Daily archives: April 15, 2010

Open Source in Telecommunications – London 22/04/10 1

The telecommunications industry has a deep and complex history, where proprietary technologies have featured heavily, the barrier to entry has typically been high and the majority of research and development led by incumbent network operators and equipment providers. More recently we are seeing this change with the growing popularity of IP telephony, the availability of open source softswitch implementations and the aggressive adoption of Linux in mobile handsets, home router/gateways and other customer-premises equipment (CPE). However, whilst the opportunities are significant, many challenges to open source adoption remain and the telecoms environment presents its own set of unique problems.

The BCS Open Source Specialist Group has joined forces with BT to bring an event that seeks to provide insights into the state of the art of open source in telecommunications. The event will consist of a series of talks followed by a panel-led, open discussion centred upon the opportunities that exist and the challenges that the telecommunications industry and open source community faces.

The event will be held at the BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA (http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/london-office-guide.pdf) on Thursday 22nd April, 2010, from 10.00 to 17.30.

To book a place at this event, which is free and open to all, please contact Mark Elkins via mark_elkins@bcs.org


10:00 Introduction

10:15 Why would BT care about Open Source? Jeremy Ruston (BT)

With organisations the size of the BT, you frequently hear announcements that they have partnered with a vendor or done a major deal with a service provider. Large figures are often mentioned – such as the size of a market, the number of users involved or simply the value of a contract. But what about software that is developed by communities of interest, where no vendor may be involved and no money changing hands?

In this presentation Jeremy Ruston will explain what open source means to BT and what drove them to acquire Osmosoft, a small software development company focused on producing open source, web-based collaboration technology. Reflecting on three years as BT’s Head of Open Source Innovation, he will provide an insight into the evolving technology landscape at BT, and outline the key role that open source software has to play in BT’s future.

10:45 Vyatta – open source, software-based enterprise-class IP routing. Ben King (Net That Works)

  • Why Vyatta?
  • Vyatta vs. Cisco – A real world comparison
  • Vyatta – Too big to be small, too small to be big?
  • Vyatta – What are the limits?

11:15 Break

11:30 But you can’t get support for Open Source, can you? Mark Taylor (Sirius)

One of the favourite anti-Open Source myths of proprietary software companies is that Open Source is unsupported and that there’s nobody to turn to for your organisations needs. Mark’s talk will reveal this FUD (‘Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt’) as the nonsense that it is, and show exactly how organisations using Open Source, the support ecosystem, and the underlying projects themselves interact to provide a level of support for Open Source software in the enterprise that simply can’t be matched by the old-school proprietary software vendors.

Using detailed case studies, anecdotes and over a decades experience on the front-lines of Open Source uptake, this talk will give you the information you need to know to confidently deploy enterprise-class Open Source in your own organisation.

12:00 Open Source in Mobile. Andrew Savory (LiMo Foundation)

The LiMo Foundation are building a mobile middleware stack based on Linux. With over 70% of the platform based on open source components, what are the benefits and challenges of open source adoption, and what is the LiMo approach to working with Open Source?

12:30 Open Source, Standards and Standardisation. Paul Downey (BT)

Building on a previous, deliberately provocative talk on “Standards are Peace as Standardization is to War”[1] and an address on Web 2.0 given to the ETSI Board[2] Paul will present a short guide for

assessing the likely impact of the culture of Open Source and lightweight agreements made on The Web on the formal Telecoms standards and standardization process.

[1] http://www.infoq.com/presentations/downey-standards-great-standardization-bad

[2] http://blog.whatfettle.com/2009/06/22/etsi-2-0/

13:00 Lunch

13:45 Ensuring Mobile Internet Connectivity at T-Mobile with Nagios. Bernd Erk (Netways)

Since 2003, T-Mobile has employed open source software alongside the traditional close source products. For the last few years, NETWAYS has supported T-Mobile in the deployment and scaling of their Nagios system. Over this period, not only was the in-house company network integrated into the system, but also the international data roaming on GSM networks was established and continuously expanded. This presentation will share the development of T-Mobile’s open source monitoring system to monitor its entire GSM network and data transfer (roaming) to ensure the highest availability of over 450 foreign GSM networks.

14:15 Asterisk. Antony Stone (Sirius)

Asterisk is an Open Source computer-based telephony project which enables the creation of software-based PABX systems, VoIP gateways, call centres and many other computer-telephony integrated applications.  The software supports interfaces to both analogue and digital telephones and exchange lines, and provides features such as intelligent routing, call queuing, music on hold, conference calling and voicemail.  Plugin applications provide integration with standard database servers, corporate directory servers, text-to-speech and voice recognition systems.  Asterisk enables commodity PC hardware to be used for multi-user multi-site voice communications, including connectivity to legacy telephone systems such as analogue phone lines and ISDN.

