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OPX Reaches Maturity

By announcements, in the news, news and events

The Open Switch project (OPX), was started by a group of networking hardware and software vendors, as an open source network operating system (NOS). OPX was an early adopter of emerging concepts and technologies: hardware and software disaggregation, use of open source, SDN, NFV and DevOps which disrupt how networks and networking equipment are built and operated. Designed using a standard Debian Linux distribution with an unmodified Linux kernel, OPX provides a programmable high-level abstraction of network components, such as switching ASICs (Network Processors) and optical transceivers. OPX’s goal is to provide a scalable, cloud-ready, agile solution, and a flexible infrastructure to enable both network operators and vendors to rapidly on-board open source Networking OS applications. Some of the major source code contributors and participants in OPX come from HPE, Dell Technologies, EdgeCore, Broadcom, SnapRoute, Cavium and more. OPX has been deployed commercially, and it has been in use by many small to large-sized service providers.

Currently, OPX is at Release 3.2, and provides a versatile SW platform which HW vendors can deploy on their equipment. SW vendors can use it to develop new protocols and applications, and service providers can deploy using a fully-automated DevOps process.

That said, OPX is now a mature solution, having achieved its original goals;  namely, providing a solid platform for SW and HW vendors to deploy new technologies and experiment with new protocols and ASIC’s. OPX has proven the capabilities of open source disaggregated SW and HW. Future efforts may involve development of new applications using OPX, integration of new ASICs and peripherals, as well as deployment of OPX on a larger ecosystem of networking equipment.

OpenSwitch and the Linux Foundation would like to thank all members of the community who have contributed code and equipment, have made comments, and asked questions. The community is what has made this project possible.

Useful OPX Resources: 

LF Networking Welcomes OpenSwitch (OPX) Project

By announcements, in the news

Announcement related to OPX joining LFN

We are happy to welcome OpenSwitch (OPX) Networking Operating System in the LFN project portfolio. OPX isan open source Linux-based network operating system (NOS) solution based on disaggregated design for OCP-compliant hardware and virtual machines. 

To learn more about the project and how it fits into the open networking stack, we sat down with Joe Ghalam, OPX TSC Chair and Distinguished Engineer at Dell EMC. Read below for more info. 

Please share a brief history of OPX — why and when it was formed, initial project goals, founders, etc. 
OpenSwitch project started with HPE as the main contributor and driver in 2014. As HPE ended support for the initial version of OpenSwitch, Dell EMC and a few other major contributors (SnapRoute, Cavium, Broadcom, and more) stepped up to take over the project in 2016. OPX as it is today is an innovative operating system for network systems. 

What market need does OPX fulfill, and how?
OPX is based on an unmodified Linux Distro (Debian). It takes advantage of the rich linux ecosystem, and also provides flexibility in customizing your system according to your network needs. OPX has been deployed commercially, and it has been in use by many small to large size service providers. It is one of the few open source network Operating Systems (NOS) that is fully functional out- of- the box. The architecture of OPX allows for rapid onboarding of software applications and open hardware platforms.

Why did you join LFN?
The OPX project has longstanding ties with the Linux Foundation and it has benefited from various engagement via summits and other LF activities. With the introduction of LFN, the OPX project members saw an opportunity to move the project to an area that is more focused on the networking side, but it needed to be at the right time to avoid release interruptions. We saw the move to LFN a right move for the following reasons:

  • It made more sense to be a part of LFN with focusing on networking. Afterall, OPX is all about networking and network support.
  • We believe the charter of LFN in harmonizing various networking open-source projects to provide a complete stack is essential.  By joining LFN, the community will benefit from this harmonization, and we look forward to accelerated innovation in the core OS.
  • The way LFN technical committee is organized, we hope to have more frequent and more meaningful interactions with other LFN projects.
  • The strong marketing team and infrastructure of LFN was another attractive part of move to LFN.

What are you most excited about in terms of collaboration?
We are eager to get engaged with the LFN technical committee and seek opportunities to collaborate and interop with other projects. The OPX project will bring the first NOS to LFN, and we are very excited to fill that gap for the existing and future projects.

Where does OPX fit into the overall open networking stack?
OPX is a fully functional NOS. It was designed from the ground up with software & hardware desegregation in mind to support open networking switches hardware. The design will allow vendors, service providers, and typical users to rapidly bring up networking switches and build applications to meet their network needs.

What are some examples of use cases and or solutions that you plan to bring to the LFN community?

The OPX NOS with basic L2/L3 protocol support (FRR has been tested as a protocol stack) has support for enterprise and datacenter use-cases. OPX supports native Linux applications and tools, and it also facilities rapid onboarding of home grown tools to extend its use-cases.

