Network Functions Featured Article

Red Hat, Ericsson Get Together on New Open Source Alliance

October 20, 2016

Open source has been a great boon for the technology market as a whole. Opening up the field and encouraging development above all else, some charitable corporations out there are offering up key components on an as-needed basis. This in turn gives other, often smaller, companies access to necessary parts to make certain devices and services as well. Recently, Red Hat and Ericsson put together a new alliance to help drive open source development, particularly in the information and communications technology (ICT) market.

The newly-formed alliance will bring out a new set of open-source developments in several fields, ranging from software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined infrastructure (SDI) to OpenStack. Products developed in the alliance will offer new value in the Internet of Things (IoT) market as well as calling on 5G and similar next-generation communications measures to deliver the ultimate in value.

The two companies make an excellent fit for each other; Ericsson's long-term expertise in hardware, software, and associated services is widely known, and it's a market leader in the growing network functions virtualization (NFV) market. Red Hat, meanwhile, is well-known for its various solutions as well as its work in OpenStack, delivering solutions that are scalable and flexible, yet still secure enough to be useful in a field where data breaches are an increasingly routine matter.

Several critical points will guide future development in this alliance. One, upstream collaboration will be a major point, working to address customer concerns about “lock-in” from proprietary development. That will help make this partnership clearly distinct from other such efforts. Two, solution certification will be a major part of the process as well, as the alliance works to certify solutions like the Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux system. Several other measures are also in place, like a focus on container innovation, support from industry leaders, and a new focus on professional services.

This is good news for most of the market. With two major forces like these working the development side of the equation, we're likely to see a lot more development in general emerge. By making it open source, and allowing others to add to that development as possible, the end result should produce large numbers of new products and technologies geared toward giving people a better communications experience. With the IoT and 5G markets still set for big gains, starting the market off with a  head start should end well.

Ericsson and Red Hat's alliance should go a long way toward driving future development, and that's good news for businesses in this market. The sacrifice open source represents gives everyone a leg up, and that should mean even faster and better technological development. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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