14:45 Building a GSM Network with OpenBTS. Tim Panton (Westhawk)

OpenBTS is an open-source Unix application that uses the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to present a GSM air interface (“Um”) to standard GSM handset and uses the Asterisk software PBX to connect calls. The combination of the ubiquitous GSM air interface with VoIP backhaul forms the basis of a new type of mobile network that can be deployed and operated at substantially lower cost than existing technologies in greenfields in the developing world.

In plain language, OpenBTS lets you create new kind of mobile network that can be installed and operated at about 1/10 the cost of current technologies, but that will still be compatible with most of the handsets that are already in the market. This technology can also be used in private network applications (wireless PBX, rapid deployment, etc.) at much lower cost and complexity than conventional mobile.

This talk will cover the experience and lessons learnt from a recent trial deployment on the pacific island of Niue.

15:15 Break

15:30 PostgreSQL in Telecommunications. Simon Riggs (2ndQuadrant)

PostgreSQL has a variety of features of interest to Telco users. Many well known companies are already users and a brief review of deployed solutions gives a flavour of that. Enhancements in PostgreSQL 9.0 due out in mid-2010 will also be discussed, plus further developments in later releases.

16:00 OpenNMS and the Telemanagement Forum Standardisation Activities. Dr Craig Gallen (OpenNMS)

OpenNMS is the worlds first enterprise grade Open Source Network Management platform. Unlike other Open source Network Management tools, OpenNMS has been designed specifically with the scalability and enterprise integration requirements of large telecommunications operators in mind. It and is being used in production by a number of large service providers.

In order to continue to address the requirements of the telecommunications industry, OpenNMS has been contributing to the TM Forum Interface Program which is standardizing the next generation of OSS interfaces. One of the most innovative aspects of the program is in its use of Open Source development techniques and technologies to increase the attractiveness of the new interfaces for early adopters. Open source is being used to create the core Interface Framework artefacts, Reference Implementations, Compatibility Test Kits and an Implementation library for prospective developers.

This talk will provide an introduction to the OpenNMS project and it’s contribution to industry standardisation through the TM Forum.

16:30 Panel. All speakers.

17:30 Close


Jeremy Ruston (BT)

Jeremy is the founder of Osmosoft and creator of TiddlyWiki, a popular open source wiki. He joined BT three years ago to lead its open source innovation activities, helping BT take advantage of the unique business opportunities offered by participation in open source communities.

Ben King (Net That Works & WarwickNet)

Ben King has over 10 years experience in Internet networking, he owns and runs two companies:

Net That Works: A network design and consultancy firm, that helps medium to large organisations design, optimise and maintain their layer 2 and 3 network architecture. Net That Works is Vyatta leading UK reseller and consultants.

WarwickNet: A UK tier 2 ISP that specialises in providing managed bandwidth solutions to managed service environments. WarwickNet use Vyatta for all core routing including BGP and OSPF.

Mark Taylor (Sirius)

Mark Taylor is a long time practitioner and advocate of Open Source in the Enterprise. As Chief Executive of Sirius, Mark’s record includes most of the significant deployments of Open Source Software in the UK, including Specsavers, the National Digital Resource Bank, and Yell Adwords to name but a few. Sirius is the first and only Open Source company to be government accredited, and runs the first Government Minister launched Open Source project; The National Digital Resource Bank. Mark is a well known writer and speaker on every aspect of the Open Source phenomenon, and has acted as an advisor on Open Source to all main UK political parties.

Andrew Savory (LiMo Foundation)

Andrew Savory is the Open Source Manager for LiMo Foundation, where he works to ensure understanding of and compliance to open source principles and to facilitate contributions back to open source communities. He has over a decade of firsthand insight of working with industry leaders using and engaging with open source. Andrew has worked with open source software starting with Linux in 1994 and founding the Linux user group ALUG (Anglian Linux User Group, http://www.alug.org.uk/) shortly after. He was the founder of one of the earliest open source software solutions providers in the UK, Sourcesense (http://www.sourcesense.com/), and instrumental in the creation of the Association For Free Software, a UK offshoot of the Free Software Foundation. In 2003 he was a founder of the first open source business alliance, Orixo, (http://www.orixo.com/). An active contributor to the open source community, Andrew is a Member of the Apache Software Foundation.

Paul Downey (BT)

Paul is a developer at Osmosoft where along with contributing to a number of Open Source projects, notably TiddlyWiki, he represents BT at the W3C. He is mildly notorious for a series of Ãœber-doodles, known collectively as “The Web is Agreement” [1].

[1] http://thewebisagreement.com

Bernd Erk (Netways)

Bernd Erk, Head of Operations, has overseen the Managed Services, Consulting and Development business areas at NETWAYS since 2007. Ensuring the success and smooth operation of all customer projects and business processes, Bernd’s technical expertise stretches across Systems Management, Managed Services and Software Development. A contributor to Linux Magazine and Linux Technical Review in Germany, Bernd regularly publishes articles and presents on open source topics ranging across Nagios monitoring, XEN virtualization, MySQL database monitoring and performance tuning among others. Bernd was previously Operating Systems Specialist at Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co., where he worked heavily with Solaris, HPUX and Oracle databases. After which, Bernd spent 8 years as Business Unit Manager at Ise-Informatik where he dealt with Oracle databases and service oriented architectures.

