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Metaswitch Enables Composable Networking with CNPs, Dell EMC Deal

March 28, 2018

Networks are increasingly moving toward a software-centric model. This movement began with hardware disaggregation. But the software, nonetheless, remained monolithic.

The next step, says Metaswitch, is to move to composable networking. In line with this evolution, the company today introduced Composable Network Protocols and a CNP reseller relationship with Dell EMC.

Composable networking separates protocols – like the BGP stack – from the network operating system, explains Simon Dredge (News - Alert). As a result, network operators only grab the protocols they need, Metaswitch’s director of technical marketing says. That lowers their security risk. And it allows them to upgrade their NOS less frequently, which lessens their potential for outages.

The hyperscale players like Google (News - Alert) have already proven the composable network model, says Dredge. And now it’s where enterprise network operators and communications services providers want to go, he adds.

Indeed, in January AT&T (News - Alert) announced plans to open source dNOS, or Disaggregated Network Operating System. “Our goal with open sourcing the dNOS project is to create a community around an open framework to software-enable industry-standard white box hardware designs, such as those contributed to the Open Compute Project,” said John Medamana, vice president of Packet Optical Network, AT&T. “We’re excited to work with The Linux Foundation (News - Alert) to bring this concept to reality. We invite others to join us to build the community and support this effort.”

The Composable Network Protocols that Metaswitch has unveiled today enable networking teams to create white box routing platforms based on stable IP routing and MPLS networking stacks. Those networking teams might be from networking equipment and software providers. (Existing vendors to which Metaswitch has provided protocols include ADVA, Calix, Ciena, Cisco (News - Alert), Huawei, Silver Peak, Palo Alto, ZTE, and many others.)

As for the Dell EMC partnership noted earlier, that company will combine Metaswitch’s CNP IP routing and MPLS networking stacks with its own EMC OS10 Open Edition on ONIE-enabled platforms.

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