What’s your take on Open Standards – particularly in the network space?
I’m a huge believer in Open Standards. It brings me a lot of joy to work on systems and get them to talk to each other. I think that’s why I got into networking in the first place. There’s something magical about being able to communicate in real time with people on the other side of the globe, especially when at each end there are no wires involved. Of course, this connectivity takes a huge amount of effort and work that’s hidden behind the scenes from the participants. But what drives it all are open standards, allowing different devices to communicate with each other.
How do we, as an organization, embrace open standards?
At Benu we are really into open standards. Our products are all about enabling communication between devices and networks, and as such, we rely on open standards to allow for interoperability with our partners’ equipment and our customers networks. Too often the magic hidden protocol is seen as the business value and the reason why one technology should be valued above another, but all that this creates is a mono-culture. It doesn’t encourage growth and collaboration, instead it ties you into an architecture that, while feature rich, can only ever service a specific segment of the solution.
Any recent projects you’ve been involved in that demonstrate this?
Recently, I was very proud to work on an implementation of RFC 8086 for our vMEG platform. This enables EoGRE (RFC 2784, RFC 2890) to work through NAT, which in turn enables multiple APs to be connected to a Benu vMEG behind almost any normal NAT router. Without this, if there’s a normal NAT firewall involved you are lucky to get a single GRE tunnel through. The RFC process can seem silly and convoluted at times, but it gets people talking and improving. Submitting their ideas for peer review and in the end, allowing for implementation to take place with a common, open specification.
How do you think open source will change the way we built networks, applications, and technology in the future?
I believe in an open and free internet, one that grows and encourages growth. Requests For Comments are the building blocks of this openness and allow for disparate teams of people to work on an implementation and work through the same logic.
For Benu, embracing openness allows us to work with many vendors and partners, and allows our product to be flexible within the market – giving our customers choice, flexibility and agility. But for me, it allows me to feel part of this global network, enabling more people to experience the wonder of a worldwide network.
Plus, If we look at our recent work in the vBNG space, we are looking at using generic compute resources and whitebox networking equipment as part of the ONF SDN Enabled Broadband Access (SEBA) POD architecture.
Stay tuned for more open source updates!