Antony Stone (Sirius)

Antony Stone has been a networking, security and applications engineer for twenty-five years, and has been working exclusively with Open Source systems since 1997.  He specialises in firewalls, VPNs and telephony implementations, and has worked with Asterisk for a variety of customers ranging from small telesales offices to multi-site international PLCs. He has a particular interest in computer telephony integration for applications such as remote access and control in the event of network connectivity failures. Antony has a Master’s degree from Royal Holloway, University of London, and has been teaching on the MSc course in Information Security since 2002.

Tim Panton (Westhawk)

Tim Panton has been a software developer for more than 25 years, working on a diverse range of projects, from chemical plant simulation to tourism web sites. He is also a contributor to open source projects, in particular GJTAPI a framework for implementing JTAPI (The Java Telephony

API) and Westhawk‘s Java SNMP stack. In recent years Tim has been predominantly involved in Asterisk development and implementation, working closely with key industry players he has been championing innovative integration of voice technologies.

Simon Riggs (2ndQuadrant)

Simon is a lead developer and advocate for the PostgreSQL project, an advanced open source RDBMS focused on reliability, performance and enterprise-class features. As a developer, Simon has contributed significant performance and high availability features to each of the last 6 major releases, with recognition as a Major Developer and code Committer. Simon’s role is Chief Technology Officer at 2ndQuadrant, a worldwide supplier of support, training and services for PostgreSQL and derivative solutions.

Dr Craig Gallen (OpenNMS)

Dr Craig Gallen MIET, C. Eng, has worked as an engineer in Broadcasting, Process Control and Network Management. Latterly he worked as a senior product manager with Nortel Networks before leaving to pursue his doctoral studies in open source operational support systems at the

University of Southampton. He currently works as an OSS software consultant and as a committer to the OpenNMS project. He is the leader of the TM Forum Interface Program Open Source Project hosted at http://openoss.sourceforge.net/.

UKUUG Open Tech 2010 – London 11/09/10

Open Tech 2010
11th September, from UKUUG

Sponsored by data.gov.uk

Open Tech 2010 is an informal, low cost, one-day conference on slightly different approaches to technology, politics and justice.

What do you work on that more people should know about in any 2 (or more) of our areas?

What have you heard about recently, that you think more people should know about?

OpenTech is as much about conversations in the bar, as it is sitting in sessions; what topics would you like to be discussed with a range of people? The best way of getting the OpenTech audience to think about the challenges you have is by sharing what they are and solutions you’ve already found: by offering a talk.

Are there community projects that you work on that would benefit from more support and different views? Are you working on problems that you think others might help solve?

Offer a talk online at www.ukuug.org/opentech or email opentech@ukuug.org and we’ll have a chat. If you can get us
submissions (even just outline submissions) by the 1st of May, that’d be grand.

*What is OpenTech 2010?*
– Open Tech 2010 is an informal, low cost, one-day conference on slightly different approaches to technology, politics and justice

What’s the day going to have?
– Technology
– Politics
– Justice
– what do you want to talk about?

*What do we need?*
– Proposals from people who want to give a presentation, run a panel, organise a tutorial, or run a demo of something new and interesting on something that they think matters or getting people to help.

– Publicity – please blog this announcement, write a newspaper article, forward to mailing lists, and tell your friends!

What topics do we hope to cover?
– Justice: Civil, Social, Environmental, Criminal, Legal, other.
– Community engagement
– Democracy 2.0
– Mashups, open data and uses
– Future of media and distribution
– Disaster politics and technology
– Highlights, lowlights and lessons learnt
– Long term thinking on big problems and massive opportunities
– Tutorials & Workshops – share what you know

– If you’ve got an interesting proposal that doesn’t fit into any of the categories above, please send it in anyway!

What have we already got talks or sessions about?
– Rewired State
– Where now for Open Video? from visionon.tv
– mySociety
– What’s next after the General Election?

We’re still looking for more talks on all our topics, so if you want to offer something, we’re waiting to hear your ideas.

*How do I submit a proposal?*
– Online form via http://www.ukuug.org/events/opentech2010/offer
– Deadline for submissions is midnight on Tuesday 1st June 2010

*Can I buy or reserve a ticket to the event?*

– Register at http://www.ukuug.org/events/opentech2010/list and we’ll email you nearer the time with more information

*Any other questions?*

Read the Submission page or email opentech@ukuug.org

More information at http://www.ukuug.org/events/opentech2010/

— the OpenTech 2010 organisers
(David, Emily, Sam)