By: William von Hagen
The phenomenal growth of the Internet, the proliferation of personal communication devices, and the exponentially decreasing cost of hardware have resulted in a rapid expansion of telecommunications and networking infrastructure and have facilitated the development of many new telecommunications and data services. These changes and the increasing globalization of businesses have led to an unprecedented need for connectivity.
Until recently, the primary systems that were considered mission critical were data center and carrier switching systems. The need for always-on connectively is now pervasive across most information technology and telecommunications infrastructure. Increasing requirements for connectivity, availability, and reliability have come at the same time that the information technology, telecommunications, and networking industries are faced with competitive pressures that require them to innovate at a rapid pace, and at the same time cut operating costs. All of this has led to a shift in how new platforms, systems, and devices are designed, implemented, brought into production, and sustained after deployment.
In the telecommunications and networking industries, these market forces have resulted in a move from proprietary approaches in carrier grade systems design to an approach based on standardized, commercial off the shelf (COTS) single-board computers, data collection, and interface boards. The increasing reliance on COTS in system design has also led to changes in buyer, supplier, and competitor relationships, making them more collaborative, where each brings their core competencies to enhance the value of the offering provided by others. This collaboration helps drive standardization efforts across the entire ecosystem, thus ensuring that the COTS movement maintains momentum and continues to deliver lower costs in future systems.
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