What are the open operating systems for network equipment

The other day we discussed how government agencies in Europe are switching to open source software. Now we will tell you who does something similar at the level of the IT infrastructure – using the example of a pair of open source operating systems.

Photo – Clint adair – Unsplash

“Sonic on the Net”

SONiC is an open source operating system built on Linux. Debian is chosen as the base distribution. It manages switches and other network equipment from different suppliers. Organizations such as Microsoft, Dell and Broadcom have contributed to the development of the system. Source codes distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. The operating system runs on x86 / 64 processors and supports the SAI (Switch Abstraction Interface) specification. It is a standardized C API for ASIC programming. The SAI project is also open source and available on GitHub

The architecture is based on the Redis engine. It is responsible for data replication and message transfer between OS subsystems. Each of its modules posted in a docker container: dhcp-relay, bgp, sncd and several others. In general terms, the relationship between them can be represented as follows:

Some key modules are found on the Linux host system. To work with them, a special configuration module sonic-cfggen and CLI is involved.

The project is used by the developers themselves in their own data centers and addsystem support in your hardware. Today it is also uses several major Asian cloud providers to simplify IT infrastructure management. But the residents of Hacker News, who managed to work with this OS, still identified several shortcomings.

One of the users noted the relative complexity of the configuration, since the documentation does not contain all the requirements for ports, interfaces and links. Also the project uses Linux kernel version 4.9.x, which is still supported, but lacks some networking capabilities.

Despite the openness, making changes to the configuration can be problematic – developers accept pull requests for pre-approved and planned issues.

Photo – Philipp katzenberger – Unsplash

If you want to try out the system and decide for yourself whether this project is interesting to you or not, you can start with wiki pages and documentation… There is a how-to for developers. by sweep, testing and working with SAI… The latest news about the project can be found at of. portal

Open Networked Linux

This is a Linux distribution (Github), developed by the cloud company Big Switch (at the beginning of the year its bought Arista Networks) to run on switches. It is part of the NOS (Network Operating System) technology stack, which also includes the SONiC project.

The system is supported by major representatives of the IT market – for example, a manufacturer of network solutions Edgecore Networks, and Google and Facebook… In 2015, representatives of the Open Compute Project named an Open Network Linux (ONL) distribution of the reference network OS.

Open Network Linux It has agent based on OF-DPA (OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction) – it allows you to use OpenFlow on switches with Broadcom fabrics. The current version of the operating system founded on Linux kernel 4.14.109. On switches, she is established through the standardized Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). It is also being developed as part of the Open Compute Project.

The target audience of this operating system is small cloud providers and companies offering SaaS solutions. ONL and NOS stack authors hopethat their project will simplify the development of switches and other network hardware for the mass market, contribute to the development of the IT industry and popularize the very concept of open network operating systems.

More materials from 1cloud.ru:

How to automate IT infrastructure management – discussing three trends
Participation in open source projects can be beneficial for companies – why and what it gives
Most supercomputers run Linux – discussing the situation
A selection of books on cybersecurity
Fidonet history in one minute

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