DCD Converged - What does Open mean?

Published on 26th November 2014 by Peter Judge

I noticed a lot of interest in "open" at the London event. Most notably perhaps with Open Compute which was memorably defined by Cole Crawford as a giant OEM or a "buyers' club".

But there are several strands to the open movement. Open source applies to both hardware (Open Compute) and software (OpenStack). But there are also open standards out there, which come about by a different process.

On Day 2 we convened a panel with Cole Crawford, along with Red Hat's Mark McLoughlin for OpenStack. We also had Gabe Cole of OPen IX, a service provider body aiming to develop standards to reduce the hassle and overhead of peering.

I thought Gabe would be the odd one out - and it's true that open standards emerge from a different process. Open source concentrates on actual code (or hardware specs) developed by a grass roots process and shared. Open standards are more "top down", defined as interfaces and then enforced on a more-or-less willing industry.

Those are really different models, from different worlds but they are both needed.

It was interesting to see Cole and Mark were appreciative of Gabe's work (and vice versa), and I realised there are huge commonalities between the two approaches. Both are about eliminating vendor lockin, and both are about allowing choice.

I'd like to do this again, with even more "Open" groups involved.

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