Dell Technologies and SONiC: Open Source Networking That Checks All the Boxes

As a company that is driven by innovation, Dell Technologies has a long history of engagement with the open source community.  One of those areas that is particularly exciting to me is the open source network operating system SONiC—Software for Open Networking in the Cloud.

Today we announced our Enterprise SONiC Distribution by Dell Technologies, taking the next step in our participation which extends back to the early stages of its design and development. As the momentum behind SONiC builds and more and more major players realize the value of being involved with the project, we are leading the industry by adding more features, leveraging the design of SONiC to apply it in use cases that were never before imagined or considered, and delivering unrivaled services and support to ease and speed deployment.

SONiC is based on a disaggregated, containerized, micro-services architecture, a new trend in network operating systems that delivers seemingly unlimited opportunities to innovate and simplify the management of complex, massive-scale network environments.

Dell Technologies’ contributions to the platform include:

  • Linux kernel development support and contribution, including ongoing kernel updates and security patches
  • Onboarding multiple switch platforms and contributing drivers
  • Platform command-based CLI code and utilities

Today’s announcement of our Enterprise SONiC Distribution highlights our commitment to provide ongoing support for SONiC development and contributions to the SONiC open source community. Examples of that ongoing commitment include:

  • A new management framework, contributed jointly with Broadcom, which will allow SONiC to support industry standard CLI, REST and other popular northbound interfaces
  • Additional platform onboarding and support to expand customer choices
  • Improving integration with the popular FRRouting stack
  • Improving access security and AAA solutions

In addition, we continue to innovate on SONiC in conjunction with other projects for distributed compute and networking. The flexible architecture of SONiC expands the deployment options significantly.

And of course, Dell Technologies brings its industry-leading services and support to simplify even the most complex deployments. Our investment in SONiC bridges the known industry gap between the innovation of open source projects with community collaboration, and the enterprise-grade support that is essential for large-scale deployment of mission-critical applications. Our 24×7 global customer services and support covert all SONiC applications and services, from the platform and Switch Abstraction Interface, to northbound interfaces and DevOps/automation tools. All of this makes SONiC on Dell EMC PowerSwitch hardware the platform to choose for open source networking in the enterprise.

At Dell Technologies, we see great potential for SONiC to play an increasingly important role in many of our next-generation technology solutions, and we are actively working to increase the adoption of SONiC in the technical communities.  Learn more about Dell Technologies’ Enterprise Distribution of SONiC here.

Ihab Tarazi

About the Author: Ihab Tarazi

Ihab Tarazi is the Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President at Dell Technologies, Infrastructure Solutions & Ecosystems where he is responsible for technology strategy and next generation platforms including 5G, Edge, AI/HPC and Servers, as well as engagements with technology vendors and cloud ecosystems.  Prior to this role, Mr. Tarazi served as Chief Technology Officer at Packet Host, Inc. (currently Equinix Metal), a leading bare metal cloud company built for developers, where he was responsible for the company's Product, Engineering and Technology. Prior to joining Packet, Mr. Tarazi held a number of positions in the telecom and infrastructure space, including Chief Technology Officer at data center and colocation provider Equinix, where he was responsible for developing the Equinix Cloud Exchange and strategic engagements with leading platforms in the Cloud, Security, Storage, Edge and IoT. Previously Mr. Tarazi served as VP Engineering and Technology at Verizon, where he led a global team for the Engineering and Product Development of Global Enterprise Services including MPLS VPN, IP, Ethernet, Security and Managed Services. He serves as a member of the board of directors for NeoPhotonics Corp. since October 2015.  He is also a member of the board for Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP). Mr. Tarazi holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Telecommunications Management from Southern Methodist University.