Major Deployment of Linux Open Ethernet Switch

12 November, 2017

NGENIX, a European Cloud Service Provider, deploys Mellanox Spectrum Switch Based on Open Source Linux Driver


Mellanox Technologies announced that NGENIX, a subsidiary of the Russian telecom provider Rostelecom, has deployed a 100Gb/s Ethernet Spectrum switch based on the Linux Switchdev driver. This is the first major deployment of an open Ethernet switch based on the Switchdev driver that has been accepted and is available as open source as part of the Linux kernel.

“Mellanox Spectrum-based switch the only truly open, Linux kernel-based solution,” said Dmitry Krikov, CTO at NGENIX. Dror Goldenberg, vice president of software architecture at Mellanox Technologies, said that Spectrum Open-Ethernet switch platforms support a variety of operating systems, such as MLNX-OS, Cumulus Linux, and any standard Linux operating system using an upstream Switchdev Linux driver. “With the market’s growing demand for fully open, standard solutions for network switches, we expect the deployment of more Spectrum-based Linux switches into production networks in the near future.”

The Switchdev driver runs as part of the standard kernel, and thus enables downstream Linux OS distributions and off-the-shelf Linux-based applications to operate the switch. The driver abstracts proprietary ASIC application programming interfaces (APIs) with standard Linux APIs for the switch data plane configuration. Switchdev is an open source driver that doesn’t rely on any vendor-specific binary packages, with a well-known, well-documented and open data plane abstraction that is native to Linux.

“We are excited by the opportunity to expand Linux deployments beyond servers to the data center switches, created by the Linux kernel Switchdev driver for Mellanox Spectrum switch systems,” said Alexey Smirnov, CEO at BaseALT. The Linux kernel Switchdev driver is available for all Mellanox Spectrum SN2000 switch systems, as well as Mellanox Spectrum switch ASIC.

The SN2000 portfolio is available in a variety of port and speed configurations(10/25/40/50/100GbE), including the SN2100, the highest density, half-width 16-port non-blocking 100GbE switch. The driver will also be available for Spectrum-2, the next generation 6.4Tb/s switch ASIC and the SN3000 switch systems using it. Both are expected to be available in 2018.

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