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OPX Reaches Maturity

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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: 

Open Source LF Networking Projects Enter the Commercialization Phase, Supported by a Growing Global Ecosystem

By in the news
  • LFN’s OVP compliance and verification program gains momentum with GSMA and CNTT
  • Solutions, Blueprints, Use cases  on display in LF Networking booth at Open Networking Summit Europe  formal training, and commercial distribution enabled by LFN ease deployment, adoption and interoperability
  • Community grows with addition of OpenSwitch (OPX) project and new members Globe Telecom and Sterlite Technologies (STL)


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.

OPX 3.2.0 Released

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OPX 3.2.0 was released on July 24, 2019. This release adds support for the following features:

  • Enhanced configuration and show utilities to improve management of switches via CLI – Linux shell.
  • Persistence tools to allow users to easily persist configuration over reboots.

The release also adds support for the following Dell EMC Networking switches:

  • S5212F-ON
  • S5224F-ON

This release also includes a series of bug fixes and performance improvements. Full details can be found at the below links:

OPX Receives the CII Best Practices Badge

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The Linux Foundation (LF) Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) Best Practices badge is a way for Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects to show that they follow best practices. Projects can voluntarily self-certify, at no cost, by using this web application to explain how they follow each best practice. The CII Best Practices Badge is inspired by the many badges available to projects on GitHub. Consumers of the badge can quickly assess which FLOSS projects are following best practices and as a result are more likely to produce higher-quality secure software.

More information on the CII Best Practices Badging program, including background and criteria, is available on GitHub. Project statistics and criteria statistics are available. The projects page shows participating projects and supports queries (e.g., you can see projects that have a passing badge).