Backpack is the successor to Facebook’s 6-pack, a modular switch based on 40-Gb/s ports. Backpack is the next step up, using 100-Gb/s ports.
Facebook is already using Backpack in production, starting with one pod in the company’s Altoona, Iowa, data center. The next step is to “continue deploying Backpack in production pods hosting various frontend and backend services to ensure that it can meet the demands of a wide range of applications served by our data centers,” Facebook engineers Zhiping Yao, Jasmeet Bagga, and Hany Morsy wrote on the company’s blog.
Wedge, 6-pack, and Backpack are part of Facebook’s attempt to redefine networking equipment by using commodity hardware and open source designs. The work is allied in spirit with open networking vendors such as Big Switch Networks, Cumulus Networks, and Pica8.
Facebook started the OCP by focusing on server designs, and the project expanded into networking in 2013.