HP has announced the launch of the OpenSwitch community and a new open source network operating system (NOS). HP and key supporters, Accton Technology Corporation, Arista, Broadcom, Intel, and VMware, are delivering a community-based platform that provides developers and users the ability to accelerate innovation, avoid vendor lock-in, and realize investment protection as they rapidly build data center networks customized for unique business applications.
The always-on nature of the global digital economy and the massive influx of data have changed how network operators, cloud providers, telecoms, and enterprises think about networking. The volume of network traffic is growing exponentially, forcing large web-scale organizations to scale their data centers to new levels. These organizations need scale and flexibility to pivot their data centers on-demand to meet increasingly complex business and technology requirements.
"Open source software, with its collaborative community of specialized developers, accelerates innovation and improves the stability of the software platform, providing organizations with a more powerful infrastructure to support their specific business requirements," said Mark Carroll, chief technology officer for HP Networking. "The newly formed developer community and Linux-based OpenSwitch NOS early release code will help developers address the rapidly evolving business and web-scale networking needs in the industry."
Establishing a New Benchmark for Community-based Innovation
Traditional data center switching platforms were created by a group of developers within single vendors' organizations, which limits the robustness, applicability to a range of use cases, and speed of innovation in those platforms. The OpenSwitch Community establishes a virtual innovation zone where a limitless number of developers and users collaborate to exchange information, test theories and innovate to create better, higher quality, and more secure network operating systems.
Disrupting Legacy Data Center Networks with a Fully Featured Open Source NOS
Traditional networking is based on a closed, proprietary and vertically integrated model. This closed model does not allow customers, or their software and integrator partners, to innovate and tailor their networks to meet their business needs, because an open community does not have access and the ability to modify NOS source code. An open source NOS, based on open standards, allows developers to engineer networks to prioritize business critical workloads and functions, delivering the users a dramatically improved experience. Networks based on an open NOS will also remove the burdens of interoperability issues and complex licensing structures that are inherent in the proprietary model.
"Network disaggregation ranks as one of the most disruptive developments in networking, even more disruptive, in many respects, than software defined networking," said Brad Casemore, research director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. "By decoupling the underlying switch hardware from the network operating systems that run on it, HP and the other early contributors of the OpenSwitch Community are seeking to enable enterprises and large web-scale companies to rapidly innovate and engineer purpose-build data centers without the constraint of vendor lock-in."
As part of the Open Switch Community, developers and users will build upon the newly released NOS, which includes the following:
- A fully featured NOS with L2/L3 protocols support
- Open source cloud database for persistent and ephemeral configuration
- All inter-module communication is through system database
- Universal API approach: CLI, REST, Puppet/Chef, Ansible
Early Supporters for the OpenSwitch Community
"As one of the largest proponents of open networking through community led projects such as Open vSwitch, VMware is excited to see new and meaningful open source advancements in the networking space," said Guido Appenzeller, Chief technology Strategy Officer, Networking and Security Business Unit, VMware. "More and more, we see customers looking for flexibility and openness in their networking environments as a means to operate and innovate at a much faster rate."
"Broadcom is excited to contribute and enhance support for its OpenNSL and BroadView™ instrumentation software to the OpenSwitch project to enable deployments over industry leading Broadcom® Tomahawk™ and Trident II switches," said Ram Velaga, Broadcom senior vice president and general manager, Network Switch.
"Arista has always embraced merchant silicon and open standards-based networking," said Jeff Raymond, vice president, EOS Product Management and Services, Arista. "We believe the future integration of DevOps and NetOps requires a best-of-breed ecosystem across the cloud stack. We welcome the OpenSwitch initiative as another example of disrupting the legacy models."
"As a leading provider of open network switches, we understand that enterprises, telecoms and cloud providers with web-scale infrastructures want greater automation and control over their networks through the use of open software platforms," said George Tchaparian, GM of Data Center Networks, Accton Technology Corporation. "The new network operating system and supporting community will empower customers with this level of control, while significantly reducing network total cost of ownership."