OpenSwitch would appear to be a rival to the network operating systems put forth by Big Switch Networks, Cumulus Networks, and Pica8 (a company that HP announced as a partner only last week). It’s not yet clear what relationship OpenSwitch will have with other open networking efforts such as the Open Compute Project originated by Facebook.
OpenSwitch is not an HP product per se, but HP seems to be leading the effort behind it. HP did not immediately return a request for comment.
Accton, Broadcom, and Intel are all interested in promoting white box switching, so OpenSwitch seems up their alley. Those three companies would provide the off-the-shelf hardware that would run an OS such as OpenSwitch, Open Network Linux (contributed by Big Switch to the Open Compute Project in March), Switch Light (Big Switch’s own OS), Cumulus Linux, or PicOS.
Arista’s interest is more puzzling, as OpenSwitch would compete with Arista’s own operating system, EOS.
In an email to SDxCentral, an Arista spokeswoman explains it this way: “Arista’s support of OpenSwitch is another example of open source community effort. Arista support for such open initiatives, (like OCP, OpenSwitch, etc.) in addition to our own open EOS products, reflects our belief that different types of customers seek different solutions.”
Arista has been open — no pun intended — to the idea of offering EOS on white box switches, but company officials claim they haven’t seen demand emerge yet. What little interest the company has encountered has been mostly for experimental scenarios, CEO Jayshree Ullal said in August.
OpenSwitch is available now in an initial developers’ release.
OpenSwitch comes from the side of HP that is due to become HP Enterprise on Nov. 1, when the company splits in two.
Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.