Fasten Your Seatbelt Networking Industry!

I couldn’t be more jazzed about all the news and buzz in the Networking industry. And much of it was happening at last week’s Linux Foundation Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles. Packed keynotes and vibrant conversations characterized the event, as the industry’s collective vision of Open Networking comes more and more into focus.

illustration of network of interconnected blue dots and lines

We at Dell EMC made some news. But more importantly customers made their own news in support of Open Networking. Some sharing their success and others sharing their contributions to the open source community. We were particularly proud of the session we co-hosted with Verizon where they shared their Telematics production environment and the role that our OS10 Open Edition is playing in their disaggregated networking stack.

The buzz was palpable, as was the absence of the dominant industry player. Interestingly, they did make some ‘news’ of their own this week, from afar, with their announcement about disaggregating their carrier-grade OS from underlying hardware. While this is a big step for them, for many it seems more like ‘rear-view mirror’ news.

The fact is, disaggregating networking hardware and software is old news. In fact, we pioneered this notion over 4 years ago. And 4 years in, there is a vibrant Open Networking ecosystem to support this vision offering customers unmatched choice and capability. And the competition has since followed our lead including nearly all of the top-tier OEMs.  Clearly, there’s a movement happening.

illustration of Dell EMC vision for open network
Figure 1. Our vision for the open network—from 1.0 to 2.0

But we, and the industry, are not sitting idle which is why we see this as yesterday’s news. You see, the industry is rapidly moving beyond its ‘1.0’ state where networking hardware and software is separated, to a 2.0 state where the software stack itself becomes disaggregated. And we at Dell EMC are doing everything we can to foster these development.

Gavin Cato, our Networking engineering leader, spoke to a standing-room-only audience about this industry shift from 1.0 to 2.0. We also made a very important news announcement with Metaswitch this week announcing commercial offerings around this 2.0 vision. Needless to say it’s an extremely exciting time to be in the Networking industry as vendors and customers of all sizes step on the gas of Open Networking. So fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a wild ride!

About the Author: Tom Burns