Experiences with commercial NOS vendors in white box space

netops Network Operations netops at acreto.io
Wed Dec 7 08:27:11 UTC 2022

Good Day Gents,

Really interesting topic.

Playing around few NOSes for white boxes during the last few years or so
and run into A LOT of bugs, and sometimes support is awful, being unable to
fix or provide solutions for pretty simple things like BGP doesn't support
LLGR and it causes BGP to work inproperly or completly turn down BGP
sessions, SNMP unable to pull information about environment, daemons crash
when you try to make multiple changes in the same commit, and things like
that... I don't want to say names in public, but just want to ask on the
experience that anyone had with different NOSes.

Most of the features required for the NOS would be MPLS support, L2/L3VPNs,
EVPN-VXLAN, maybe EVPN Multihomming, basic QoS and of course stability and
How do you evaluate the stability and reliability ? I see that almost all
NOSes, states in the data sheets and product descriptions that they are
capable to do almost everything that is currently required on the market
but the stability and reliability, this is something that you can validate
only after few months/years of using it in production...
What NOS do you think is the most stable, reliable, with a good support,
and which is in continue development ?


On Fri, Dec 2, 2022 at 11:35 PM Jeff Tantsura <jefftant.ietf at gmail.com>

> Hey,
> BCM DNX ASICs don’t make a device a white-box, many commercial vendors
> programming it either completely or at least partially avoiding using BCM
> SDK, using DB’s in different ways, etc.
> Looking at a choice of modern NOSes, Arrcus is a high performance,YANG
> programmable vertically integrated NOS built specifically (own HAL) on DNX.
> OcNOS - haven’t touched it for a couple of years, never liked it (for
> aforementioned reasons and more).
> RtBrick - another modern, highly scalable NOS using DNX, that also
> provides fully fledges BRAS.
> I’ll CC CTOs of both companies so you could contact them p2p.
> Hope this is helpful.
> Cheers,
> Jeff
> > On Nov 30, 2022, at 07:51, Graham Johnston <johnston.grahamj at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Good day.
> >
> > I'm curious to hear from those with direct, hopefully in-production,
> > experience in using a commercial network operating system vendor along
> > with white box switches. I'm specifically looking for operators in the
> > service provider space, rather than data center or enterprise. I'm
> > largely focused on Jericho2/Qumran2 based devices, with what would
> > likely be modest feature requirements. We currently use MPLS with RSVP
> > to build automatic paths, but don't do anything specific for traffic
> > engineering. Segment routing isn't a requirement for today. Currently
> > use more traditional forms of MPLS services for customer L2 and L3
> > VPNs, but are investigating a transition to EVPN. Automation is very
> > much important to us, as are routing security features. Based on
> > research, and use of vertically integrated Jericho-based switches, we
> > aren't concerned about QoS as our needs aren't super complex. I guess
> > I'm largely saying that we don't expect the ASIC to be the weak point
> > in our use case, but rather the NOS or the nature of support from the
> > vendor.
> >
> > I'm aware of IPInfusion and their OcNOS product, but the CLI and
> > config syntax feels dated. I feel like I've been ruined by Cisco RPL,
> > Juniper policy-statements, and Arista RCF and expect I would find
> > wanting more than what route-map syntax has to offer. Can I accomplish
> > the same complex routing policies via route-maps that I can with more
> > modern solutions, and I'm just assuming it's limiting? Is it fair to
> > say that even if I can achieve the same functionality, that route-maps
> > are the poorer choice when it comes to the human interaction aspect?
> >
> > I know of Arrcus, but don't know much more than I can see on their
> > website. Edge-core has an interesting reference in its Open Networking
> > Solution Guide on their website in which they position Arrcus for core
> > applications and IPInfusion for access and aggregation. All of which
> > could be meaningless based on the varied definitions and expectations
> > of what a core network is and does. Is it feature rich or just a set
> > of fast LSR P-routers? The Edge-Cor guide also identifies Exaware and
> > Capgemini, both of whom I know little about. Are there viable SP
> > focused NOS vendors that I haven't touched on?
> >
> > Thanks in advance for any reply, be it on-list or off-list.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Graham
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