Studio” suite of Eclipse-based development tools.

In a statement, Grana said, “NexusWare is pre-integrated with our hardware, reducing the need for resources that customers normally commit to test an application design project. The integration of other software solutions with hardware also becomes more straightforward.”

In-stat's Keith Nissen, principal analyst, stated, “Consolidation in the telecom and aerospace/defense industries is causing many systems vendors to reduce internal resources needed to integrate hardware and software offerings.”


The NexusWare version 12 release is immediately available, with CGL 4.0 registration pending.

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