Volume 3, Number 22 -- June 13, 2006

Debian Linux Gets Carrier Grade Compliance from OSDL

Published: June 13, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

The Debian variant of the Linux operating system last week was certified by the Open Source Development Labs to be compliant with the Carrier Grade Linux 2.0.2 specification. By being designated a Carrier Grade Linux, Debian can now be deployed as part of telecommunications systems.

The Carrier Grade Linux specification was created in January 2002, and the explicit purpose was to create a hardened, streamlined implementation of Linux that would be specifically appealing to telecom companies who were paying big bucks to use Linux--and mostly Solaris and HP-UX--in their telecom infrastructure. According to market researcher Venture Development Corporation, Linux is expected to be the operating system supporting about 30 percent of voice and data communications equipment by 2010.

The certification of Debian as a Carrier Grade Linux was accomplished with the assistance of server maker Hewlett-Packard, which has a huge telecommunications business, selling everything from NonStop fault tolerant Unix servers to OpenCall call center software to telecom companies; a very large piece of its Unix server business is driven by call processing and billing software, too. HP also has a big business selling rack and blade servers running Unix and Linux to telecom companies and the equipment providers that make switching gears. While HP is an aggressive supporter of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux, HP has also built custom Linux solutions for telecom companies based on Debian, which is a highly regarded Linux distro that is, in many ways, more malleable and streamlined than Red Hat and SUSE Linuxes.

HP registered the current "Sarge" release of Debian, which is packaged as Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 and which is based on the Linux 2.8.8 kernel, with the Carrier Grade Linux project at OSDL, and is the founding member of the Debian-CGL project. Over 1,000 developers worldwide work on the Debian release, and a number of significant Debian contributors get their paychecks from HP.

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
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