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Edgecore Networks Introduces Minipack – Industry’s First Open Modular Switch for 100G and 400G Networking

Edgecore Product Conforms to the Minipack Fabric Switch Design Contributed by Facebook to the Open Compute Project

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Edgecore Networks, the leader in open networking, announced the introduction of Minipack, the industry’s first open modular switch for 100G and 400G networking, which conforms to the Minipack Fabric Switch design contributed today by Facebook to the Open Compute Project (OCP). Minipack is a disaggregated whitebox system providing a flexible mix of 100GbE and 400GbE ports up to a system capacity of 12.8Tbps, ideal for the deploying the next generation of high capacity data center fabrics, Internet exchanges, and high bandwidth service provider infrastructures with the flexibility and cost benefits of open networking.

“Facebook designed Minipack as a fabric switch with innovative performance, power optimization and modularity to enable our deployment of the next generation data center fabrics,” said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Director of Engineering, Facebook. “We have contributed the Minipack design to OCP in order to stimulate additional design innovation and to facilitate availability of the platform to network operators. We welcome Edgecore’s introduction of Minipack as a commercial whitebox product.”

The Edgecore Minipack AS8000 Switch is an open network platform that enables network operators to select disaggregated NOS and SDN software options from commercial partners and open source communities to address different use cases and operational requirements. Edgecore has ported and validated Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC), the OCP open source software platform, on the Minipack AS8000 Switch as an open source option for high capacity data center fabrics. In addition, Cumulus Networks® has announced the availability of its Cumulus Linux operating system for the Edgecore Minipack switch, as the industry’s first fully supported commercial disaggregated software option on a modular 100G/400G switch for enterprises and data centers.

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Modular System for 400G and High Density 100G Switching

“Network operators are demanding open network solutions to increase their network capacities with 400G and higher density 100G switches based on open technology. The Edgecore Minipack switch broadens our full set of OCP AcceptedTM open network switches, and enables data center operators to deploy higher capacity fabrics with flexible combinations of 100G and 400G interfaces and pay-as-you-grow expansion,” said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks. “The open and modular design of Minipack will enable Edgecore and partners to address more data center and service provider use cases in the future by developing innovative enhancements such as additional interface modules supporting encryption, multiple 400G port types, coherent optical ports and integrated optics, plus additional Minipack Switch family members utilizing deep-buffer or highly programmable or next generation switching silicon in the same flexible modular form factor.”

The Minipack switch is a modular system capable of supporting a mix of 100G and 400G Ethernet interfaces up to a maximum of 128x100G or 32x400G ports. Minipack is based on an internal main switch board with Broadcom StrataXGS® Tomahawk® 3 Switch Series silicon capable of line rate 12.8Tbps Layer2 and Layer3 switching. The Minipack front panel has eight slots for port interface modules (PIM). The first PIM options available for the Edgecore Minipack switch are the PIM-16Q with 16x100G QSFP28 ports, and the PIM-4DD with 4x400G QSFP-DD ports. The Minipack modular switch is a 4U form factor, power optimized for data center deployments, and includes hot-swappable redundant power supplies and fans for high availability.

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The Minipack AS8000 Switch with PIM-16Q 100G QSFP28 interface modules will be available from Edgecore resellers and integrators worldwide in Q2. PIM-4DD 400G QSFP-DD interface modules will be available in Q3. SONiC open source software, including platform drivers for the Edgecore Minipack AS8000 Switch, are available from the SONiC GitHub.

Edgecore is exhibiting the Minipack switch, as part of its full portfolio of open network products for data centers service providers and enterprises, at the OCP Summit in San Jose on March 14-15. The Edgecore Minipack switch is also exhibited at OCP Summit in the Facebook booth, in the SONiC rack at the Microsoft booth, and running Cumulus Linux in the Cumulus Networks booth.

Supporting Quotes

“Broadcom introduced the StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Switch Series as the industry’s highest performing switch silicon to enable network operators to deploy next-generation networks, while realizing the cost advantages of merchant silicon. Edgecore contributed the industry’s first 400G switch design to OCP last year based on Tomahawk 3, and we are pleased to see the industry take another step toward broad deployment of higher capacity open networks with Facebook’s contribution of the Minipack design to OCP and Edgecore’s introduction of the Minipack modular switch based on Broadcom merchant silicon.” —

Wei-Ai Tai, Director of Business Development, Broadcom

“Cumulus Networks is pleased to be the first fully supported open operating system to support Edgecore’s Minipack, allowing enterprises to achieve a new level of control over their cost and operations that was previously only accessible to the largest network operators. The modular design of Minipack brings a more open approach to hardware, complementing what Cumulus has been doing on the open networking side for years with over 100 different cost effective hardware options.” —

JR Rivers, CTO and Founder, Cumulus Networks

“The simultaneous announcements today of Facebook’s contribution of the Minipack design to OCP and Edgecore’s introduction of Minipack as a whitebox product with commercial and open source software options shows the power of collaboration in the OCP community around open platforms and the rapid pace of innovation that brings to the industry and network operators. Minipack makes the next generation of performance in open networking available to network operators and will be an important platform for further innovation within the OCP community.” —

Bill Carter, CTO, OCP Foundation

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