HP to sell Linux switches: Call the box 'white' or 'brite' -- Meg's in the fight

HP vs. Cisco: FIGHT!

HP is diving into the white-box network-switch market (or 'brite box' if you insist). Partnering with Accton and Cumulus, it'll soon be offering Linux-based switches for all levels of data center.

Meg's mob joins Dell and Juniper in this trendy, 'disaggregated' software-defined-networking market, while Cisco stubbornly sticks to the knitting.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers break out the popcorn.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Don Clark hides behind a paywall:

Hewlett-Packard Co...will put its brand on switches developed by Accton Technology. ... H-P plans to offer the switches with a variant of Linux developed by...Cumulus Networks. [It] partly reflects the preference of large Web companies that buy servers and switching devices in large volumes.

Rohit Mehra, an analyst at IDC, estimated that the segment of the switching market targeted by H-P generates between $7 billion and $8 billion in revenue annually.  MORE

Here's Jim Duffy, the aggregate slayer: [You're fired -Ed.]

HP has joined the disaggregation party. ... Through Cumulus Linux’s Open Network Install Environment (ONIE), the HP/Accton hardware can load network operating system software from multiple vendors.

The disaggregated hardware/software model attempts to decouple switch hardware from networking software...without the entanglements of vendor-specific offerings. But by offering a branded white box option, vendors...can sell into the Web scale opportunity and make money by providing follow-on service and support.

Gartner has labelled this branded white box trend “brite box.” ... HP is introducing two brite box switches that enable 10G/40G spine and 10G leaf data center deployments. Both switches will be available in March. ... In the second half of 2015, HP will expand the line to include 25G/50G/100G...and 1G switches.  MORE

And Richard Chirgwin sings a Lent carol:

HP...wants to start with “web scale” cloud operators. ... However, according to CTO and VP Mark Carroll, HP hopes to see adoption among lower-tier clouds and enterprise customers as well.

Carroll said the switches will have Open Compute Project certification “very soon” [and] two things will set the solution apart from pure-play white-box switches: its ability to “de-risk” the supply chain and a global support operation. ... He said the open switches fitted well with the DevOps model: “Developers...want application awareness all the way down the stack.”  MORE

Who else is doing this? Yevgeniy Sverdlik is easy for you to say:

Dell and Juniper have already announced open commodity network switches of their own. Dell said it would ship data center switches with a Linux-based network operating systems by Cumulus Networks or by Big Switch Networks. ... Juniper announced it would start shipping a commodity switch that would support any OS sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

Notably, Cisco has not introduced commodity switches. [It] has built an empire selling tightly coupled hardware-and-software bundles, and cheap open network hardware is a threat to its dominance.  MORE

Meanwhile, Cade Metz met the CEO of Cumulus:

“It’s all happening much faster than I thought,” says JR Rivers, the CEO of Cumulus Networks.

For a brief time, Rivers helped design networking switches inside Google, and now, he’s directly pushing the same basic ideas to the rest of the market. [It] is based on the Linux open source operating system. Google built switches that it could load with its own networking software and modify as need be, and Cumulus lets companies do much the same.

It’s not a complicated idea. It’s the same model that PCs and computer servers have used for so long, and it only makes sense. ... It’s just that in the networking world, the idea was long overdue.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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