The open source, open networking and SDN (software-defined networking) are very commonly seen together in the networking. They all relate to the concept of open that some people think there is no difference between them. Practically, something can be open source but not open networking and vice versa. What’s more, being software-defined could be both open source and open networking or neither. So figuring out the concepts of open source, open networking and SDN, and the difference between them is of significant importance.
Open source, open networking and SDN (software-defined networking), these three terms are often intertwined together. Though they are similar types of technology, the context separating them are usually blurred, which often confuses a lot of people. This post will give a thorough introduction to open source and make a comparison of open source, open networking, and SDN.
Open source is a term indicating that something is publicly accessible. It most commonly refers to the software or a program whose source code can be freely used, modified, and shared by anybody.
This term originated from software development, which referred to a specific approach to creating computer programs. With the development of the Internet, the demand for reworking plenty of source code is increasing. When the source code is opened to the public, people can freely view, learn, share, modify or possibly improve the software when they have access to that code. It is convenient for creating diverse communication paths and interactive technical communities. It also can help construct multiple network equipment such as Ethernet switches.
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Therefore, open source draws more and more attention. What’s more, many people join open source projects, including developers, engineers, service providers, vendors, etc. which focus on developing specific software.