Microsoft entrusts its SONiC system to the Linux Foundation

Microsoft has decided to entrust the management of its SONiC network system to the Linux Foundation. According to analysts, this is likely to promote the development of simplified functions and vendor support. In any case, this is what the market is hoping for, which despairs of seeing SONiC’s promises come true, as long as the system is complex to implement.

Microsoft originally developed the SONiC system – Software for Open Networking in the Cloud – as the critical network layer for its Azure public cloud. Its originality is to be designed based on microservices, which gives it a more modular structure than in other SDNs. Put simply, users have the ability to only succeed in the functions they really care about, effectively eliminating a lot of latency and unnecessary equipment in the data center.

“One of the main promises of SONiC is especially that you can have equipment from multiple vendors, and as long as they all support SONiC, you can manage them all as if it were one global piece of equipment. . It’s what network administrators have dreamed of for decades,” comments Dave McCarthy, an IDC analyst.

Under the Linux Foundation’s aegis, the network system could solve its most notorious problems: the lack of administrative tools, the lack of support from equipment manufacturers and, overall, the extreme to solve the whole.

The Linux Foundation to inspire confidence in the market

Good student, Dell is one of the few equipment manufacturers who promise SONiC. We owe him a packaged distribution of the system, Enterprise SONiC Distribution, of which a 4.0 version should be available shortly. In June, Dell is expected to present “approved” hardware configurations for SONiC, implied, that work in a specific scenario which Dell will communicate in detail, along with the procedure for getting started.

Regarding network leaders, Cisco, Juniper and Arista pay lip service to the installation of SONiC on their equipment. “Clearly, they are waiting for SONiC to win the minds and the wallets of companies before adapting their strategy to this system. But as soon as they do, it’s a safe bet that all the other equipment will follow them. The Linux Foundation just needs to get businesses interested,” said IDC analyst Brad Casemore.

“It remains to be seen how, precisely, to arouse the interest of companies. A priori, the Linux foundation could favor the addition of extensions. I am thinking, for example, of remote administration, of a tool that regulates bandwidth more efficiently during updates in the datacenter, etc. imagines for his part Dave McCarthy.

Beyond the technical developments, the support of the Linux Foundation should bring correction to the system and encourage the adhesion of the open source communities. “The moment you have the Linux Foundation behind a project, then vendors, developers and companies have confidence, because for everyone, the Linux Foundation is a guarantee of sustainability”, adds Brad Casemore.

According to him, the enthusiasm of open source communities for SONiC could even bring this network system out of the sole lap of datacenters. The analyst imagines that it could just as easily streamline communications on a campus or between connected objects on an industrial site.

IDC is generally optimistic about SONiC’s career. The research firm predicts that sales of SONIC-based switches will reach $2.5 billion in 2025, or 14.4% of the total data center switch market.

Leave a Comment