Source: Originally Posted on LFN Blog Sept. 19th 2019.

OpenSwitch (OPX) Delivers Enterprise-Grade, Deployment-Ready Solution for Composable Networking

By announcements, news and events

New release of open source network operating system enhances manageability, automation, and extends hardware compatibility as Inocybe Technologies, Metaswitch, and Verizon Connect join community

SAN FRANCISCO – June 21, 2018OpenSwitch, a Linux Foundation project with the mission of delivering a turn-key switching software solution based on the OPX open source Network Operating System (NOS), today announced availability of the OPX 2.3 software release, delivering an enterprise-grade composable networking solution for white box switches. OPX 2.3 brings important iterative updates that supplement networking, instrumentation and management features with enhanced automation capabilities, and extends OPX compatibility to two new families of hardware platforms.

Architected as a scalable, cloud-ready, agile solution, the open source OpenSwitch software implements flexible infrastructure to enable both network operators and vendors to rapidly on-board premium open source premium NOS applications. Backed by industry leaders such as Dell EMC and Metaswitch, OPX 2.3 supports a rich set of L2/L3 networking features that are compatible with a wide variety of 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G hardware platforms from multiple vendors.

Specific feature enhancements include SNMP support, upgradability via standard Linux apt tools, and persistent configuration. OPX 2.3 brings support for remote authentication and remote access control by adding Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) and Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System Plus (TACACS+) features. Support for these features will allow network operators to maintain user profiles and access logs in a central database that all remote equipment can share, and providing better security and control from a single administered network point. OPX 2.3 also adds support for two new platforms from Dell EMC – S5148F-ON, based on Cavium XPliant programmable ASIC and S4200-ON, based on Broadcom Qumran ASIC – extending OPX’s hardware compatibility list to include more than a dozen 10G, 25G, 40G and 100G switches from multiple vendors.​

The number of quickly growing application offerings compatible with OpenSwitch is growing and includes, among others:

  • Apstra AOS®: Intent-based networking software to increase network service agility, reduce infrastructure TCO, and simplify how data center networks are built and operated
  • Metaswitch CNP-Base-OPX package:  a complete suite of layer 2 and layer 3 control plane protocols and management interface options
  • FRRouting: Open-source IP routing suite for Linux
  • Cavium: PacketTrakkerTM: A programmable telemetry suite
  • Broadcom: BroadviewTM telemetry application
  • InMon: hsflowd, a community-developed flow-based telemetry application
  • Inocybe: Has integrated OpenDaylight SDN and OpenSwitch NOS to supply a disaggregated software stack with a model driven architecture based on RESTFUL API that provides users with a single management interface to both physical & virtual switches.

“The ability to install and operationalize individual protocol stacks as applications or micro-features facilitates the design of cost-conscious, composable networks (based on a mixture of best-of-breed hardware and software) that reduce failure domains and improve performance” said Alley Hasan, OpenSwitch Project Governing Board chair. “The OpenSwitch community is committed to continue developing viable, turn-key solutions for data center operators, as well as for service provider edge and core architectures.”

The project ecosystem surges ahead as well, recently welcoming Inocybe Technologies, Metaswitch, and Verizon Connect as new project members. OPX’s expanding member base includes contributions from both user and vendor communities, all collaborating to advance the introduction of innovative, production-ready, turnkey composable networking solutions.

“We welcome the growth and increased community in OpenSwitch and are excited about this new release, which helps move the disaggregation forward,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, The Linux Foundation. “OpenSwitch is one of the key network operating systems that forms the basis of broader harmonization across the white box NOS stack.”

The OpenSwitch composable networking model empowers the creation of completely customizable infrastructures based on modular components. OPX empowers operators the option to deploy the right combination of hardware platform, network operating system and individual software components to best suit their specific use case. OPX is currently deployed in production networks, including those of Tier 1 Service Provider infrastructures, providing reliable and scalable solutions for greater agility that can significantly reduce both CapEx and OpEx expenses.

More information on OPX is available here, and OPX 2.3 NOS can be downloaded here.

Supporting Quotes

Apstra: Manish Sampat, VP of Engineering

“Apstra pioneered Intent-Based Networking to simplify the full life cycle of data center network operations and increase business agility through log-scale improvements in CapEx, OpEx and capacity. We believe a network operator should be free to chose the technology of their choice. AOS supports established network vendors and open alternatives and we are pleased to fully support OpenSwitch in our AOS 2.2 offering, which includes first line support for OPX customers. We are also pleased to have deployed AOS support for OpenSwitch (OPX) on Dell EMC Z9100-N switches in a Tier 1 Service Provider production network.”

