Communications networks are different from other kinds of computing applications. These networks require both very high reliability and very high performance. Not only must they process large volumes of data at high speed, but they must do so while limiting their downtime to minutes per year. Failures can have huge economic consequences, or can result in the loss of life, and in this post-9/11 world, failure also has a national security dimension.
One example is enough to illustrate the potential impact failures might have. In 1991, a packet-switched network failed and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. It knocked out air traffic control in the New York City region for over 8 hours and disrupted 85,000 travelers.
Building communication networks that are reliable and perform well is economically and technically challenging: the physics, the finances and the computing are often state-of-the-art.
As one would expect, communication networks comprise both hardware and software, with the proportion of a network's functionality being implemented in software continually increasing. Typical networking applications are gateways, bridges, routers, signaling servers, and management servers.
Since these kinds of applications are sophisticated, complex and very expensive to design, it makes economic sense to provide a common set of software services that these applications can use as a foundation to build upon. In other words, they need an operating system that matches their sophisticated and complex needs.
MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition is such an operating system.
This technical whitepaper introduces MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition—what it is, from where it is derived, and how it provides a foundation for developing and deploying carrier-grade applications like those in communication networks.
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