Open Network Switch is closer to ship, news from Open Compute Project

Open Compute Project’s president Frank Frankovsky posted on the progress of the Open Network Switch.

Just six months ago, we announced our intention to expand the charter of the Open Compute Project to include networking hardware.

At the time, it was our hope that we could build on the momentum we'd established in opening up server, storage, and datacenter designs and collaborate with the broader community on the development of an open, OS-agnostic top-of-rack switch. Such a switch, we believed, would enable a faster pace of innovation in the development of networking hardware; help software-defined networking continue to evolve and flourish; and ultimately provide consumers of these technologies with the freedom they need to build infrastructures that are flexible, scalable, and efficient across the entire stack.

Our progress so far has exceeded even our lofty expectations -- hundreds of people are actively collaborating on the development of more than 30 potential contributions, covering most of the network hardware stack and even some of the network software stack.

 Arstechnica adds in the threat this has to Cisco.

Six months ago, Facebook announced that its Open Compute Project (OCP) would develop a top-of-rack switch that could boot nearly any type of networking software. With the help of Intel, Broadcom, and others, the consortium devoted to open hardware specifications would develop a rival to Cisco's network hardware.

Here is the Cisco response.

In response to today's Facebook announcement, Cisco said in a statement to Ars, "It’s important to acknowledge that the largest web-scale companies driving OCP have the skills, resources, and specialized traffic patterns that justify considering this approach carefully. However, most IT departments won’t relish taking on the additional operational cost, skills and expertise that are required to integrate their own technology.

"We’re finding that the majority of customers are looking for a turnkey solution that gives them the programmability and flexibility they want, with lower operating costs, and that’s exactly what Cisco ACI will deliver, without compromises on scale, performance and security."