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Big Switch to Demo SONiC with Open Network Linux at OCP Summit


Microsoft-Contributed SONiC Coupled with Big Switch-Contributed ONL Enables Open-Source Nos Stack for Service Providers, SaaS and Cloud Providers

Big Switch Networks, The Cloud-First Networking Company, will demonstrate an open-source network operating system (NOS) at the OCP Summit through an integration with Microsoft-led Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) and Big Switch-led Open Network Linux (ONL). The demonstration highlights automation, zero-touch provisioning and visibility leveraging a DevOps-centric Ansible workflow and SDN-centric controller workflows.

Big Switch will demo SONiC + ONL open-source NOS at OCP Summit Booth A32 and it will be available for download following OCP Summit:

According to 650 Group, the open networking market (excluding hyperscalers) is expected to reach $1.35BN by 2023, with a CAGR of 33% (2019 – 2023). Leveraging SONiC and ONL for open-source NOS combines the benefits of two important open-source software stacks to accelerate broader adoption of open networking in non-hyperscale data centers.

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Next-generation network infrastructure, driven by 5G, IoT and predictive analytics, as well as CapEx economics, is demanding open-source solutions within service providers, SaaS enterprises and specialized cloud providers. An open-source NOS is ideal for next-gen network build-outs, offering the following business benefits:

  • Innovation velocity: open-source ecosystem, which drives faster innovation in the market
  • Increased flexibility: More seamlessly adapt to evolving and ever-changing business requirements and technology advancements without vendor dependency
  • Freedom of choice: Elimination of vendor lock-in as a result of increased choice across a variety of open networking hardware platforms
  • Reduced cost: Meaningful reduction of TCO compared to closed solutions

SONiC has extensive backing within the industry, including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Alibaba and Tencent, for deploying and popularizing an open-source NOS on open networking switch hardware. The broader community, inclusive of network hardware, software and ASIC vendors, is driving innovation in the areas of multi-tier L3 Clos (e.g. leaf-spine-spine core) designs, automation, telemetry, and orchestration.

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With ONL providing an open-source platform OS, standards-based platform APIs via ONLP, and a large white-box/brite-box hardware ecosystem, the SONiC + ONL stack becomes appealing to software-centric, non-hyperscale organizations. White-box/brite-box networking suppliers can validate their platforms with a common platform layer provided by ONL across many different form factors. Currently ONL is supported on more than 100 platforms from 12 different open networking providers, many of which are ONL-certified or ONL-certified Gold. ONL is leveraged  by more than 10 NOS initiatives, including hyperscale organizations Facebook and Google, and the Open Networking Foundation’s CORD and Stratum projects.

The SONiC + ONL NOS is comprised of the following open-source software components, each of which are widely deployed independently:

  • ONL, a base platform OS, including ONLP platform APIs
  • SONiC, higher-layer NOS stack, including forwarding agent/Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) management, telemetry and programmable API layers
  • Free Range Routing (FRR), integrated through SONiC, for the L3 control plane functionality (BGP, OSPF)

The SONiC + ONL demo stack is available for download from the SONiC + ONL technology page. The demonstration at OCP Summit will highlight automation and visibility in a full-stack open-source NOS for a 3-tier BGP fabric on open networking HW. The demo will provide examples of:

  • Configuration automation and visibility with Ansible
  • Zero-touch installation and visibility via an SDN controller
  • Ease of deploying a BGP switching fabric with 10G, 25G and 100G open networking switches from Edgecore Networks, leveraging Broadcom’s industry-leading StrataXGS® Trident II and StrataXGS Tomahawk™ networking ASICs

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