100G - Whitebox

Mike Hammett nanog at ics-il.net
Sun Aug 20 15:45:38 UTC 2017

I first sent to an IX-specific mailing list, but as I have yet to see the message hit the list, I figured I would post it here as well. 

We've had multiple requests for 100G interfaces (instead of Nx10G) and no one seems to care about the 40G interfaces we have available. 

Looking at cost effective options brings us to whitebox switches. Obviously there's a wide range of hardware vendors and there are a few OSes available as well. Cumulus seems to be the market leader, while IPinFusion seems to be the most feature-rich. 

We're not doing any automation on the switches at this time, so it would still need decent manual configuration. It wouldn't need a Cisco-centric CLI as we're quite comfortable managing standard Linux-type config files. We're not going all-in on some overlay either given that we wouldn't be replacing our entire infrastructure, only supplementing it where we need 100G. I know that LINX has gone IPinfusion. What OS would be appropriate for our usage? I'm not finding many good comparisons of the OSes out there. I'm assuming any of them would work, but there may be gotchas that a "cheapest that meets requirements" doesn't quite unveil. 

Any particular hardware platforms to go towards or avoid? Broadcom Tomahawk seems to be quite popular with varying control planes. LINX went Edgecore, which was on my list given my experience with other Accton brands. Fiberstore has a switch where they actually publish the pricing vs. a bunch of mystery. 


Mike Hammett 
Intelligent Computing Solutions 


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