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Dent Introduces Industry’s First End-to-End Networking Stack Designed for the Modern Distributed Enterprise Edge and Powered by Linux

Dent issues “Arthur”, its First Code Release that Delivers an Open, Simplified Networking Operating System for next-generation retail and campus networks

Linux Foundation announces inaugural Dent general members committed to delivering enterprise-grade, disaggregated networks through an open ecosystem

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced Arthur the first code release of Dent, a project to enable the creation of a Network Operating System (NOS) for Disaggregated Network Switches in campus and remote enterprise locations. Since its December 2019 launch, several companies have joined DENT as general members, including Innovium, Arcadyan, Aviz Networks, and Alpha Networks who are joined by Dent premier members Amazon, Delta Electronics Inc, Marvell, NVIDIA, Edgecore Networks, and Wistron NeWeb (WNC).

The Arthur release – aptly named after Arthur Dent, the protagonist character of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy– uses the recently released Linux 5.6 Kernel and leverages SwitchDev to simplify integrations, eliminate complex abstractions and SDK change management, and support existing Linux tool chains. In addition to providing the industry’s widest range of hardware options, the Arthur release includes over 25 key features to enable enterprise infrastructure teams to safely transition to disaggregated networks.

“With the Arthur release, we’re witnessing the makings of an open network operating system, control plane and management plane that will transform how enterprises address their distributed edge challenges,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, at The Linux Foundation. “The DENT community has grown quickly and executed on this first major code release at a time when the entire industry is rethinking the future of retail and campus environments.”

The networking industry is moving away from customized, proprietary solutions for telecom, cloud and enterprise data center markets in favor of open standards. However, these open advancements have failed to meet the specific needs of distributed enterprise edge networking, such as a simplified networking OS stack that is low cost and Linux-based. DENT enables an open community to build this solution without complicated abstractions. It uses the Linux Kernel, Switchdev, and other Linux-based projects to allow developers to treat networking ASICs and silicon like any other hardware. This simple disaggregated Linux/SwitchDev-based switch ultimately simplifies integration across the ecosystem and encourages application developers to adopt this new standard.

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“Open networking is the future, and Delta is proud to be a part of the momentum with the Dent project,” said Honda Wu, vice president of Solutions and Open Source at Delta. “Our goal is to support the initial users of Dent with our deep knowledge and expertise in networking.”

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“As a leading provider of open networking solutions for data centers and enterprises, Edgecore is pleased to see the release of dentOS for next-generation retail and campus networks through the open community ecosystem. Disaggregated hardware and open source enables more enterprise and campus network customers to enjoy the benefits of open networking.” Michael Ward, vice president, Business Development, Software, Edgecore Networks.

“As a leading silicon provider in access networking, we remain committed to supporting industry standard application interfaces on our switch portfolio, allowing our customers to leverage the full network operating software ecosystem. Dent is a key component to our offerings,” said Gavin Cato, vice president of product management and marketing at Marvell. “The Arthur release is running on multiple 1G and 10G platform deployments incorporating Marvell’s feature-rich Prestera® Ethernet switches. This milestone demonstrates our commitment to bringing innovative solutions for automated and personalized experiences within the borderless enterprise across the smart edge and retail networking.”

“Dent’s Arthur release is a major step towards accelerating the open source networking revolution that NVIDIA has spearheaded for years,” said Amit Katz, vice president of Ethernet Switches at NVIDIA Networking. “Dent OS, an open source network operating system, leverages the wide Linux ecosystem to provide freedom of choice for modern data centers and edge deployments. By providing the industry leading ASIC and software innovations such as FRRouting, SwitchDev, and several other kernel networking contributions, we look forward to pushing the advancement of Dent.”

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“The Arthur release incorporates intelligent wireless and wireline capabilities critical to any enterprise’s decision to embrace open software architecture,” said Larry Lee, executive vice president and general manager of the Networking Business Group at WNC. “We and other industry leaders supporting Dent worked closely together to tackle distributed switching for the initial retail use case.”

“As a leading provider of high performance and innovative switch silicon solutions that have been deployed at scale by multiple top customers, Innovium is a big champion for open, standards-based and disaggregated networking solutions. We are excited to be part of Linux Foundation’s open-source Dent project, which aims to deliver those benefits combined with a compelling TCO,” said Amit Sanyal, vice president of Marketing at Innovium.

“With more than 17 years of Tier-1 Operators networking experience, Arcadyan is glad to join Dent and looking forward to making contributions to the software ecosystem,” said Jenny Yang, director at Arcadyan.

“Aviz Networks recently joined the Dent project and the Open Verification Lab (OVL) initiative in partnership with Keysight providing test expertise and a vendor neutral test facility for the Dent community. Aviz and Keysight will continue to lead the Dent test working group to ensure the highest quality for future Dent releases,” said the Aviz Networks team.

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