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While these three are closely linked to networking, they differ technically and practically. Many people find it challenging to distinguish between them because of the interrelation. A Software-Defined Network can be both open networking and open source. However, something can be open source but not open networking since they aren’t the same thing. With this in mind, figuring out what each of these does is essential to understand its benefit in the networking industry. 

Open flow or open source works in the same way as an API by configuring network switches. On the other hand, open networking provides for a breakdown of the complex nature of software and hardware to offer a more programmable and scalable network. This way, it can be configured to meet a variety of requirements. Open-source and open networking follow a common ground in that they are both open but differ in application.

SDN (Software-Defined Network) is a close-knit of programmable interfaces used in a network infrastructure to improve automation while providing network services. However, the term SDN has been used to define a variety of technologies. But, it can be specified explicitly in its application.

How to distinguish between Open Source, SDN and Open Networking?

It is excusable that many people fail to distinguish between the three because of their relation. However, they cannot be used interchangeably. This article provides insights to understand each of them and distinguish it from the other.

What is Open Source?

Simply put, open source is easily accessible, and the source code can be manipulated, reprogrammed, and scaled to meet requirements. This includes software and programs accessible to the public and can be shared almost by anybody. When the source code is available to anyone on the internet, the need to rework is increasingly possible. Anybody can view, modify, share, and even learn how to im[prove the software.

An Open Source is convenient for creating communication paths, technical communities and also helps construct networking equipment such as Ethernet switches. This networking model is highly favored by developers, vendors, engineers, and service providers. It draws great attention to anyone who appreciates developing a specific type of software and programs. While it sounds pretty simple, there is more than meets the eye! An open-source application or program requires one to comply with licenses. These may include General Public License (GNU) or Apache license. The license will define the terms, agreement, and conditions of the source code’s use and distribution. However, a second user may need to preserve or agree to the terms before redistributing or altering the code. This way, the name of the developer and/or authors is maintained and preserved.

What is Open Networking?

Open Networking is a unique combination of using bare-metal switch hardware (coming from such as ODM companies like Accton / Edgecore, Delta / Agema, UfiSpace) with a different NOS (Networks Operation Software) which could be a commercial one (ex. Pica8, IP Infusion, RTBrick, Pluribus Networks, Capgemini /Altran etc.) or open source (like SONiC or DENT) as long as you have compatibility with the CPU, U-boot and ASICs – other words saying so-called porting need to be done first. As those all mentioned NOS options are base on Linux, you are getting a chance to use a wide range of commercial or again open source tools for management, configuration, and automation such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, or Grafana, Prometheus, and more.

Network engineers and administrators have found much success with this kind of system because they don’t have to rely on one specific software or hardware but instead choose from many options to create a solution that benefits their needs.

Would you like to learn more about Open Networking clik here.

What is Software-Defined Network (SDN)?

SDN is essentially meant to decouple data packets within a network. It provides centralized management and configuration of the network instead of using several switches and servers throughout the network. This is crucial since an enterprise or network provider can respond efficiently to changing trends in the business environment.

SDN provides for programmable interfaces within a network, making it easier to apply them together with other networking technologies. There are 3 types of SDN architectural layers including;

  • Physical Network – This is the lowest layer in the network infrastructure. It includes devices such as ethernet switches forming the IT infrastructure of the network. Virtual switches can also be classified into a physical network.
  • SDN Application – This is the visible layer in an SDN design similar to modern-day applications and software. They run on dedicated programs and hardware, but the innovation comes from SDN applications.
  • SDN Controller – It is the linchpin to the entire infrastructure, linking both the virtual and physical network. It provides an avenue for integration and usability of the whole infrastructure.

In a modern application of a Software-Defined Network, a vendor will provide both the application and the SDN controller as a unit. However, the controller takes center stage as a crucial element for the entire network infrastructure.

Are they one and the same thing?

Well, there is a complete difference between Open Source, Software-Defined Network, and Open Networking. Both SDN and open source play a combined role in offering open networking. However, they are not equally the same. On the same note, both Open Networking and Open Source work under the same principle and concept of being open. But they are quite different.
From the definitions above, you will notice how they differ from the others in concept and application

Free Software vs Open Source Software

Many people tend to confuse Open Source software as free. The fact that it is accessible to the public for modification, sharing, and manipulation is not necessarily free. Some vendors opt to charge a one-time fee while others charge for installation, troubleshooting, and helping customers manipulate the software. In the former, a vendor may lose their licenses and will have to release the source code to the customer.
Before deciding on the perfect choice, choose the software that relates to you according to your actual needs.

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One of the main questions that comes up, when we talk to people that have had no contact with the Open Networking concept before, is the question of support: Who will take care of the hardware and software support? They think there is only limited advanced commercial support available for Open Networking Bare Metal Switches.

