MetaSwitch and Dell EMC offer joint solution

Telecommunications software company MetaSwitch and Dell EMC announced a collaboration, which involves combining the former company’s Composable Network Protocols (CNP) IP routing and MPLS networking stacks with the latter company’s EMC OS10 Open Edition. As part of the collaboration, Dell will resell MetaSwitch’s CNP.

The companies said the combination of these technologies enables true software disaggregation. Service providers have increasingly embraced software disaggregation, largely as a result of a more general shift toward virtualization. The process involves decoupling hardware and software dependencies, enabling switches to run on network operating systems from different vendors.

According to said Drew Schulke, VP of networking at Dell EMC, the combination of Metaswitch CNP and Dell EMC OS10 Open Edition significantly raises the credibility of software disaggregation in production deployments. “With this comprehensive portfolio of hardened network protocol stacks, we’ll work closely on addressing the complexities of data center interconnect and wide-area IP/MPLS routing at scale,” he said in a statement. “We’re pleased to be working closely with Metaswitch with its long and successful track record of development and deployment of protocol stacks.”

Launched in January 2016, Dell EMC OS10 is the company’s switch operating system. It consists of a mix of compute, storage and networking in a single platform. OS10 Open Edition was made to provide new levels of software flexibility and programmability in large-scale data center environments for cloud and communications services providers (CSPs), according to the company. It can also integrate with DevOps tools and has been contributed to Openswitch through the Linux Foundation.

Metaswitch CNP, on the other hand, provides disaggregated network software solutions for deployments ranging from layer 2 data center applications to layer 3 fabrics, VPN interconnect and carrier-grade MPLS infrastructures. Its routing and control plane protocols install and operate as binary applications on top of any network operating system.

“Composable networking allows for the granular deployment of individual protocol stacks on a per-white box / per application basis and therefore has the perception of greater complexity,” explained Simon Dredge, director of technical marketing at Metaswitch, in an email exchange with RCR Wireless News. “Working closely with Dell EMC, we have defined packages or protocols targeted at specific application, the first being a base package of layer 2 control plane and layer 3 route discovery protocols for switches deployed to support data center fabrics,” he added.

MetaSwitch also noted its portfolio of CNP is now available, which is aimed at large-scale data centers. It enables networking teams to create the next generation of white box routing platforms with decoupled control plane components and open management interfaces.

The announcement follows Cisco making its own push for software disaggregation this week with a number of updates to its network operating systems, including IOS XR, IOS XE and NX OS. The company disaggregated IOS XR, while introducing CVD Configuration Management Templates for IOS XE. It is also offering a virtual version of NX OS along with multiple portability options.

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