Cavium Networks: Albert Fishman, Switching Platform Group Senior Marketing Manager

“OPX allows operators, developers and vendors to combine their agile software with field-proven networking stack, thus shortening the path to the production networks deployments. It’s exciting to see the amount of positive feedback we continue to receive from customers that build composable networks based on Dell EMC S5148F-ON 10/25G hardware with Cavium XPliant programmable silicon, OPX NOS and Packet TrakkerTM telemetry software.”

Cumulus Networks: JR Rivers, CTO

“It is exciting to come together with OpenSwitch and others in the open source community to transform the networking industry. The FRRouting team is focused on developing the industry’s most full-featured, high-performance open routing stack and is proud to be part of OPX ecosystem”.

Dell EMC: Gavin Cato, SVP Dell EMC Networking

“Open Networking is in our DNA. With the contribution of our latest S-series 25GbE and deep-buffer 10GbE platforms to the OpenSwitch Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), we continue to provide the community with the greatest set of choices and options for open source networking”.

Inocybe: Mathieu Lemay, CEO of Inocybe and OpenSwitch Board Member

“As a leader in Open Networking and OpenDaylight SDN controllers, Inocybe has led the industry to help service providers and enterprises build, test, package, upgrade and manage integrated SDN and NFV solutions across open, heterogeneous environments – from the data center to the edge,” said Mathieu Lemay, CEO of Inocybe and OpenSwitch Board Member. “Inocybe is continuously improving adoption of ODL controllers by developing an OpenSwitch-based network operating system (NOS) that works seamlessly with ODL and will be validated to work on Kontron and Dell’s whitebox switches (as well as a variety of other hardware platforms), eliminating the complexity from the controller down the stack while preserving the ability to disaggregate the solution.”

Metaswitch: Shriraj Gaglani, EVP of business and corporate development

“Metaswitch has decades of experience helping network equipment vendors increase their velocity of innovation by employing our portable protocol stacks. Together with the OPX NOS Base and Dell EMC certified hardware, we are excited to be employing our Composable Network Protocols and expertise to accelerate the adoption of dynamic, scalable and resilient composable networking deployments.”

SK Telecom: Dr. Kang-Won Lee, SVP and Head of Software R&D Center

“Composable networking, like the one offered by OpenSwitch, is well aligned with SKT’s strategy of utilizing disaggregated hardware and software. Through disaggregation we can optimize CapEx and OpEx while reducing operational risk. To effectively operate the complex network infrastructure, it is also essential to have real-time visibility of the network. We are happy to collaborate with Cavium and apply its Packet Trakker programmable telemetry technology.”

Verizon Connect: Rick Davis, Infrastructure Architect and DevOps Leader

“In early 2016 we launched an initiative to modernize our application stack in order to leverage the latest micro service, messaging, and database frameworks, and we needed a next- generation infrastructure platform to support it. Choosing OpenSwitch (OPX) allowed us to achieve both our business and engineering goals. OPX helped us increase our development velocity, thus reducing OpEx, while also helping reduce CapEx by using cost conscious open source software, without having to compromise commercial support. Our highly scalable, extensible, and cloud adaptable platform was successfully deployed in production, with OPX software at its core, and we’re looking forward to the future of the OpenSwitch project.”

Vodafone Group Plc: Nicola Arnoldi, Lead Data Center SDN Network Architect

“In Networking there are problems that need solving and solutions that need to be found to address those. We welcome disaggregation as liberation from the era of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ network operating systems. With open networking operating systems, engineers can finally cherry- pick the software protocol stacks and the hardware platform that make more sense to fulfill their business needs, and do that independently as long as the interfaces between HW and SW are standardized and widely recognized. We’re all very used to dealing with vendors whose innovation cycles are fairly slow due to the huge amount of features and combinations that need to be tested and validated every time. Eco-systems such as OPX allow to remove this feature clutter will unlock much faster and focused innovation that can be driven by the operators themselves, if that makes business sense for them. The control plane of a network is a constellation of apps that deserve to inherit the same design and architectural principles of software engineering, such as distribution, scaling, and high-availability. We think the approach that OPX has taken is solidly anchored to these principles, which may lead to a true, distributed, and easily operated network fabrics. We think that the open-source community has been a hugely powerful driver in almost all IT domains in the past 3 decades and OpenSwitch is yet another sign that disaggregated and composable networking is headed the right way.”

About the OpenSwitch Project

The OpenSwitch project brings together an ecosystem of contributors focused on a full-featured network operating system and control plane built to run on Linux, enabling the transition to disaggregated networks. OpenSwitch is a Linux Foundation project. For additional information, visit

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

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