HP Adds Pica8 OS to Open Networking Effort
The tech vendor adds to new Altoline switches to its open networking gear, which can now run both PicOS and Cumulus' Linux operating system.Hewlett-Packard earlier this year introduced a new line of open networking switches that enable customers to buy the HP hardware and run third-party operating systems. Now, the company is growing the number of switches in its Altoline switch family and expanding the OSes that can run on them. HP officials on Aug. 24 announced that the company was doubling the number of open Altoline switches from two to four and adding Pica8's PicOS operating system to the software lineup that can run on the HP gear. The officials also said they intend to enable other network operating systems to run on the switches, including a tailored version of HP's own Comware 7 OS. The tech vendor in February joined Dell and Juniper Networks in offering open branded switches that can run software from other vendors, a change from the traditional way of offering networking gear that runs only the vendor's own operating systems. HP is partnering with Accton Technology to build the software-independent switches. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) are changing the way networks are designed and deployed, enabling organizations to create more programmable and agile infrastructures by removing the control plane and networking tasks from the underlying hardware and putting them into software, which can run on less expensive commodity systems.
The software-defined movement has enabled original-design manufactures (ODMs) to become larger players in the data center hardware space by making their affordable, unbranded white boxes more attractive to organizations. Analysts with IHS Infonetics said in a report last year that bare-metal switches are a key driver of SDN in the data center and could account for 31 percent of SDN-capable switch revenue by 2018.