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HP urges OpenSwitch innovation

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HP introduces a new open source network operating system, OpenSwitch.
HP introduces a new open source network operating system, OpenSwitch.

At the HP/Aruba Future Forum in London this week, HP launched the OpenSwitch Community, a new open source network operating system (NOS) and community-based platform where developers can help build customised data centre networks for unique business applications.

"The newly formed developer community and Linux-based OpenSwitch NOS early release code will help developers address the rapidly evolving business and Web-scale networking needs in the industry," said Mark Carroll, CTO of HP Networking.

This as the always-on nature of the global digital economy and the massive influx of data have changed how network operators, cloud providers, telecoms, and enterprises think about networking. The company said the volume of network traffic is growing exponentially and is forcing large Web-scale organisations to scale their data centres to new levels.

"Open source software, with its collaborative community of specialised developers, accelerates innovation and improves the stability of the software platform, providing organisations with a more powerful infrastructure to support their specific business requirements," noted Carroll.

HP has listed a diverse group of key supporters, including Accton Technology, Arista, Broadcom, Intel and VMware, as being part of the community-based platform that provides developers and users not only the ability to accelerate innovation but also to "avoid vendor lock-in and realise investment protection as they rapidly build data centre networks customised for unique business applications".

"Traditional data centre switching platforms were created by a group of developers within single vendor organisations, which limits the robustness, applicability to a range of use cases, and speed of innovation in those platforms."

The OpenSwitch Community establishes a virtual innovation zone where a limitless number of developers and users collaborate to exchange information, test theories and innovate to create better, higher quality, and more secure network operating systems.

"Network disaggregation ranks as one of the most disruptive developments in networking, even more disruptive, in many respects, than software-defined networking," according to Brad Casemore, research director for data centre networks at IDC.

"By decoupling the underlying switch hardware from the network operating systems that run on it, HP and the other early contributors of the OpenSwitch Community are seeking to enable enterprises and large Web-scale companies to rapidly innovate and engineer purpose-build data centres without the constraint of vendor lock-in."

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