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

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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.

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.

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

Learn More at OCP Summit
At the OCP Summit, Big Switch will have two ONL-focused sessions:

Visit the Big Switch Networks booth for a live demo of SONiC + ONL, located at booth A32.

Supporting Material
Technology Page: SONiC + ONL Open-Source NOS Stack:
Demo Package: SONiC + ONL open-source NOS:
Tech Demo: SONiC + ONL: Ansible Based Network Automation and Visibility:
Tech Demo: SONiC + ONL: Controller Based Zero-Touch Provisioning and Visibility:

Supporting Quotes
“Leveraging SONiC and ONL to build an open-source NOS combines the benefits of OCP’s two important open-source software stacks, which are deployed in large-scale production networks,” said Prashant Gandhi, Chief Product Officer, Big Switch Networks. “The emergence of SONiC coupled with ONL signals that lower layers of the NOS stack are being commoditized, and vendor-agnostic innovations will be moving to upper layers including multi-system automation, real-time telemetry, and predictive analytics.”

"ONL has played a critical role in accelerating open networking adoption. Many commercial software partners and open software platforms leverage ONL with Edgecore open network switches to deliver solutions for a wide range of use cases,” said Jeff Catlin, VP Technology, Edgecore Networks. “Edgecore has supported ONL on our entire portfolio of OCP AcceptedTM open network switches for years, and is an ONL Certified Gold partner. The demonstration of ONL and SONiC on Edgecore open network switch hardware is an ideal representation of how open components can be leveraged to build fully open, interoperable solutions.”

"NTT has leveraged Open Network Linux for several years to accelerate our open networking initiatives with our internal IT. At OCP Summit, NTT Electronics America and Big Switch will demonstrate how Open Network Linux as a platform layer in SONiC expands the reach of SONiC and helps to expand the open networking ecosystem as it provides more hardware options, required by a broader set of enterprises, cloud providers and services providers." said Wataru Ishida, Field Application Engineer, NTT Electronics America. "This year's demonstration will build on what NTT and Big Switch jointly demoed at OCP Summit last year, by demoing how any networking device supported by ONL, using a networking chip supported by SAI can be supported for SONiC."

“More than 20 platforms supporting SAI implementations on Broadcom ASICs are available today in an effort to provide choice within the open networking ecosystem,“ said Eli Karpilovski, Director of Product Marketing, Switch Products Division at Broadcom. “Big Switch’s demonstration of SONiC with ONL, which leverages Broadcom’s Trident II and Tomahawk ASICs, shows continued community support and expansion of open NOS on Broadcom-based switching platforms.”

“Since 2014 the market has been shifting towards open, flexible, software-driven solutions. open-source projects, such as Open Network Linux, are helping to drive this shift away from closed networking,” said Alan Weckel, Founder & Principal Analyst, 650 Group. “Open Network Linux and SONiC, when coupled together create a powerful, open Network Operating Systems, ideal for service providers, SaaS and cloud providers.”

About Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks is the Cloud-First Networking company, bringing public cloud-style networking and hybrid cloud consistency to organizations around the world. The company provides data center switching, monitoring, visibility and security solutions for on-premises enterprise clouds, public clouds and multi-cloud environments that enable companies of all sizes to increase operational efficiency and business agility, while reducing networking costs. Big Switch was founded in 2010, with roots in the original Stanford research team that invented software-defined networking. Big Switch has strategic partnerships with Dell EMC and Edgecore, delivering innovative software on industry-standard open networking hardware. Since its founding the company has been an active member and contributor to multiple open-source communities. Big Switch Networks is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, with a dedicated presence across more than 25 countries. The company is funded from leading venture capital firms, including: Dell Technologies Capital, Index Ventures, Intel Capital, Khosla Ventures, MSD Capital, Morgenthaler Ventures, Redpoint and Silverlake Waterman.

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