Time for Networking equipment to become more open
More people are using applications, people are using more applications, more and more things are becoming hard to imagine without applications, finally, applications are going more and more sophisticated – all these developments are leading to permanently growing a number of servers, growing data centers and network infrastructures.
We can’t imagine our life without all that applications, websites, social networks, video streaming services – but we never imagine how big the effort behind that.
Let’s take Network Engineer’s daily activities who make communication across the world and between armadas of servers to go smooth and to meet all growing requirements. In typical infrastructure be that ISP, Enterprise or Data Center – Network Engineer ( a highly skilled professional ) on average spend 10-20% of the time on strategic and fundamental tasks when 80-90% of the time goes on manually handling of repetitive tasks originated by colleagues or customers.
Automate mentioned 80-90% of manual handling work, remove frustration from Network Engineer as no one likes to do that repetitive stuff. Let highly skilled professional focus on more important and strategic activities. Sounds efficient and reasonable. Isn’t it?
Automation solutions becoming available these days by networking giants like Cisco and Juniper, with fixes and closed operating system providing almost no room for customizations on the software level and they make IT companies to stick to the particular hardware vendor. Production of networking equipment was such a complex task that it was done by a relatively small number of vendors and they eventually become monopolies. Which is hardly beneficial for humanity.
White-Box switches are industry standard networking equipment which is produced by many brands (HP, Edge-Core, Dell, and others) these days. They come with the freedom in mind. Saying that you are free to install any operating system you need and run any software which is good for your particular business and tasks.
Recently White box networking started to become popular. That was driven by operating systems and software becoming available on the market. Cumulus Networks and some others have a significant role in this. For instance, Cumulus Linux brings the power of Linux to networking layer. Independent software vendors are now able to develop custom software which IT companies can use to organize their Infrastructures.
This important step enables possibility for 3-rd party software to be developed for networking equipment – which was absolutely impossible before. Remember times of mobile phones with fixed software? Can we imagine today a mobile phone without a possibility to install software which we need?
Disaggregation in Networking hardware world is happening opening new horizons for IT Companies, 3-rd party software developers, open-source projects – bringing value better value for humanity.