Pica8, Big Switch Look to Drive SDN on Bare-Metal Switches
In a busy week for SDN vendors, Cyan adds support for Cisco and Juniper switches, while Midokura partners with Penguin Computing.Pica8 kicked off a busy week in the increasingly competitive software-defined networking space, making moves that officials say will help fuel the adoption of Linux-based OSes on bare-metal switches. The company announced Oct. 6 that it was embracing the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), which enables businesses to more easily load a network OS on bare-metal switches. ONIE gives customers the ability to consider a wider range of standard OSes and switches from original design manufacturers (ODMs) when building out their infrastructure. ONIE has been accepted by the Open Compute Project, and enables businesses to run a range of operating systems—such as Pica8's PicOS or Cumulus Networks' operating system—on the same switch hardware. Vendors like Pica8 and Cumulus Networks are championing the use of standards-based operating systems running on low-cost bare-metal switches as an alternative in the software-defined network (SDN) space to more expensive and complex hardware from the likes of Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. "Our goal is to enable choice in selecting network hardware and software, and PicOS supports bare metal switches from major original device manufacturers," Steve Garrison, vice president of marketing at Pica8, said in a statement. "By supporting ONIE, we make it easier than ever for our customers to integrate PicOS onto the bare metal switches of their choice."
Pica8 in the past has offered PicOS as a preloaded option on bare-metal switches from ODM partners. By offering developers a free version of the operating system, company officials said they are creating another avenue for driving adoption of the OS on a wide range of commodity networking hardware. The free trial version of PicOS also enables organizations to investigate SDN before jumping right in.