OpenSwitch Project, SnapRoute Target New Openness for Network Switching and Routing

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 17, 2016

In the world of networking and network switches and routing, there are some interesting open source moves afoot. The Linux Foundation, has announced that 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 rapidly build data center networks that are customized for unique business needs.

Meanwhile, a group of former Apple engineers are coming out of stealth mode with SnapRoute, a company focused on open source software for networking hardware in data centers. OpenSwitch 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," notes The Linux Foundation.

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

According to The Linux Foundation:

"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."

"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 brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. "We're looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise."

The OpenSwitch Project operates with an open governance model and accepts contributions from interested companies and developers. Developer releases are currently available for prototyping, experimentation, and implementing on reference hardware. Documentation, source code and engagement instructions can be found at

Dominic Wilde, VP/GM Data Center Networking Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said: "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. 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."