Broadcom has enjoyed a stranglehold when it comes to off-the-shelf chips for Ethernet switching, but Cavium, with XPLiant, is looking to loosen Broadcom’s fingers. In a challenge to both Broadcom and Intel, Cavium announced last year that it was buying Xpliant (lower-case “p”) for roughly $90 million.
While nature abhors a vacuum, hardware companies and service providers despise limited chip choices. By choosing to open source through the OCP, the design of Accton’s AS7500-32X switch is a step towards the open networking direction.
Accton’s new switch supports the following OCP-endorsed software: ONIE, Open Network Linux, and the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI). Accton has been a big contributor to the Facebook-backed Open Compute Project, with previous contributions of 10-, 40-, and 100-Gb/s switch designs, and as a charter member of the UNH-IOL Open Networking Test Services Consortium.
Other notable contributors of code to OCP include Big Switch Networks, Pica8, and Cumulus Networks. Today Big Switch Networks, Facebook, and NTT demonstrated the first OCP-based operating system, which is based on Big Switch Network’s Open Network Linux (ONL).
The AS7500-32X Cavium-based switch design uses the same physical switch packaging, including x86 CPU processor modules, power supplies, fans and enclosure, as the AS7700-32X, the 100-Gb/s switch design that Accton contributed to the OCP in March.
Prototypes of the AS7500-32X are available through Accton’s subsidiary, Edgecore Networks, which will be showing the switches at VMworld Europe 2015 in Barcelona and at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany, both next week.