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Open Compute Project Foundation Adopts OS Installation Solution from Cumulus

By Paula Bernier November 13, 2013

The Open Compute Project Foundation has adopted a new solution for installing software on network switches in an effort to advance the move to more flexible networking environments in the data center. Called the Open Network Install Environment, or ONIE, the boot loader defines a standard method of loading network operating systems on any ONIE-compatible hardware. ONIE also includes a modern Linux kernel.


While OCP and Cumulus Networks, which submitted the network boot loader, didn’t specifically use the terms network functions virtualization and software-defined networking in making the announcement, the press release does talk about applying this solution to bare metal switches, and quotes SDN startup Big Switch Networks.


"We have collaborated with Cumulus Networks on ONIE since day 1, and are excited that it was accepted by the Open Compute Project foundation," says Mansour Karam, vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Big Switch Networks. "ONIE comes already loaded on bare metal switches from a number of vendors, which are available through a network of distributors in the U.S. It is a key component of the disaggregated network architecture, allows choice of hardware and network operating systems, and enables Big Switch's Zero Touch Networking capability."


OCP says that ONIE, which is already supported on various ODM switches, will expedite widespread adoption of bare metal switches by making it easier and more affordable for users to buy and deploy standards-based network hardware. In addition to Big Switch Networks, Agema, Broadcom, Edge-Core Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Penguin Computing and Quanta support the ONIE effort.


"Customers want choices when it comes to configuring the networking layer of their cloud data centers," says Mike Yang, general manager of Quanta QCT. "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."

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Executive Editor, TMC

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