OSDL releases new Carrier Grade Linux specs

The nonprofit Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) has released the latest specifications in its ongoing Carrier Grade Linux development project.

In an announcement yesterday, the Beaverton, Ore.-based group unveiled its Carrier Grade Linux Requirements Definition Version 2.0 (CGL 2.0), which adds new features and capabilities to the original specifications released by OSDL last year.

The OSDL created the specifications to promote the adoption and use of Linux by telecommunications equipment makers and providers as a reliable and cost-efficient operating system for their systems. The new specifications, which are available on the OSDL Web site (download portable document format), offer a “public reference blueprint” for Linux distributions, large end users or Linux kernel developers to build Linux kernel features and associated libraries needed by telecommunication carriers in their next-generation infrastructure, according to the OSDL.

The new specifications, which are used by participating vendors, are backed by several telecommunications network equipment providers, including Alcatel SA, Cisco Systems Inc., Ericsson Inc., NEC USA Inc. and Nokia Corp.

“The next breakthrough market for Linux is in the telecommunications industry,” Stuart Cohen, the chief executive officer of OSDL, said in a statement. “The OSDL CGL 2.0 definition puts Linux in the top tier of preferred operating platforms.”

More than 40 improvements from the original specifications unveiled in August 2002 have been added. They include advances in security, clustering and high-availability capabilities, according to the OSDL. New clustering capabilities include early fault detection, failure confinement, fault localization and failure notification, while the new security features offer better performance and Quality of Protection options. The updated specifications also include improved hardware support and better compatibility with other specifications such as the Linux Standard Base.

“Linux is the most promising standard for operating systems and has a bright future to replace proprietary solutions,” Christof Ebert, Alcatel’s director of software coordination, said in a statement. “Alcatel has contributed to the CGL 2.0 requirements definition, particularly on the clustering and security aspects. These requirements are a new step in strengthening Linux for use in our carrier class solutions.”

The original specifications won support from Linux operating system vendors, including MontaVista Software, Red Hat Inc., SUSE Linux AG and UnitedLinux.