Who’s Down with Open Networking?

This week UNH-IOL is holding our 3rd Plugfest with the Open Compute Project (OCP) Networking Group. Our earlier events were focused on defining and improving our testing processes, but this event is special. We’ll be using everything we’ve learned as a community over the last year to prove interoperability of Open Networking by incorporating open testing, then using that to publish sets of known interoperable Open Networking solutions.

Many efforts within the UNH-IOL are driven by industry, that are product companies working together to improve their own equipment, but also the ecosystem that their equipment is used in. Open Networking is different in that the driving force behind it comes from consumers and users who are building and running large data centers.  With these innovations, we are seeing more and more adoption among the enterprises and small businesses that leverage Open Networking techniques such as various OCP Networking Projects like Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) and Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI). These technologies allow alternative networking solutions and lower price points for everyone.

At the end of the day, end users will be able to see exactly what works and what doesn’t including: 

• Test Plans
• Test Scripts and Configurations
• Test Results

The test results will allow end users to browse the many combinations of Open Networking products (network device, pluggable, and network operating system) that are proven to be interoperable.

I am looking forward to welcoming all participants to Durham this week to test the interoperability of their devices in combination with those of other participants, simulating a real-world data center deployment. The initial list of participants are:

• 3M
• Accton Technology Corporation
• Amphenol
• Avago Technologies
• Big Switch Networks
• Cumulus Networks
• Finisar
• FlexOptix
• Hewlett Packard
• Lumentum
• Mellanox Technologies

Here is what some members have to say:

"We were delighted to take part in the 3rd Open Networking Plugfest 2015 and demonstrate the interoperability of our latest portfolio of 10G/40G fiber optic transceivers with other Open Networking compliant solutions in a heterogeneous network environment,” said Steve Shultis, director of product marketing of the Fiber Optics Product Division (FOPD) at Avago Technologies. “Avago is fully supportive of OCP’s interoperability testing objectives and an open networking platform and ecosystem that benefit our data center customers and stakeholders.”

"Cumulus Networks is pleased to be a part of the Open Networking Testing Consortium for Interoperability Program," said Reza Malekzadeh, Vice President of Business, Cumulus Networks. “Having Cumulus Linux based solutions certified will further accelerate the adoption of Open Networking by confirming interoperability of the core components and helping eliminate vendor lock in."

"Accton Technology is pleased to expand our support of open networking and the OCP by joining the Open Networking Testing Consortium,” said Jeff Catlin, VP of Technology at Accton Technology Corporation. “The publicly available interoperability data from OCP will give cloud provider, telecom and enterprise customers more confidence in deploying validated open network solutions consisting of our Edgecore Networks 10G, 40G, and 100G switches with a choice of leading NOS software, pluggable optical transceivers and cables."

"Big Switch Networks is proud to sponsor events like the OCP Plugfest because they are what open hardware is all about: like-minded folks coming together for the betterment of the ecosystem" said Rob Sherwood, CTO, Big Switch. "Accelerating adoption of open networking principles will help to drive innovation and dramatically reduce costs for enterprises."

“FCI is delighted to be an active participant in the Open Networking compliance and interoperability testing plugfest taking place at the University of New Hampshire” stated Roy Muscarella, VP and General Manager of FCI’s High Speed IO Business Unit. “Our participation in this event is consistent with FCI’s long standing participation in other similar testing & certification events across a number of open industry standards. This simply reinforces our perspective of the necessity of these events and, maybe more importantly, our belief that our customers value achieving certification and assuring proper interoperability with numerous Open Networking hardware suppliers. It eliminates any future concerns they may have for assuring a simple and straightforward plug-n-play operation with FCI’s HSIO product portfolio”.

“Lumentum is excited to be part of the Open Networking Testing Consortium for Interoperability Program,” said Doug Alteen, Vice President, Product Line Management, Optical Communications, Lumentum. “Interoperability standards give the eco-system an opportunity to ensure compatibility as innovations continue on hardware/software and optics. Lumentum’s portfolio of 10G, 40G and 100G transceivers have been deployed for years in Enterprise networks and we look forward to continuing our support of the Open Networking initiatives.”

"Mellanox is proud to be a member of the Open Networking Testing Consortium and to have our 10/25/40/50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet solutions certified under the interoperability program," said Kevin Deierling, Vice President of Marketing, Mellanox Technologies. "Open and flexible solutions continue to gain importance as the data center becomes more and more of a competitive differentiator for today's enterprise. This program will deliver on the promise of Ethernet to allow users to mix and match equipment based on their specific and unique business needs and be confident of seamless interoperability."

Leading up to this week, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Carlos Cardenas, Co-Chair of the OCP Networking group. Regarding the work happening at this week’s Plugfest he says:

"We are happy that it’s an exhilarating time to be in networking. There is a large community of vendors that believe in open networking and are willing to prove their interoperability in an open fashion. The results of everything happening here will alter the networking industry by improving customer confidence and increase adoption of open networking."

We’ll have more news about the results of our Open Networking Plugfest, and the Open Networking Integrators List that the community is contributing to over the next few weeks. 

Stay tuned! We'll announce results of the Open Networking Plugfest, along with some exciting news on UNH-IOL’s role in furthering innovation in open networking, next month at the OCP Engineering Summit at Fidelity Investments in Boston, MA.