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Discussion on choices for software solution Alberto Pace.

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Presentation on theme: "Discussion on choices for software solution Alberto Pace."— Presentation transcript:

1 Discussion on choices for software solution Alberto Pace

2 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Agenda  Open / Proprietary implementations  Open / Proprietary Standard  CERN Examples

3 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Type of Software  Proprietary  Usage, Redistribution, modifications, access to source code under control of the intellectual property owner  Open Source  Usage, modifications, access to source code allowed  Redistribution and intellectual property rights kept  Public Domain  Everything allowed, No intellectual property rights  All software types can have a commercial or non-profit (free) policy  Example 1: Freeware software can be proprietary  Usage allowed  modifications, access to source code under control of the intellectual property owner  Example 2: You can pay to use Open Source products  You typically need maintenance, documentation, improved services

4 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June What is a standard ?  ISO Metric Screws  Domestic AC power plugs and sockets  PAL Broadcasting system  Compact Disk  VHS Video tape  DVD-Video

5 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June What is a standard ?  Fortran  The C/C++ Programming Language  Java  C#

6 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June What is a Standard ?  HTML  PDF  Microsoft Word Document Format

7 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Types of Standards  De Facto  Established by some actors on the market without any accreditation from an official standardization body  De Jure  Established by an accredited body  Proprietary  Somebody controls its specifications and its usage rights  Somebody can be an individual, a Company, a Consortium …  Patents are an effective way to enforce intellectual property rights  Open  When the specifications are published without restrictions on the access, on the usage, on the implementation

8 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Proprietary Standards Open Standards Open Specifications CD HTTP JPG DOC RTF HTML MP3 PDF DVD Java XML GIF

9 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June But the classification is difficult  Classifying technologies in few categories (standard / non-standard) is difficult  Many grey areas  What is a standard ?  Who publish the standard  standardization bodies  consortium of manufacturers  consensus among various agents implicated in the technology  single manufacturers  Not published – reversed engineered, de facto standard  In computing, how many implementations available ?  From multiple independent vendors on multiple platforms  From multiple independent vendors on single platforms  From single vendor on multiple platforms  From single vendor on single platform  Who is using this standard ?  Everybody  A large fraction of the community  A small fraction of the community  nobody  What is published ?  External interfaces only  Inner structure

10 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Specifications # of implementations, # of platforms % of user community

11 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Other important factors of choice  Cost  A turnkey, proprietary solution may be cheaper in the short term  It is difficult to control long term cost in self-developed solutions  Standard versus Customized solution  A “Customized” solution solved better your problem  A standard solution is more interoperable  Risk  It is always possible to reduce cost by increasing risk  Single vendor solution  Small companies have aggressive prices because risk is higher

12 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Open Source  A must if you plan to modify / extend functionalities  Unless a standard is well established  If you want to understand what the software does or verify it does what it is supposed to do  If you want to preserve the investment by keeping the possibility to maintain the software yourself in the long term  Difficult to keep control on endless improvements  Number of programmers (and cost) can only increase

13 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June At CERN  Problem extremely complex, not a single answer for all scenarios  However, some common patterns

14 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Pattern #1  Whenever the technology is strategic within CERN core business *and* not consolidated  In-house developments  Open source approach to preserve In-house developments in the long term  Example  Software for Physics, Grid Middleware  Document Server

15 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Pattern #2  Whenever the technology is consolidated or not in the CERN core business  Easy-to-implement solutions are sought to minimize cost  This can be Commercial or Open-Source  Must be outsourceable  Effort limited to “integrate” various technologies together  “Consolidated” technologies are guaranteed to continue in the long term  Technologies outside the core business can be replaced with limited impact on the organization operation

16 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Examples  Strategic, non-consolidated  Ensure that the software we write for LHC will still run in 10 years  Grid, Castor, Root, CDS, …  Consolidated  Electronic mail: Why would CERN build his own mail server ? Take one of the many commercial products and change it if not happy  Database: Why would CERN build his own database ?  Administrative computing: Human Resource Management, Recruitment, Financial Management, Logistic, Procurement: Plenty of consolidated commercial offers, best of breeds.  In addition:  To minimize the impact of changing a commercial product, native product GUI are replaced by CERN ones with consistent look and feel  Similar Human interfaces for administrative applications despite they are hiding Oracle, Qualiac, SAP, Baan, …  Similar human interface for Network management, despite they are hiding products from Cisco, HP, Enterasys, Spectrum  Similar Human interface for all desktop managent services: Windows, Web, E- mail, Search services, hiding microsoft excange

17 WorkShop sul Calcolo e Reti dell'INFN, 6-9 June Summary and Conclusions  Both Open Source and Proprietary solutions based on standards have reasons to exist  There is no “catch all” answer for this problem, a case by case analysis is necessary  The final choice may depend  On short versus long term commitments and costs  On the amount of risk to be taken  How much you accept a “generic” solution compared to the “specific” developments required.


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