HP’s OpenSwitch becomes a Linux Foundation Project

Yet another promising open source project goes to the Linux Foundation.

newtork switch
Credit: gothopotam/Flickr

HP's open source networking operating system, OpenSwitch, is now a Linux Foundation project.

Many industry players are joining the project, including Broadcom, Cavium, Extreme Networks, LinkedIn, Mellanox, Nephos Inc., P4.org, Quattro Networks, SnapRoute and, of course, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

OpenSwitch is full-featured, Linux-based modular and modern network operating system that provides support for traditional and cloud networking environments.

Commenting on the arrival of OpenSwicth Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation said, “OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation. We’re looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise.”

HP created the OS to its customers gain more control over their infrastructure. And that is also why HP released it as open source, allowing customers to contribute, collaborate and innovate on top of it. HP announced the project in 2015.

One of the core features of OpenSwitch is interoperability. It enables interoperability with other open source technologies such as IT automation platform Ansible and cloud operating system OpenStack, and is able to integrate with other open source technologies including Broadcom's Broadview instrumentation software, the Grommet app development framework, the LLDPD protocol, the OpenVSwitch virtual switch, and routing software suite Quagga. OpenSwitch also supports the P4 programming language.

“OpenSwitch allows developers to build networks that prioritize business-critical workloads and functions by removing the burdens of interoperability issues and complex licensing structures that are inherent in proprietary systems. OpenSwitch is developed collaboratively, allowing users and network operators to achieve advanced performance, flexibility and security throughout network protocols,” the Linux Foundation said in a press announcement.

Why Linux Foundation?

One common theme that I repeatedly hear among organizations that have handed over their projects to the Linux Foundation is that projects benefit from being part of the foundation in many ways. First of all, the foundation enables cross conversation among projects, contributors and companies. The projects also benefit from the foundation's management and marketing experience.

There aren’t that many such ambitious organizations around. The other organization that I think matches it in volume is the Apache Foundation, but it doesn’t have the same resource and corporate focus that the Linux Foundation has as a trade organization.

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