HP launches open source network operating system

Wednesday, Oct 14, 2015

HP has announced the launch of the OpenSwitch community and a new open source network operating system (NOS). HP and key supporters, Accton Technology Corporation, Arista, Broadcom, Intel, and VMWare, are delivering a community-based platform that provides developers and users the ability to accelerate innovation, avoid vendor lock-in and realize investment protection as they rapidly build data center networkscustomized for“Open source software, with its collaborative community of specialized developers, accelerates innovation and improves the stability of the software platform, providing organizations with a more powerful infrastructure to support their specific business requirements,” said Santanu Ghose, Director, Networking, HP India. “The newly formed developer community and Linux-based OpenSwitch NOS early release code will help developers address the rapidly evolving business and web-scale networking needs in the industry.”

Traditional data center switching platforms were created by a group of developers within single vendors’ organizations, which limits the robustness, applicability to a range of use cases, and speed of innovation in those platforms. The OpenSwitch Community establishes a virtual innovation zone where a limitless number of developers and users collaborate to exchange information, test theories and innovate to create better, higher quality, and more secure network operating systems.Traditional networking is based on a closed, proprietary and vertically integrated model.

This closed model does not allow customers, or their software and integrator partners, to innovate and tailor their networks to meet their business needs, because an open community does not have access and the ability to modify NOS source code. An open source NOS, based on open standards, allows developers to engineer networks to prioritize business critical workloads and functions, delivering the users a dramatically improved experience. Networks based on an open NOS will also remove the burdens of interoperability issues and complex licensing structures that are inherent in the proprietary model.

“Network disaggregation ranks as one of the most disruptive developments in networking, even more disruptive, in many respects, than software defined networking,” said Brad Casemore, research director, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “By decoupling the underlying switch hardware from the network operating systems that run on it, HP and the other early contributors of the OpenSwitch Community are seeking to enable enterprises and large web-scale companies to rapidly innovate and engineer purpose-build data centers without the constraint of vendor lock-in.”

As part of the Open Switch Community, developers and users will build upon the newly released NOS, which includes the following:
- A fully featured NOS with L2/L3 protocols support
- Open source cloud database for persistent and ephemeral configuration
- All inter-module communication is through system database
- Universal API approach: CLI, REST, Puppet/Chef, Ansible unique business applications.

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