By Ray Shaw
eintellego Networks has been crusading for open networks based on the ONIE open network install environment. It has been particularly successful as the network engineer and architect that created AXONVX for NEXTDC – one of the most cutting-edge, fastest, on-demand Elastic Fabrics infrastructures in the region today.
Using its expertise in Cisco, Juniper, Arista and the building of service provider and elastic fabric networking, eintellego has made a significant investment in open network engineering capability.
At the end of 2014, Skeeve Stevens, co-founder and futurist, directed every company engineer to learn Linux and a programming language as he saw the coming changes in the networking world. While he believes software-defined networking is not yet ready for prime time, open networking is a logical move forward in networking technology. “You cannot ignore the costs savings and speed increases that open networking provides. Anyone not taking a serious look at Open Networking will be falling behind their competitors in so many ways.”, Stevens said.
Open networking involves the disaggregation of the network hardware and operating system and allows different OSs to be installed on ONIE-capable hardware. For example, HPE’s Altoline and Dell’s ON series of switches have a native ONIE boot loader and are ready to be installed with one of the many open networking-compliant operating systems. Other vendors such as Accton, Edge-Core an QuantaMesh also make ONIE-ready switches.The open networking movement is sweeping the networking world with all major vendors either releasing products or planning to do so shortly. “It is predicted that 90% of the revenue of Cisco and Juniper will be from software within three years, largely due to the disaggregation that open networking has enabled,” Stevens said.
What this means is that say, Juniper’s JUNOS operating system can be installed on a Dell ON series switch. Many other operating systems are also supported by the ONIE boot loader such as that from Cumulus Networks, one of the fastest growing networking-focused distributions in the world.
Stevens said, “Business will be able to deploy switching hardware at up to 90% cheaper than they do but it will also be four to 10 times faster with 40GbE and 100GbE becoming more affordable and the emergence of the new 25GbE and 50GbE standards. Being able to choose your hardware and software has been available to the server world for years, but now it is the networking world’s turn. Businesses will be able to save a lot of money in hardware and also leverage existing skillsets.”
eintellego Networks is deploying ON technology to several customers with the biggest project being the telecommunications network of Transgrid; the former NSW government power utility turned telco and the rollout of their regional infrastructure across the eastern states.