An Empirical Evaluation of Open Source in Telecommunications Software Development: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Software development for the communication networks ‘monitoring is usually based on Open Source software components, as an effective and low cost technological option. However, when we evaluated a product developed with Open Source components, we found that its efficiency is less than other similar Open Source software developed with proprietary tools; which is unusual or at least it isn’t expected. To the best of our knowledge this phenomenon has not been reported in the literature. Hence, our aim was to identify the circumstances that explain why the efficiency of Open Source software applications tends to be less than Open Source applications developed with proprietary software tools. A controlled experiment was performed at Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE of Ecuador to compare the performance of two software tools for communication networks’ monitoring. A post hoc analysis reveled that some causal relationships that could explain the unexpected behavior of compared applications’ efficiency. From the statistical perspective, there is no significant difference in effectiveness between Open Source and proprieta- ry applications for communication networks’ monitoring. Efficiency of the Open Source tools depends on a large extent of software components used for their integration, which apparently is not considered in the development of this kind of applications.
KeywordsOpen Source Software engineering Experimentation Empirical evaluation Monitoring software Communication networks
This work was supported by the “Laboratorio Industrial en Ingeniería del Software Empírica (LI2SE)”research project of the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE of Ecuador.
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