Written by Jim Metzler
Jim Metzler is an expert at researching and analyzing emerging technology trends within the networking and service provider space.
Traditional standards committees are becoming less relevant as the market requires faster decisions on standards. Today, more emphasis has been placed on the open source community to accommodate the need for standards in regards to highly complex technologies.
The role of standards body is changing dramatically. I’ve been on three standards committees. I’ll never forget one committee where a half hour discussion broke out, is this the proper format for footnotes and I think that story is typical, the speed at which standards committees work. We’re in an environment where people are not accepting that anymore. They don’t want 8 or 10 geeks going to a room for 2, 3, 4 years to come out with some standard that’s been theoretically proven to be a compromise between all of their interests.
We’ve seen much more the attention these days move to the open source community. If I think about NFV, for example, this OPNFV, recently formed, kind of a spin out of ETSI if you will, and they’re driving a platform for NFV, someone to open daylight in the SDN space. We’ve also found out recently this stuff is really complex. We’re not ready to send geeks into a room for a couple of years. We’re doing more proofs of concept. What is the exact problem here? What do we need to standardize?
We’re actually doing a good job I believe these days through the open source community of trying to really define what the problem is. Now there’s a good chance that along the way the open source communities will also define what that answer is and provide software that becomes a de facto standard while the traditional standards committees, at least for now, are less relevant than they had been.