Linux appoints telecoms veteran to lead networking push

The Linux Foundation has appointed former Ericsson exec Arpit Joshipura as GM for Networking & Orchestration, demonstrating the growing importance of open source in the networking industry.

Open source in general has largely been operating in the realms of enterprise technology to date, though a number of recent moves, as well as this appointment, show how important it is to the future of the networking segment. Joshipura’s role will primarily focus on harmonizing the increasingly expanding open source ecosystem the industry is seeing around networking.

“The Linux Foundation is the premier home for open source networking projects, from data plane to control plane and service orchestration,” said Joshipura. “We now have extensive technical and business expertise with enterprises, carriers, cloud and support from the ecosystem at The Linux Foundation, making it easier for vendor and user communities to drive the vision of open networking. I believe that this trend toward open networking will eventually lead us to an era of invisible networking, enabling use cases, solutions and markets unheard of today.”

Open source and open concepts have been strongly used by marketing professionals around the world to promote new products, meaning there has been a risk the proposition could be watered down because of the misleading use of language in advertising claims.

That said, the open source world has led to a number of immensely positive contributions to the industry because of the borderless access to talent which the open community offers. You only have to look as far as WordPress to see the success which can be gleamed through open contributions from thousands of community volunteers from around the world.

While WordPress is a worthy illustration, Google Chrome is probably the mother of all examples of success. Chrome was the first in a line of applications released by Google as open source, and is now widely recognized as the dominant search engine worldwide. Both example show the potential success of open source, though it has been primarily used by the internet players to date. Telcos have been slow on the uptake, though a sluggish telco industry is hardly new news.

Joshipura’s previous experience will add much needed weight to the Linux cause as it continues search for acceptance in the telco arena. Prior to this appointment, Joshipura has held senior positions at the likes of Ericsson, Ciena, Nortel and Prevoty, and will certainly add a telco twist to the Linux team.

Aside from this appointment, there has been evidence of the open source tide turning in the telco world. Back in October Ericsson and Red Hat announced a partnership which supported this momentum. Overall the telco industry is moving away from the vendor lock-in situation, which fuelled profits for many years, and more towards the open ecosystem and realms of standardization.

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