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Apstra arms SONiC support for enterprise network battles


The community around the open-sourced Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) NOS got a little stronger as Apstra says its intent-based networking software is now more ready for enterprise prime-time than implementations from Cisco and Arista.

The Linux-based NOS, developed and open sourced by Microsoft in 2017, decouples network software from the underlying hardware and lets it run on switches and ASICs from multiple vendors while supporting a full suite of network features such as border gateway protocol (BGP), remote direct memory access (RDMA), QoS, and  other Ethernet/IP technologies.

The SONiC community has been expanding and includes Dell, Arista, Nokia, Apstra, Alibaba, Comcast, Cisco, Broadcom, Juniper, Edgecore, Innovium, NVIDIA-Mellanox and VMware. According to IDC, a SONiC data-center switch market will be worth $2 billion by 2024.

IDC said in a recent Network World article that SONiC is currently deployed primarily on top-of-rack Ethernet switches in cloud-scale datacenters, but the industry support it has received and the features it continues to add are helping extend its reach not only to leaf-spine networks in cloud data centers but also to converged networks, WAN, and other routing use cases.

With those trends in mind, Apstra says it has closed the SONiC feature parity gap with traditional network switch vendors for use in multiple use cases. That includes everything from top-of-rack to the spine with the inclusion of automation and analytics capabilities that are now fully supported and on par with every other vendor the company supports, said Zack Zilakakis, Apstra’s head of product marketing.

“Apstra wants organizations to reliably deploy and operate SONiC with simplicity, which is achieved through validated automation…Apstra wants to abstract the switch OS complexity to present a consistent operational model across all switch OS options, including SONiC,” Zilakakis  said.  “Apstra wants to provide organizations with another enterprise switching solution to enable flexibility when making architecture and procurement decisions.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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