SwitchDev Development and Implementation

Why SwitchDev?

SwitchDev is a Linux kernel driver that enables you to control switching silicons (ASICs) on a kernel level, using standard open Linux interfaces. Implementing SwitchDev helps to break the vendor lock-in of proprietary SDKs (Software Development Kits), eliminating the dependency on vendor-specific APIs to manage network hardware. It also simplifies integration, setup, and support for new devices through interface unification, in addition to eliminating the need for additional re-training of personnel with each new product.

Implementing the SwitchDev open-source framework supports disaggregation and open networking. Thus, if the SwitchDev driver is available from an ASIC vendor, end users can deploy a Linux-based NOS of their choice, including Dent OS, on their network hardware.

Why Dent OS?

Developed by a strong open-source community, Dent OS stems from Linux kernel networking with SwitchDev at its core. Sometimes referred to as an “NOS for the rest of us,” it is a full-featured open software that solves the challenges of Distributed Enterprise Edge, while also expanding into Enterprise Data Centers. PLVision has extensive expertise in full-cycle Dent OS development, integration, and continuous quality management.

How can network businesses benefit?

Switching silicon (ASIC) vendors

Switch silicon vendors are striving to reach a new white box market and extend it with the segments of mid- and low-end commodity switching and routing, including: 

  • Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO)  
  • Small Office Home Office (SOHO)  
  • SMB (Small Medium Business)

To succeed in these markets, enabling cost efficiency throughout the supply chain is crucial. Offering designs and solutions that use SwitchDev for network control, automatically puts an ASIC brand on a vendor list for companies who prefer open infrastructure solutions – OCP, Linux Foundation, and other similar ecosystems.  

How we can help:

  • SwitchDev driver development for switching silicon (ASIC) 
  • Testing and upstream of SwitchDev driver for your network ASIC to Linux kernel

OEMs/ODMs

For switch or router vendors, SwitchDev means the elimination of licensing costs related to the use of proprietary NOSes and simplified integration of their devices with new merchant silicons. As a result,  cost-efficiency improves for their product.

SwitchDev-powered NOS is also more lightweight in comparison to SONiC, which requires specific expertise for integration and enhancement. SwitchDev secures Linux-native environment, familiar tools, configuration and administration methods for both developers and end users.  

Overall, a SwitchDev-based NOS is a strong alternative for white-box products. Linux has a smaller footprint and does not require a powerful CPU to run. This makes your Switchdev-enabled product more attractive to traditional, price-sensitive markets like ROBO, SOHO, SMB.

How we can help:

  • Introduce SwitchDev support for your network equipment 
  • Extend the set of Linux network applications on top of SwitchDev 
  • Platform bring-up, product quality assurance, resolving integration issues  
  • Maintain, sustain and support your product, keep up with Linux kernel updates 
  • Upstream product-specific code (BSP, platform code, bootloaders) to Linux kernel

Enterprises

The SwitchDev-based Dent OS can help to optimize costs for enterprises that decide to build their network on design-specific features or protocols. It allows them to acquire necessary features that would otherwise be quite costly in a non-traditional but efficient way, namely by transitioning from proprietary equipment to white boxes using open-source software.

Dent OS serves as a lightweight substitution for the no longer available Cumulus Linux OS, and even has the potential to outperform it with the approaching Dent 3.0 release. The current release’s features are sufficient to cover most Campus and Network Edge needs. With not just Linux but also Kernel and SDK expertise, PLVision can extend Dent OS functionality as well as ensure its validation, support, and maintenance.

How we can help:   

  • Enabling Dent OS on your white boxes
  • Developing Dent’s new features critical for your network design
  • Updating your switch platforms with the latest Dent releases
  • Testing and quality management

PLVision as Your Global Guide to SwitchDev Success

  • Well-positioned service vendor with a wealth of Linux kernel development credentials, specifically in network drivers and applications 
  • Solid experience of collaboration with open source communities (including Linux kernel netdev, promoting SwitchDev) 
  • Strong background in low-level networking and embedded software development: experience working with SDK of 6 merchant switch silicons 
  • Versatile NOS development expertise which closes gaps in developing a fresh open NOS for Linux environment

Discuss your needs with our expert

Learn how you can unleash the power of Linux for SwitchDev enablement of your network product.

Consultant:

Leonid Khedyk

Chief Technology Officer

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