The Battle of the Network Switches


POTs and PANs

Cisco_Media_Convergence_ServersYesterday Facebook announced that it has successfully built an open-source network switch. This is really big news in an industry where Cisco and Juniper together have more or less cornered the switch market. The Facebook switch has been named Wedge and is operated by an open-source software platform they called FBOSS. This has been created as part of the Open Compute Project (OCP) started by Facebook but now involving many other companies. The goal of this project was to radically change the way companies buy hardware and software, and it is starting to achieve those goals.

 

This announcement is going to shake up the $23 billion Ethernet switch market in the same way that the introduction of the softswitch killed the duopoly on voice switches once held by Nortel and Lucent. I’ve written earlier about how the Ethernet switch industry is moving towards software-defined networking (SDN). The goal of…

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