It would be an understatement to say it is an exciting time to work in open networking. Open Network Linux (ONL) continues to partner with open switch vendors such as Accton/Edgecore, Celestica, Dell, Facebook, Mellanox, Quanta and a few unnamed/upcoming vendors. ONL is at the forefront of system support, bringing in new systems weekly, as we continue to make working with our partners and the community our priority to further push the boundaries of innovation together.

ONL has been part of the Open Compute Project (OCP) in an official capacity for nearly two years and we've watched as open hardware and software has gained mindshare with end users, technologists and even vendors who were not always "open." As ONL continues to gain traction as a popular distribution for open network hardware, it will result in less integration work for hardware and software vendors, fewer bugs, and increased reliability as ONL-based products are shipped to end customers.

ONL continues to receive kernel patches and contributions from vendors both new and pre-existing, which is a signal to us that the open source community believes that a common network operating system base like ONL is an important step forward for the industry to accelerate open networking adoption that drives cost savings for open hardware. If adoption of ONL is any indication, the days of proprietary, vertically integrated, and closed vendor stacks are numbered.

Working with Facebook on Wedge100, FBOSS, and Backpack

  • Added support for running ONL on Wedge100 along with Broadcom’s OpenNSL and Facebook’s FBOSS agent
  • Have begun working on ONL support for Facebook’s newly announced Backpack, a 128x100G chassis switch 

New CPU, ASIC Support: ARM, Mellanox, Cavium

  • Added support for ARM based CPUs.  ARM CPUs help move ONL into more cost sensitive markets like management switches or campus deployments.
  • Support for the Mellanox Spectrum ASICs, first on the SN2700 platform with support for the SN2100, SN2410, and other switches in the near future. 

Support for 12 New Platforms

In addition to the Facebook boxes above, we’ve added support for the following new 1G, 10G, and 100G switch platforms:

  • Celestica Redstone XP, Redstone XL, and Seastone
  • Agema AGC7648
  • Alpha Networks SNX-60x0-486F
  • Dell S6100-ON, S6010-ON, S4048t-ON, Z9100-ON
  • Accton AS4610 (ARM), AS5512 (Nephos), AS7512 (Cavium), AS7716 (Xeon)

Next Steps

We will continue to improve our integration, platform support, and user experience, with FBOSS and other forwarding agents.  In addition to Facebook’s Backpack switch, we will be adding support for new Open Compute Project chassis-based switches. The community accomplished a ton this year and we look forward to working alongside our partners at OCP to further push the boundaries of innovation in 2017.  


Steven Noble
Open Networking Evangelist, @sonoble
Rob Sherwood
Chief Technology Officer, @capveg


Open Network Linux is a Linux distribution for open network switches, that is, network forwarding devices built from commodity components. ONL uses ONIE to install onto on-board flash memory. Open Network Linux is a part of the Open Compute Project and is a component in a growing collection of open source and commercial projects.

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