Other vendors including Apstra are similarly showing off Open Compute Project (OCP)-compatible designs and integrations at the invitation-only event, being held today at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
“This is a first, where we’re putting the world’s best open hardware with the best open software,” says Cumulus Networks CEO Josh Leslie.
Both Backpack and Wedge 100 with Cumulus Linux are available to order via the ODM Celestica. (*Editor’s Correction 2/3/17: Only the Backpack switch with Cumulus is available via Celestica. The Wedge switch with Cumulus is not available to order via Celestica.)
“Celestica has a relationship with Facebook,” says Leslie. “And we also have a relationship; some of our largest customers buy from Celestica.”
Based on a distributed architecture, the modular Backpack switch brings operational efficiencies that traditional chassis lacked. Facebook’s Wedge 100 fixed form-factor 100-Gb/s switch was originally announced in late 2016.
Because Facebook’s Backpack and Wedge switches are open, users can run any operating system they want on them. But Leslie says, “They asked us to do it.”
The two switches add to the 50-plus switching platforms that already support Cumulus Linux.
Just last week, Cumulus Networks announced a turnkey hardware/software system — the new Cumulus Express — using 1-Gb/s through 100-Gb/s hardware from EdgeCore.
Apstra’s Distributed OS
In a separate demo scheduled for this afternoon, Apstra will present its software on the Wedge 100.
Apstra describes its software as a distributed operating system for the network. Handling tasks such as telemetry gathering and switch configuration, it’s meant to include “all the software components required to manage or operate your network as one system, as opposed to box-to-box,” as CEO Mansour Karam puts it.
The added twist is that Apstra is intent-driven, meaning it gets told what state the operator wants to see in the network, then makes the ongoing tweaks necessary to make that happen.
This requires device drivers specific to the different systems in the network. Available drivers work with Arista switches, some Cisco switches, and the Cumulus OS. Today’s demo shows that SnapRoute has been added to the list.
Separately, Cavium announced it’s contributing a switch design to OCP. The Wedge 100C, as the company calls it, is a Wedge 100 switch based on Cavium’s XPliant switching chip.
Craig Matsumoto contributed to this story.