Open source hardware

Saku Ytti saku at
Sat Jan 4 11:38:28 UTC 2014

On (2014-01-04 12:08 +0100), Benno Overeinder wrote:

> No hands-on experience with Cumulus Networks equipment, but from
> what I have heard I like their approach to open hardware/software
> for routing equipment.  It is flexible what you want to configure
> and run (all open source software).  For the hardware switching
> support they license their Switch HAL module.

I love the notion of COTS control-plane software, it has potential to
fundamentally change the market dynamics.
COTS ASICs (bcom the most prominient) and COTS NPU (ezchip, xelerated/marvell)
have done lot of good to the market in terms of features/performance/price.

Right now some of the big name vendors are running really archaic and naive
control-planes, and it's hard for them internally to justify project to
rebuild it all, because customers will largely accept even the shitty
control-plane, because that is only thing you get with that hardware.

Company doing only COTS control-plane can't get away with shitty software,
it's their only product. And conversely, they can get away having many
generation of incompatible operating systems, as older customers will keep on
wanting+paying on the development of the older version while newer greenfield
customers will want to start with the latest generation.
This creates pressure on the established companies to have great
control-plane, not some 20 year old TTM house of cards.


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