The Open Compute Project, a Facebook-started consortium aimed at making data storage more efficient, announced Wednesday that it is now working on a way to speed up innovation with regard to networking hardware. Facebook has partnered with companies such as Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware to accomplish this.
Frank Frankovsky, chairman and president of the Open Compute Project, announced this new program in a blog post:
With that in mind, we are today announcing a new project within OCP that will focus on developing a specification and a reference box for an open, OS-agnostic, top-of-rack switch. Najam Ahmad, who runs the network engineering team at Facebook, has volunteered to lead the project, and a wide variety of organizations — including Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Facebook, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware — are already planning to participate. Work on the project will begin in earnest at the first-ever OCP Engineering Summit, being held at MIT May 16.
It’s our hope that an open, disaggregated switch will enable a faster pace of innovation in the development of networking hardware; help software-defined networking continue to evolve and flourish; and ultimately provide consumers of these technologies with the freedom they need to build infrastructures that are flexible, scalable, and efficient across the entire stack. This is a new kind of undertaking for OCP — starting a project with just an idea and a clean sheet of paper, instead of building on an existing design that’s been contributed to the foundation — and we are excited to see how the project group delivers on our collective vision.