As data communication industry develop rapidly, people’s requirements for network applications have become more sophisticated. Switch, as a box shaped optical component, is the heart of network connection. On the market, the price of switch is high because of the hardware and software inside it. With a low cost and excellent performance, white box switch has been a hot topic in the past few years. This article is going to decode white box switch.
White box switch refers to the ability to use “generic”, off-the-shelf switching (or white box switching) and routing hardware, in the forwarding plane of a software-defined network (SDN). White box switch represents the foundational element of the commodity networking ecosystem. It is really just that—”blank” standard hardware. And customers are able to choose the elements they need to realize their SDN objectives.
The operating system (OS) of white box switch may come already installed or can be purchased from a software vendor and loaded separately. For hardware, hardware suppliers can manufacture or design it for white box switch according to customers’ requirements. A white box switch may come pre-loaded with minimal software or it may be sold as a bare metal device.
From the above content, it is not difficult to find that the obvious advantage of white box switch is that the switch can be customized to meet specific business and networking needs. In addition, there are some other advantages of white box switch.
Cost: White box switch is cheaper than branded switch. In fact, most of customers will never use some features pre-loaded in integrated switching and routing platforms, but they still have to pay extra expenses for these features. Being able to be customized, white box switch can remove some useless features for customers. Therefore, the overall cost of white box switch is lower than branded switch.
Quality: The quality of white box switch is as good as branded switch. The hardware suppliers are professional OEM factories, and the hardware installed in white box switch is the same as that in branded switch. Besides, the function of white box switch is designed according to the need of customer. Therefore, the quality of white box switch can be guaranteed.
Capability: White box switch is often superior to traditional layer 2/3 switch. Typically used as a top-of-rack switch or as part of an SDN deployment, white box switch supports industry standards. In addition, it is highly programmable and work with orchestration tools. Characterized by strong telemetry capability and openness, the user does not have to worry about the capability of white box switch.
FS 40G/100G white box switches are based on IPinfusion’s ZebOS with integration of Layer 2 to Layer 4 packet processing engine, traffic management and fabric interface, aiming to achieve flexibility, scalability, efficiency and cost effectiveness in data center networks. Furthermore, the operating systems of FS 40G and 100G Ethernet switches are developed on the basis of Linux and similar to Arista EOS. All the 40G/100G white box switches in FS support SDN function which can make networks more affordable and easier to manage. The following table shows three types of FS 40G/100G white box switches and some equivalents that have the same switching capability.
|Ports||32*SFP+ & 2*QSFP+||48*SFP+ & 2*QSFP+ & 4*QSFP28||20*QSFP+ & 4*QSFP28|
|CPU||Freescale PowerPC P1010||Freescale PowerPC P1010||Freescale PowerPC P1010|
|Equivalents||Cisco Meraki MS425-32||Arista 7280E||Cisco Catalyst 9500-24Q|
Customers are always trying to find a new way to improve efficiency and reduce cost. This pushes the routing networking to evolve. White box switch, integrating fully open-sourced hardware and software, can effectively lower the cost and meet the requirement for SDN application environment. FS.COM 40G/100G white box switches are high performance gigabit switches that support SDN deployment while providing cost-effective solutions for next generation metro, data center and enterprise Ethernet networks.