New OpenSwitch Network OS that powers data centers, VPNs, IoT products goes open source

The Linux Foundation announced Wednesday the OpenSwitch Project is becoming a Linux Foundation project. OpenSwitch is an open source, Linux-based network operating system (NOS) designed to power enterprise grade switches from multiple hardware vendors that will enable organizations to build data center networks customized for unique business needs.

Enterprise-grade switches power the Internet by moving data packets among cloud service providers, Internet service providers, corporate intranets and VPNs, datacenters, civil infrastructure and the Internet of Things. Traditional switches and network operating systems follow a proprietary and vertically integrated model, which does not allow vendors, operators or users the flexibility to innovate and tailor networks to meet specific business needs.

Members and participating organizations include Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Cavium, Edgecore Networks, Extreme Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LinkedIn, Marvell, Mellanox Technologies, Nephos,, Quattro Networks and SnapRoute.

OpenSwitch allows developers to build networks that prioritize business-critical workloads and functions by removing the burdens of interoperability issues and complex licensing structures that are inherent in proprietary systems. OpenSwitch is developed collaboratively, allowing users and network operators to achieve advanced performance, flexibility and security throughout network protocols.

OpenSwitch’s elegant design enables seamless interoperability with critical enterprise-scale open source technologies such as Ansible and OpenStack, and is able to integrate with other open source technologies including Broadcom Broadview, Grommit, LLDPD, P4, OpenVSwitch and Quagga.

OpenSwitch also includes optional integration with SnapRoute’s open source L2/L3 stack. The SnapRoute stack is designed with the principles of a modern network stack and safe software design, is built for developer use and includes extensive operator control and instrumentation.

The OpenSwitch Project operates with an open governance model and accepts contributions from all interested companies and developers. Developer releases are currently available for prototyping, experimentation, and implementing on reference hardware.

The OpenSwitch Project is an independently funded software project hosted by The Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation’s projects span the enterprise, mobile, embedded and life sciences markets and are backed by many of the largest names in technology.

“Broadcom is proud to support the OpenSwitch Project by contributing its BroadView agent software to the ecosystem,” said Eli Karpilovski, director of product marketing, Broadcom’s Switch Products Group. “The OpenSwitch network operating system paired with BroadView software, enables greater network visibility for applications that run on Broadcom-based network equipment designed to improve data center efficiency.”

“Transitioning OpenSwitch to The Linux Foundation is a major step forward and testament to the maturity of OpenSwitch and realizing the promise of creating stable and agile network infrastructures that can adapt to changing business requirements,” said Dominic Wilde, VP/GM Data Center Networking Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “As a catalyst in creating the source code, HPE will continue to actively participate in the OpenSwitch community to help make OpenSwitch the leading open source data center network operating system and the choice for demanding cloud data center business applications.”

“The OPS network operating system paired with SnapRoute’s Layer 2/3 stack illustrates the market demand to bring the benefits of open networking, including simplicity, control, complete lifecycle automation and deep analytics, once reserved for hyper scale data center operators to the enterprise,” said Jason Forrester, CEO at SnapRoute.

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