Multi-Vendor SONiC: Creating New Opportunities For The Enterprise

May 16, 2022
Ben Bronson
Multi-Vendor SONiC: Creating New Opportunities For The Enterprise

Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC, an open-source networking operating system) recently moved from the Open Compute Project (OCP) to The Linux Foundation (LF). This enables neutral governance, and further, accelerates its adoption in a multi-vendor-supported ecosystem.

Leading open source network operating system enabling disaggregation for data centers now hosted by the Linux Foundation to enable neutral governance in a software ecosystem.

The LF provides the perfect venue for developer-led growth, and a public-private partnership across contributors, vendors, and users alike to nurture the open-source networking stack. It is clear that the future of Open-Source Networking is brighter than ever, given the traction SONiC has been seeing. Today, every large enterprise data center is considering SONiC deployment for the simplicity, agility, and reliability it brings above and beyond its cost advantage. More and more market segments such as edge, retail, campuses, and telcos are embracing SONiC at a supersonic speed. Their eyes are on the prospects of disaggregated networking and innovative applications in the cloud (hence software for open networking in the cloud).

Let’s take a deeper look at the “Multi-Vendor” aspects of the Open-Source SONiC ecosystem, and how enterprises can benefit from it

Typically, there are four different models when it comes to open-source software development:

  • Traditional Open-Source: when individuals or a group of developers work on interesting innovations with personal initiatives; and no involvement from public/private corporations. They typically just open-source their work and anyone in the community including public/private corporations can consume their work in whatever ways they like. Example: PANDA (Protocol And Network Datapath Acceleration).
  • Traditional Open-Source Distributors: when companies create businesses around traditional open-source projects and contribute some or all of their work back to the core of the project, but monetize some aspects of development and/or deployment. Example: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  • Single-Vendor Open-Source: when a company aims to disrupt existing markets open sources its software to change the dynamics of the ecosystems around it and gain the mindshare of the community. Typically, in such cases, while the company builds a community around its technology, they also create an ecosystem for value-added products and services it can monetize. In doing so, they maintain strong control of and around their project and technology. Example: MongoDB.
  • Multi-Vendor Open-Source: when a community and multiple organizations come together with a common goal of building and standardizing a software stack across the entire ecosystem. In such cases, the collaboration amongst vendors and the community focuses on areas that are not directly a part of the participating organizations’ core assets. Example: Apache Kafka.

The Future of Networking is Multi-Vendor Open Source

SONiC, the open-source NOS, is one of the best examples of “Multi-Vendor Open-Source” software in networking, where multiple vendors, service providers, hyperscalers, and enterprises collaborate with the community and contribute to the future of Open-Source Networking. SONiC runs on Switches and ASICs from multiple vendors to offer a full suite of networking features via SAI/SDK layer integration that is specific to their core asset. Multi-Vendor Open-Source eliminates proprietary software dominance, giving users (enterprises) more of what they have been seeking for years: control and choice.

Let’s do some math: Control + Choice + Zero Cost NOS + Community = immense value for the enterprise

Add to this enterprise-grade support from Aviz, and you have everything you need to eliminate the proprietary software dominance from your network infrastructure.

SONiC is the clear winner for which NOS to use across your network fabric and Aviz is the trusted partner in your SONiC journey because our goal is to make SONiC ubiquitous, intelligent, and accessible for every stakeholder. Aviz is the moderator of the SONiC Community, the co-creator of the SONiC CAB (Customer Advisory Board), and we don’t sell ASICs, Switches, or SONiC Distros. Neutral, impartial, and packed with SONiC Experts, Aviz is here to help you implement, manage, and improve your Open Networking infrastructure.

Here are 3 ways to maximize your benefits from the SONiC Community and Aviz:

  1. Engage in the SONiC Experts group on LinkedIn
  2. Steer development in a direction that creates enterprise value in the SONiC CAB:
  3. Contact Aviz to derive the greatest benefits from SONiC deployment

SONiC has the potential to transform your network infrastructure much like Linux transformed Compute. Working with Aviz exponentially grows the value you can derive from the SONiC transition. Schedule a discovery session with me to learn more about how Aviz can help.