Big Switch tees up SONiC demo with Open Network Linux at OCP Summit

Big Switch Networks is demonstrating an open source network operating system at this week's OCP Summit through an integration with SONiC. (Pixabay)

Big Switch Networks will be demonstrating an open source network operating system (NOS) at this week's OCP Summit through an integration with Microsoft-led Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC).

The demonstrations, which pair SONiC with Big Switch’s Open Network Linux (ONL), enables automation, zero-touch provisioning and visibility by using a DevOps-centric Ansible workflow and SDN-centric controller workflows. Combining SONiC with ONL also helps communications service providers avoid vendor lock-in by creating an open source ecosystem.

Using SONiC and ONL for open-source NOS combines the benefits of two open-source software stacks in order to fuel broader adoption of open networking in nonhyperscale data centers.

In addition to SONiC and ONL, the demonstrations also tap into the Linux Foundation's Free Range Routing (FRR), which is integrated through SONiC, for the Layer 3 control plane functionality.

The demonstrations at OCP Summit will highlight automation and visibility in a full-stack open-source NOS for a 3-tier BGP fabric on open networking hardware. In the first demonstration, Red Hat's Ansible is being used for configuration automation and visibility while the zero-touch installation and visibility demonstration is being provisioned through Big Switch's own SDN controller.

(Big Switch Networks)

The demos includes deploying a BGP switching fabric with 10G, 25G and 100G open networking switches from Edgecore Networks using Broadcom’s StrataXGS Trident II and StrataXGS Tomahawk networking ASICs.

Driven by reductions in capex, 5G, IoT and predictive analytics, open networking is a burgeoning market for service providers, SaaS enterprises and specialized cloud providers. According to 650 Group, the open networking market—minus hyperscalers—is projected to reach $1.35 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 33%.

In addition to Microsoft, SONiC is backed by LinkedIn, Alibaba and Tencent. The broader SONiC community, inclusive of network hardware, software and ASIC vendors, is working in the areas of multitier Layer 3 Clos routing—such as 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 and brite-box hardware ecosystem, the SONiC and ONL stack can be used by nonhyperscale organizations.

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Currently ONL is supported on more than 100 platforms from 12 different open networking providers. ONL is being used by more than 10 NOS initiatives, including Facebook and Google, and the Open Networking Foundation’s CORD and Stratum projects.

“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 Big Switch Networks' Prashant Gandhi, chief product officer, in a prepared statement. “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 multisystem automation, real-time telemetry and predictive analytics.”

The OCP Global Summit starts tomorrow and runs through Friday at the San Jose Convention Center.