Carrier Grade Server Features in the Linux Kernel

Traditionally, communications and data service networks were built on proprietary platforms that had to meet very specific availability, reliability, performance, and service response time requirements. Today, communication service providers are challenged to meet their needs cost-effectively for new architectures, new services, and increased bandwidth, with highly available, scalable, secure, and reliable systems that have predictable performance and that are easy to maintain and upgrade. This paper presents the technological trend of migrating from proprietary to open platforms based on software and hardware building blocks. It also focuses on the ongoing work by the Carrier Grade Linux working group at the Open Source Development Labs, examines the CGL architecture, the requirements from the latest specification release, and presents some of the needed kernel features that are not currently supported by Linux such as a Linux cluster communication mechanism, a low-level kernel mechanism for improved reliability and soft-realtime performance, support for multi-FIB, and support for additional security mechanisms.

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