Over the last three years, we’ve been working within the Open Compute Project (OCP) to apply this principle to open designs for racks, servers, storage boxes, and motherboards. And last year, OCP kicked off a new networking project with a goal of developing designs for OS-agnostic top-of-rack (TOR) switches. This was the first step toward disaggregating the network – separating hardware from software, so we can spur the development of more choices for each – and our progress so far has exceeded our expectations: Broadcom, Intel, Mellanox, and Accton have already contributed designs for open switches; Cumulus Networks and Big Switch Networks have made software contributions; and the development work and discussions in the project group have been highly productive.
Today we’re pleased to unveil the next step: a new top-of-rack network switch, code-named “Wedge,” and a new Linux-based operating system for that switch, code-named “FBOSS.” These projects break down the hardware and software components of the network stack even further, to provide a new level of visibility, automation, and control in the operation of the network. By combining the hardware and software modules together in new ways, “Wedge” and “FBOSS” depart from current networking design paradigms to leverage our experience in operating hundreds of thousands of servers in our data centers. In other words, our goal with these projects was to make our network look, feel, and operate more like the OCP servers we’ve already deployed, both in terms of hardware and software.
On the software side, we wanted “FBOSS” to help us move more quickly. It was designed to allow us to leverage the software libraries and systems we currently use for managing our server fleet, including initial turn-up and decommissioning, upgrades and downgrades, and draining and undraining. By controlling the programming of the switch hardware, we can implement our own forwarding software much faster. We also added a Thrift-based abstraction layer on top of the switch ASIC APIs, which will enable our engineers to treat “Wedge” like any other service in Facebook. With “FBOSS,” all our infrastructure software engineers instantly become network engineers.
“Wedge” and “FBOSS” are currently being tested in our network. We plan to propose the designs for “Wedge” and the central pieces of “FBOSS” as contributions to OCP, so others can start consuming the designs and building on them.
|Categories||Networking > Hardware > Data Center Networking Platforms|
Networking > Virtual Network Functions > vSwitches
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