Mellanox to Open Source Its Ethernet Switches

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Mellanox to Open Source its Ethernet SwitchesMellanox to Open Source its Ethernet SwitchesMellanox announces plans to open source its Ethernet switches in an effort to gain an edge in an era of software defined networking (SDN) and open source software.

Mellanox Technologies has introduced its Open Ethernet initiative last week, open sourcing its switching code--thus allowing customers to custom design their data center networks to fit their specific needs. By opening the code to its switching software, Mellanox hopes to attract a new audience and grow a community of supporters who will be able to further innovate through collaboration. This new audience will include cloud providers and companies that focus on data center infrastructure.

Through this initiative, Mellanox will also offer support on its switches for open source networking projects including OpenFlow and Quagga. OpenFlow is a Layer 2 protocol that offers better traffic management; Quagga is a Layer 3 routing code which offers implementation of OSPF, RIP, BGP, and IS-IS.

Mellanox says its Open Ethernet framework will provide customers with greater control, more flexibility, efficiency and increased ROI by eliminating the limits that proprietary switches are known for. “SDN and OpenFlow started as something that can provide an interface for people to control things,” Gilad Shainer, Sr. Director of Market Development at Mellanox,told TechTarget. "It wasn't opening everything. It was just providing a window. But even with that, most vendors were providing limited capabilities for what you can control."

The company made it clear that it is only open sourcing its switching software; as firmware is a part of hardware, it will remain proprietary.

Mellonox Open Ethernet initiative is set to launch within the next several months.

Kasia LorencKasia LorencKasia Lorenc is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. Combining her love of IT and marketing, she currently serves as the Director of Technology and Search Marketing for Zacuto USA in Chicago.

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