Mellanox Introduces Next Generation Ethernet Network Operating System – Mellanox Onyx™


Mellanox Introduces Next Generation Ethernet Network Operating System – Mellanox Onyx™

Mellanox is excited to announce the general availability of Mellanox Onyx. Onyx succeeds MLNX-OS as the next-generation network operating system for Spectrum Open Ethernet switches.  Onyx combines rich network operating system features for the modern datacenter with the flexibility of a completely open container-based framework.

Onyx combines the best of Classic & Disaggregated Network Operating Systems

As datacenters scale, operators seek to reduce network complexity by eliminating legacy proprietary features. Standards-based scale-out Layer-3 leaf/spine disaggregated fabrics have emerged as the proven and de facto approach to building large datacenter networks. The number of protocols and features that run the datacenters keeps shrinking. The focus is shifting to network automation, orchestration and visibility solutions.

Existing disaggregated solutions are Linux based and offer great number of open source DevOps tooling options but many customers still prefer to have a classic CLI interface. However, most classic network operating systems are closed and provide only a limited access to the switch platform. So, customers have to make a difficult choice between not having a classic CLI and having limited system access. With Mellanox Onyx, you can have the best of both worlds.

The Onyx Advantage

Onyx supports all the elements required to build a robust Layer-2 and Layer-3 data center network.

  • Industry-proven Layer-3 stack
  • ZTP, Ansible, Puppet
  • 64-way ECMP
  • Robust MLAG

End-to-End Fabric Management

Onyx tightly integrates with Mellanox NEO™ orchestration software, extending management throughout the entire fabric. NEO provides a single pane of glass to manage the interconnect infrastructure – including both the Spectrum switches and the ConnectX adapters.


Additionally, Onyx supports commands to automate end-to-end QoS and buffer configurations. RDMA is the preferred transport for Storage, NVMe over Fabric and Machine Learning applications. Onyx’s enhanced support for RoCE cements Spectrum Ethernet switch’s position as the best platform for Storage and Artificial Intelligence applications.

Enhanced Visibility

Onyx also has visibility hooks to help network operators debug and troubleshoot issues. For example, large networks have tens of thousands of physical cables. Onyx comes with visibility features to proactively monitor the Bit Error Rate (BER) of optical links and notify operators. Moreover, Onyx leverages the underlying Spectrum switch platform to give insights into buffer and congestion issues.

Container-Based Framework

With Onyx, you can run containerized applications side-by-side with the main operating system. The container application can:

  • Interact with Onyx via JSON API
  • Send/Receive packets from network
  • Access silicon-level SDK

Customers using the container infrastructure can quickly and simply implement features or customize the switch functionality to address use cases such as Media & Entertainment or Storage.

The Bottom line

With Mellanox Onyx, customers enjoy the benefits of an open system while using standard protocols and features. Onyx supports industry-standard Layer-2/Layer-3 features and automation tools. In addition to these core features, Onyx provides a container-based infrastructure that can be used by the customer to further customize the switch platform, and more.

To learn more about Mellanox Onyx, click here to download the product brief.


About Karthik Mandakolathur

Karthik is a Senior Director of Product Marketing at Mellanox. Karthik has been in the networking industry for over 15 years. Before joining Mellanox, he held product management and engineering positions at Cisco, Broadcom and Brocade. He holds multiple U.S. patents in the area of high performance switching architectures. He earned an MBA from The Wharton School, MSEE from Stanford and BSEE from Indian Institute of Technology.

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