SnapRoute and Canonical joined forces to create an integrated software stack for white-box switch deployments. They’re combining SnapRoute’s FlexSwitch and Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system for cloud environments.
The FlexSwitch+Ubuntu stack is certified on multiple white-box switches including the Facebook Wedge 100, according to the partners.
SnapRoute’s switch control software can be deployed as a normal Ubuntu application in the data center. And FlexSwitch is now fully automated with Canonical’s Metal-as-a-Service, enabling top-to-bottom data center provisioning.
SDxCentral previously reported that SnapRoute’s FlexSwitch ran on open hardware to operate network switches. Glenn Sullivan, a SnapRoute co-founder and director of customer experience, explained where Ubuntu fits in a disaggregated switch model. He said there are three main components in the model. One is the white-box switch itself. “The second is a Linux (or hypothetically, another) operating system for the switch CPU,” said Sullivan. “This part of the switch is essentially a server. This is what Canonical is providing.”
The third necessary piece is a switch operating system, which provides the Layer 2/3 switching and routing functionality. It manages the forwarding tables, programs the switching ASIC, and manages the physical aspects of the switch platform, such as monitoring power supplies, fans, temperatures, and front panel LEDs. This is the part that SnapRoute provides.
Canonical’s Ubuntu and SnapRoute’s FlexSwitch are now certified to work together so that they can jointly be used to power white-box switching hardware.
SnapRoute counts AT&T as a customer. The service provider is using SnapRoute as part of its own white box disaggregation efforts.