Last year, Open Compute Project (OCP) launched a new network project focused on developing operating system agnostic switches to address the need for a highly efficient and cost effective open switch platform. Mellanox Technologies collaborated with Cumulus Networks and the OCP community to define unified and open drivers for the OCP switch hardware platforms. As a result, any software provider can now deliver a networking operating system to the open switch specifications on top of the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) boot loader.
At the upcoming OCP Summit, Mellanox will present recent technical advances such as loading Net-OS on an x86 system with ONIE, OCP platform control using Linux sysfs calls, full L2 and L3 Open Ethernet Switch API, and also demonstrate Open SwitchX SDK. To support this, Mellanox developed SX1024-OCP, a SwitchX®-2-based TOR switch which supports 48 10GbE SFP+ ports and up to 12 40GbE QSFP ports.
The SX1024-OCP enables non-blocking connectivity within the OCP’s Open Rack and 1.92Tb/s throughput. Alternatively, it can enable 60 10GbE server ports when using QSFP+ to SFP+ breakout cables to increase rack efficiency for less bandwidth demanding applications.
Mellanox also introduced SX1036-OCP, a SwitchX-2-based spine switch, which supports 36 40GbE QSFP ports. The SX1036-OCP enables non-blocking connectivity between the racks. These open source switches are the first switches on the market to support ONIE over x86 dual core processors.
The crown jewel at the summit will be Mellanox’s new 40GbE NICs designed with OCP compliant ConnectX®-3 and ConnectX-3 Pro ICs. The ConnectX-3 OCP-based 40GbE NICs offer optimized latency and performance for converged I/O infrastructures. These NICs have the highest bandwidth and lowest power consumption in the industry. They will be available in Q1 of 2014 and lead the migration from proprietary products to open source solutions focused on efficiency and scale.
These developments are a glimpse of what’s to come from the partnership between Mellanox and the OCP community. Data center managers that were once locked into proprietary Ethernet switch ingredients such as proprietary switch silicon, hardware, OS and protocol stack – now have the freedom to choose an open source platform backed with OCP compliant high-speed interconnect solutions.
For more information, visit http://www.opencompute.org/ or speak to a Mellanox expert during the OCP Summit from January 28-29, 2014 at the San Jose Convention Center in booth #C21.
Author: Samir Desai serves as Sr. Director of Marketing , responsible for data center interconnect marketing and leads OCP marketing efforts at Mellanox. Prior to joining Mellanox, he served as Vice President of business development at Kotura, The Silicon Photonics Company, acquired by Mellanox in August 2013. He holds at BSEE from California State University, Fullerton.