While that of course is not the case, we wanted to address this “fear” pesonally and decided to take things into our own hands and to add a great additional option for our customers:

With our many years of experience in the Open Networking field, helping customers to deploy and run their Open Networking Environments across the many different industries, we know what customers expect, when they are looking for support.
We used this knowledge as our basis to form a great new offering for the Open Networking Community (and anyone that wants to be part of it):

We now can offer you three types of Service Level Agreement that extend the standard manufacturers’ warranty and will cover all of your needs, in case you run into any issues.

Check these options out and read the information brochure below for more information.
Get in touch with us, to find the best solution for you, to even further reduce downtimes.

Service Level Agreements

Availability from 8 am–5 pm**, 5  business days a week (Mon–Fri) and an advanced exchange service of defective hardware on the next business day. Any required spare parts as well as transportation costs are covered with this Service Level Agreement.

Availability from 8 am–5 pm**, 5 business days a week (Mon–Fri). Our specialists will support you with software and hardware problems. If a problem cannot be solved remotely, a replacement part will be shipped out. The replacement part will arrive within the next business day at your location. Any required spare parts, resource and transportation costs are covered within this Service Level Agreement.
Availability from 8 am–5 pm**, 5 business days a week (Mon–Fri). Our specialists will support you with software and hardware problems. If a problem cannot be solved remotely, a technical specialist from STORDIS or one of their Support Partners will be dispatched to resolve the problem on-site on the next business day. Any required spare parts are covered with this Service Level Agreement.

Quick Feature Overview

Feature Smart Advanced* Premium*
Availability,
8 am–5 pm, 5 business days
Hotline and Remote Support,
8 am–5 pm, 5 business days
Hardware Advanced Exchange,
Next business day
On-site Support,
Next business day

*Please request for availability in your region | **German/UK local time

Information Brochure

Check out our information brochure for additional information

Want to Learn More About it?

Get in touch with us and we will answer all of your questions.

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Our webinar “SONiC Paves the Way for Open Networking!”, that we held together with Open Compute Project Foundation, Edgecore Networks Corporation and Broadcom Inc. was quite a success!

Thank you to all of the speakers and attendees!

If you have missed the webinar, no need to worry — we have recorded the webinar and uploaded it to our YouTube channel. You can check it out here:


Webinar

Presenters:

Steve Helvie, VP Channel Development, Open Compute Project
Kamran Naqvi, Principal Network Architect, Broadcom
Matthew Roman, VP Marketing and Product Management, Edgecore Networks
Łukasz Łukowski, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, STORDIS

During the webinar, you’ll learn:

How SONiC is working in real production Multi-DC network under a Leaf and Spine architecture with Edgecore switches. Hear about open networking benefits and challenges as well as the hardware evolution. Find out more how OCP Solution Providers could help you go from the consultancy over solution design to final integration will all needed support services. Have a chance to play an active role during Q&A session.

Who should attend/watch?

Industries: Service Provider (Communications), Service Provider (Managed Services), Telecommunications, Mobile Operators, Consumer Webtech, Enterprise Webtech and Large Enterprises
Primary Roles: CTO, CxO, CIO, Business Operators, Mobile Operators and Partners, All Networking Lovers!

Additional Links to the Speakers

Steve Helvie, VP Channel Development, Open Compute Project
LinkedIn | Open Compute Project LinkedIn | https://www.opencompute.org/

Kamran Naqvi, Principal Network Architect, Broadcom
LinkedIn | Broadcom LinkedIn | Broadcom Website

Matthew Roman, VP Marketing and Product Management, Edgecore Networks
LinkedIn | Edgecore Networks LinkedIn | Edgecore Networks Website

Łukasz Łukowski, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, STORDIS
LinkedIn | STORDIS LinkedIn | STORDIS Website

Love2Network YouTube channel, run by Kamran Naqvi, for additional insights on SONiC
YouTube Channel

Got Any Questions?

If you have any questions or are interested in getting to know more about SONiC and Open Networking, don't hesitate to get in touch with us!

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Pica8’s senior vice president of marketing, Jeff Paine, provided STORDIS with a detailed introduction to their AmpCon™ automation framework, which is integrated in the recently launched end-to-end open networking architecture Threshold™.

 

Back in very early 2012, Palo Alto, California-based Pica8 kick-started the open networking revolution when it shipped the world’s first Linux-based network operating system (NOS), called PICOS®, on a disaggregated bare-metal white box switch.  Since then, Pica8 has grown its market to thousands of customers across the globe, and, with the launch of the AmpConTMautomation framework, the company’s PICOS software has left its “NOS-on-a-box” roots to mature into a complete white box networking solution for enterprise campus and access networks of any size.  Now a PICOS-powered white box solution includes:

 

  • A centralized, single point of management
  • Automated deployment, configuration, monitoring, alerting and lifecycle management
  • GUI-based network-level system view
  • CLI-based switch-level management/control
  •  Centralized data collection for analytics/visibility

 

AmpCon – short for “Amplified Control” – is the world’s first, and only, automation framework that can deploy, configure and manage an entire enterprise network of white box switches.  As such, it creates the very first alternative that any enterprise has ever had to using the expensive automation solutions that they get from their traditional legacy networking vendors. Even better, to make sure that AmpCon delivers the full open networking value proposition, it is deliberately priced at a literal fraction of the cost of its legacy competitors, such as Cisco DNA Center.

