Telecom Signaling, Aug. 3 – It has become almost an industry mantra these days that “open source means open for business.”  This happens to be true regardless of communications industry sector or geographical location.  A great illustration of this is the announcement from that the prpl Foundation, an open-source not-for-profit foundation focused on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures, is sponsoring the annual Wireless Battle of the Mesh (aka “BattleMesh”), to be held Aug. 3-9 in Maribor, Slovenia.

You will know if this event is one to not just bookmark but attend if the following terms regarding ad-hoc networking are familiar to you: Babel, B.A.T.M.A.N., BMX6, OLSR, 802.11s and Static Routing.  If they are then BattleMesh, a gathering of developers of mesh protocols, firmware and management systems is for you.  Indeed, if you are a member of the extended Telecom Signaling Community, this event seems geared toward many of your challenges and opportunities. 

As the name implies, this is a contest, or rather as the sponsors like to call it a “tournament.” The objective is simple in statement, difficult in execution—set up hands-on test beds for each available mesh routing protocol with a standard test procedure for the different mesh networks.  This is why bringing together so many experts is important for extracting the wisdom of the crowd and accelerating development and deployment of mesh networks.

How the tournament proceeds is as follows as outlined by the sponsors: 

“During the different BattleMesh events, hardware and software configuration based on the OpenWrt Board Support Package will be used along with packages for each protocol implementation. The event also provides an opportunity for participants to develop testing tools for PHY/MAC radio layers (drivers, scripts and PHY analyzers).

“We have created a specific BattleMesh-ready OpenWrt GitHub repository to be the baseline software stack; the hardware that will be used for experiments will be based on Qualcomm Atheros chipsets (as has been the case previously), because we have upstream Wi-Fi driver support – so all participants will be focused on the same starting point as the reference hardware and software stack,” said Simon Wunderlich, the event’s organizer.

Image via Shutterstock

The trip to Slovenia should also be insightful as along with the contest there will be a number of talks and workshops on topics critical to the community.

“The prpl Foundation is delighted to sponsor the BattleMesh event as it aligns with our philosophy of leveraging industry collaboration, open standards and the open source community to drive interoperability and security from device to datacenter,” said Art Swift, president of the prpl foundation. “Our involvement with BattleMesh highlights our active support of the OpenWrt community and initiatives with our prplWrt engineering working group – especially since the event leverages hardware from Qualcomm, a prpl member company, to standardize the test platform.”

There is certainly no surfeit of open source initiatives. In fact, the list is getting long literally and figuratively, as every aspect of information and communication technology (ICT) is looking toward open sourced software in almost every layer of the stack to provide the agility and performance networks, computing and storage will rely on to meet future operational and customer requirements in an increasingly virtualized manner. 

Pardon the play on words, but how all of this will mesh is of critical importance.  This means not just as a static view of what is available now and on the near horizon, but also with an eye toward ease of migration from legacy systems to the future.  In the datacenter and applications-centric world that is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, how we get from here to there is non-trivial, which is why tournaments such as BattleMesh are becoming such important real-time gatherings of the various evolving ecosystems.