NEW YORK -- A move by some of the world's largest communications players to join the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) could help cut server costs sharply, according to some attendees of the LinuxWorld Conference here.
The new OSDL members, including Alcatel, Cisco, Nokia, and Toshiba, are looking to develop common software and hardware infrastructure platforms for telecommucations equipment servers.
In a larger context, the OSDL push and other similar initiatives to homogenize server system architectures will ultimately reduce costs, said Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel Corp.'s Intel Communications Group's Communication Platform Division in Beaverton, Oreg., which is also an OSDL member.
"We are looking to develop common-platform architectures, which can reduce [OEM server] costs by one third," Richardson said. "This will be achieved through multiple competitors delivering common software and hardware platform solutions as the server market moves away from the traditional proprietary, vertically-integrated model."
In the case of Nokia Networks, which sees close to $7.5 billion in wireless telecom equipment sales per year, the stakes are particularly high. "We have traditionally worked with Intel in this sector, but we think it is important to have an opportunity to work with multiple [IC] vendors, which a common platform makes possible," said Ari Virtanen, vice president, Nokia Networks.
"Nokia expects that this industry initiative will promote an ecosystem of focused Linux enterprises," said Virtanen. "This will enable us to more proactively develop networked product-creation capacity by working more closely with such category leaders."
Indeed, the OSDL and other common platform initiatives is part of Intel's push to offer a modular approach in communications, Richardson said. "Ultimately, we are looking to develop a cross-platform, off-the-shelf modular approach for server applications and their overlap with data center and telecomm applications, he said.
Applying commercial off-the-shelf software and hardware to carrier grade environments and enterprise data centers will offer OEMs more freedom, said Ross Mauri, president of OSDL, and vice president, eServer Development, IBM.
"Customers want choice when making technical decisions about evolving their infrastructure," Mauri said. "Customers will now have the choice of industry standards-based solutions as a welcome alternative to proprietary offerings."
The OSDL is an independent, vendor-neutral, non-profitorganization dedicated to enabling and guiding Linux and Linux-based development.
Headquartered outside Portland, Oregon, OSDL received $24 million in funding last year from its member companies that include, Caldera, Computer Associates, Covalent, Dell,
Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hitachi, Linuxcare, Miracle
Linux Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, MontaVista Software, NEC
Corporation, Red Hat, SuSE, TurboLinux, and VA Software.