 

In a 100-access-switch deployment scenario, for example, AmpCon would typically be priced at less than the sales tax of its Cisco DNA Center comparable solution.  What’s more, AmpCon is far, far easier to use.  So easy, in fact, that an intern with zero network programming experience can use AmpCon’s Quick-Start Mode to turn on and successfully configure thousands of white box switches at the push of a button.  And, unlike Cisco, AmpCon can either run on premises or in a public cloud (at no additional cost), and the AmpCon license has no limits to either the number of connected devices or the number of users.

 

AmpCon executes ZTP – zero touch provisioning via a GUI for white box switch provisioning.  It takes care of all Day 0 tasks – new switch turn-on, image load, switch config, license DB update, and so on – and Day 1 tasks, such as configuration validation, commit, rollback, and inventory.  AmpCon also manages security and operational tasks, including global/regional configurations, compliance, remediation, license maintenance, RMA, status monitoring, role-based access control (RBAC), as well as offering configurable security controls.

 

AmpCon offers particular value to customers, such as schools/colleges/universities and government agencies that have multiple locations but limited networking staff resources. PICOS and AmpCon are, of course, fully backwards-compatible, so Pica8 white box open networks can be incrementally deployed in existing networks as budgets and staff permit.

 

Pica8 and STORDIS

 

Global hardware and software support is also provided in a Pica8-powered white box network. Pica8’s key regional partners, such as STORDIS in Germany, will typically be the first line of support, with software issues escalated, if necessary, to Pica8’s global 24×7 support staff and hardware issues escalated to the white box manufacturers, again, on a 24×7 basis. 

 

To get more information on Pica8’s new AmpCon solution, please visit https://www.pica8.com/open-access-network-automation/or the company’s home page at www.pica8.com

 

This article was provided to STORDIS by Jeff Paine, senior vice president of marketing at Pica8.

This year’s IBC in Amsterdam was again a successful show and a great opportunity for us to connect with existing customers and prospects, to discuss the latest developments in media, entertainment and technology. It was exciting to see how the broadcasting industry leverages Open Networking architecture to face future requirements such as 8K, IP workflows and more. Beside innovative presentations, we were joined by valued partners and associates at our booth, where we promoted our broadcast network solutions and the new STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches.

SHOWCASED AT THE IBC2019:

IP Live Production Enviroment

Daniel Boldt from Meinberg talks about time and frequency equipment

We showed an IP LIVE PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENT based on Open Networking and solutions from our partners such as Meinberg Time & Synchroization Devices from Germany.

Our visitors got the chance to learn more about Open Networking, which is a versatile alternative to existing closed, proprietary infrastructures.

 

 

Open Networking Solutions

Arun Paneri (NoviFlow) on the SDN-based switch operating system NoviWare at the STORDIS booth

Further highlights were the presentation of the innovative Edgecore Cassini platform and our STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches, which are built for high-performance broadcast networking.

It was a great pleasure to be supported by our partner Noviflow at the STORDIS booth. The NoviWare™ Network Operating System is the networking industry’s highest performance implementation of SDN, featuring Open, programmable match-action pipelines optimized for the Barefoot Networks 6.5 Tbps Tofino high-performance switching chipset.

NoviWare™ is a perfect match for the STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches and offers great functionality to broadcast network engineers.

 

+5000 high-quality products for mission-critical enviroments

Louis Caron from Embrionix presents SFP-based Gateways

STORDIS is a full service solution provider for disaggregated network environments in various fields of the industry, and you can discover a comprehensive portfolio of more than 5,000 high-quality Open Networking products from numerous renowned manufacturers in our SHOP, including products from Edgecore, NoviFlow, and Embrionix.

If you would like to know more about our solutions, the STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches, or how we can enhance your network infrastructure, you are very welcome to contact ‘the Open Networking Expert‘ at enquiries@stordis.com

State-of-the-art technologies in the broadcasting industry and growing standards call for increased data traffic and demand the highest levels of throughput and storage. Česká televize is a public television broadcaster in the Czech Republic delivering six channels of news, sports, family, arts and educational content, producing the majority of their content in-house. STORDIS supported Interlab, a French solution provider focusing on the broadcasting and media industry, to realize a fully integrated, high-speed, yet cost-efficient network infrastructure.

