SDN Upstart Pica8 Embraces ONIE, Gets New Funding

By Paula Bernier October 06, 2014

In a move to make it easy for customers to integrate its operating system on the bare metal switches of their liking, Pica8 now supports the Open Network Install Environment recently accepted by the Open Compute Project Foundation.

Others in the ONIE ecosystem include Accton Technology Corp., Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Inventec Corp., Mellanox Technologies, Quanta, and XPliant.

ONIE, which comes already loaded on bare metal switches from a number of vendors, is a boot loader that defines a standard method of loading network operating systems on any ONIE-compatible hardware. ONIE also includes a modern Linux kernel. The goal of ONIE is to expedite the widespread adoption of bare metal switches by making it easier and more affordable for users to buy and deploy standards-based network hardware.

"Customers want choices when it comes to configuring the networking layer of their cloud data centers," Mike Yang, general manager of Quanta QCT, said last year when OCP embraced ONIE. "By participating in ONIE, we're giving our customers unprecedented network layer agility. They can choose the right software to support the switching fabrics that their applications demand, with products designed, manufactured and supported by the leader in cloud data center hardware."

As for Pica8, the company in January launched an open SDN switch platform for environments operating 10GbE over copper network backbones. While 10GBASE is considered existing infrastructure, it continues to grow, notes Pica8, which pointed out Crehan Research data saying that 10GBASE-T is expected to grow significantly faster than all other 10GbE data center switch technologies with a forty-fold increase over the next five years.

Pica8 also in January made available its SDN Starter Kit, which is intended to help people and organizations expedite their implementations in this realm. Pica8 came up with the idea for the start kit after surveying 100 IT professionals and service providers, who said they need help pulling SDN pieces together and need an open solution that is easy to deploy.

In other recent news from Pica8, the company last week revealed it has now raised more than $20 million – $12.5 million of that via new Series B funding from a group led by VantagePoint Capital Partners, Cross Head and Pacific Venture Partners.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Executive Editor, TMC

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