Randy Bias, VP of technology and strategy at Juniper Networks, said, “We went through a long process to figure out the name.” But ultimately the group chose “Tungsten Fabric” because tungsten is a very strong metal that’s unlikely to break down even as part of a fabric.
The move to the Linux Foundation should provide a clear distinction between the open source code of Tungsten Fabric versus the commercial Contrail products offered by Juniper. “Historically, there’s been a challenge between the commercial version and open source version because they were always exactly the same,” said Bias. “People were never sure which side of the fence they were on.”
In fact Juniper’s decision in December 2017 to move OpenContrail to the Linux Foundation came after criticism that the code wasn’t really that open.
“We’ll be one of the biggest consumers of Tungsten Fabric,” said Bias. “For the current state, there’s no difference between Tungsten Fabric and OpenContrail in terms of feature sets. In the future, we don’t see there being any functional differences between them.”
Tungsten Fabric’s mission is to build a cloud-grade, software-defined networking (SDN) stack that provides a network fabric capable of connecting diverse environments. Contributors and community members include Aricent, AT&T, Bell, Cavium, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Mellanox, Mirantis, Netronome, and Orange, among others.
The next release of Tugsten Fabric is coming in May. One new addition being discussed is the development of controller features to orchestrate EVPN in data center network fabrics.
The open source project is also in the process of joining the Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN). “We’ll be the first project to go through the induction process,” said Bias. The current six projects in the LFN were all grandfathered when the umbrella group recently formed.