As the Open Networking Expert, STORDIS aims to drive innovation in the field of Open Networking. Therefore, it was a great opportunity to support Interlab set up a future-proof network environment for Česká televize with the most efficient combination of high-quality hardware and software. Interlab employed an Edgecore AS5712-54X switch with PICOS®, an open Layer 2/3 network operating system created by Pica8.



Edgecore Networks offers scalable, disaggregated network solutions. Their industry-leading products are essentially qualified to meet network requirements in different markets, particularly in the broadcasting industry. Edgecore’s complete solutions generate value for customers by offering a broad product portfolio spanning data center switches, core switches, access switches, enterprise-level wireless devices and network management tools. STORDIS endorses the high quality of Edgecore’s bare metal switches and the spectrum of possibilities their products offer.

 

Pica8 developed a Linux-based operation system which runs on a large number of conventional white box switches from various manufacturers and perfectly complements the Edgecore AS5712-54X. The unique network operating system PICOS® provides unlimited, non-disruptive control of the enterprise applications, enables monitoring dynamic traffic and security and delegation capabilities. PICOS® is fully interoperable with the existing legacy infrastructure, increasing flexibility, performance, security and reliability at a fraction of the cost, which made it the perfect choice for the Czech television broadcaster.

 


Do you have any question or are curious how you could benefit from Open Networking? Get in touch with us and we will help you!


The rapid development of the media and broadcasting industry is setting high standards for network infrastructures in questions of flexibility, reliability and efficiency. Omnimago, a Germany-based full-service provider particularly specialized in post-editing, digitalization and storage, required a scalable, high-speed network infrastructure while sticking to a tight budget.

As the Open Networking Expert, STORDIS aims to drive innovation in the field of Open Networking. Therefore, it was a great opportunity to provide Omnimago with the most efficient combination of high-quality hardware and software and to supervise the installation.



Edgecore Networks offers scalable, disaggregated network solutions. Their industry-leading products are essentially qualified to meet network requirements in different markets, particularly in the broadcasting industry. Edgecore’s complete solutions generate value for customers by offering a broad product portfolio spanning data center switches, core switches, access switches, enterprise-level wireless devices and network management tools. One of these is the Edgecore AS5712-54X, which was deployed at Omnimago. As the expert in the field of Open Networking, STORDIS endorses the high quality of Edgecore’s bare metal switches and the spectrum of possibilities their products offer.

Pica8 developed an open Linux-based network operating system that runs on a large number of conventional white box switches from various manufacturers and perfectly complements the deployed Edgecore AS5712-54X. The unique network operating system PICOS® provides unlimited, non-disruptive control of the enterprise applications, enables monitoring dynamic traffic, as well as security and delegation capabilities. PICOS® is fully interoperable with the existing legacy infrastructure to increase flexibility, performance, security and reliability at a fraction of the cost, which made it the perfect choice for Omnimago in combination with the Edgecore AS5712-54X.


Do you have any question or are curious how you could benefit from Open Networking? Get in touch with us and we will help you!


STORDIS is proud to be awarded the Edgecore Networks Corporation Partner Award for our outstanding efforts in bringing the Open Networking Revolution to Europe.

STORDIS CEO Alexander P. Jeffries gratefully accepted the award for shipping most open networking switches in Europe during 2017 at this year’s partner seminar. Edgecore Networks is a leading manufacturer of high-quality bare-metal switches. In combination with switch OSes like PICA8, Inc., Cumulus Networks, IP Infusion, Noviware from NoviFlow Inc., these switches can adapt to different use cases like Telco, Enterprise or Datacenter.

STORDIS is helping companies to find the best match of Edgecore hardware and the most fitting software since 2015. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you find yours as well.

Interesting article about Barefoot Networks on SDxCentral.

“One of Barefoot’s most-touted capabilities is that it enables programmability of the forwarding plane. “With the programmable chip what you can actually do is assign the resources to only the pieces you want (…)”, said Sylvanus “Prem” Jonnalagadda”. ” Tofino could also replace traditional load balancing. Layer 4 load balancing is typically done by appliances that are very expensive. But with Tofino that functionality can be embedded in the switch itself instead of having an expensive middle box.”

Would you like to know more about Barefoot, Tofino or the P4 Language Consortium (P4.org)? Then get in touch with us.

Make sure to follow STORDIS on LinkedIn for news and updates about Open Networking.

Big announcement from Edgecore Networks Corporation! “The introduction of the fully open Edgecore AS7316-26XB cell site gateway will extend open networking into cell site deployments, lowering cost and enabling increased software control from open platforms, to meet the increasing bandwidth and service demands that providers face in their mobile networks today and in their upcoming 5G rollouts.” says George Tchaparian, CEO from Edgecore.

STORDIS is your trusted partner for Edgecore products and Open Networking solutions. If you would like to know more, feel free to send us a message.