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Open Compute Project Envisions Open Network Switch

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

The Open Compute Project (OCP) is expanding its reach, announcing that it will be adding an effort to accelerate the development of more capable networking hardware.

A little over two years old, the OCP was founded by a group of Facebook employees with the goal to come up with a server rack design that would not only fit the needs of Facebook itself, but would be openly licensable. Starting May 16th, the OCP will begin work on a network switch that will be open as well and not integrate a single proprietary or license-bound component, including its operating system.

So far, no details have been announced, but OCP's Frank Frankowsky said that Facebook's network engineering lead Najam Ahmad will be running the project, along with support from Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Facebook, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware. The development will be kicking off at the OCP Engineering Summit.

"It’s our hope that an open, disaggregated switch will enable a faster pace of innovation in the development of networking hardware; help software-defined networking continue to evolve and flourish; and ultimately provide consumers of these technologies with the freedom they need to build infrastructures that are flexible, scalable, and efficient across the entire stack," Frankowsky wrote in a blog post. He noted that the team has, at this time, has just "an idea and a clean sheet of paper" instead of building on top of technology that already exists.

Wolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on and disruptive technologies. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and , he previously published TG Daily and was editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.

See here for all of Wolfgang's Tom's IT Pro articles.