Carlos Cardenas

Author Archives: Carlos Cardenas

100G & 25G Plugfests: What we learned


Happy Chinese New Year Y’all!!!

I wanted to take the time and talk about the 25/100G trend we find ourselves in. With more and more platforms being added (Cumulus Linux supports 9 of these platforms with the 3.2 release and we have plans to add more over the next few months), and more customers making the switch to 25/100G as a way to future-proof their networks given the economics of 25/100G open networking switches being on par with their 10/40G counterparts, it’s clear that the 25/100G trend is picking up speed. It was a long journey to get to this point, and we learned a lot on the way. I’d like to take this opportunity to take a look back, analyze the situation and highlight a few things we learned as an industry.

Setting the stage: A short history of the 25G and 100G rush

I don’t know if y’all remember the 100G race between vendors in 2015 to deliver the first 100G switch based on the new 28 GHz standard; everyone had to be first in the market. We even had a handful of 100G switch submissions to OCP by mid 2015. Plus, for the first time Continue reading

Testing Open Networking

Over the last couple of weeks, the networking industry has made some significant steps in the right direction, the open networking direction. At the Open Networking Summit (ONS), we heard some great news about the disaggregated network and how open networking is now everywhere from hyperscale to the enterprise to startups to telcos. As exciting as that is, that’s not the news I’m referring to — I’m referring to the announcement of the Open Networking Testing Consortium.

To illustrate why this is big news, I’ll give some background on how open networking has been operating for most people. Up until a few years ago, the way you purchased a bare metal switch was through select APAC sources and a wire transfer. A few weeks later, you’d receive your equipment and it was then up to you, the end user, to perform interoperability testing with your cables and optics manufacturers while on the phone with support, along with bootstrapping your OS to these boxes. Eventually you had both a CapEx and OpEx saving solution that you controlled from end to end.

One the first bare metal switches, Google Pluto
One the first bare metal switches, Google Pluto

Luckily for most of you, that experience has now been refined significantly Continue reading

Democratizing the Networking Industry beyond the Two Party System

When it comes to the networking industry and purchasing a network device, a user typically has two choices: Party D and Party R.

Sure, there are other parties out there, but they usually don’t make the ballot for one reason or another. Even when you are not a “hardcore” supporter of either party, you feel stuck in one of those camps since you cannot partially “vote,” much less mix-and-match, as both parties are incompatible with each other.

What if this doesn’t have to be the case?

In this new world democracy, what if you could apportion your vote in a piecemeal fashion? In essence, taking the bits from one party combined with those of another party to create a new candidate tailored for your needs.

For the last 18 months or so, the Open Compute Project (OCP) Networking Group has been further validating and accelerating the adoption of this new reality of a disaggregated network design where the network device is separated from the network operating system (NOS) that powers the device. At the heart of this is a little piece of OCP software called ONIE (Open Network Install Environment), a key innovation by Cumulus Networks and released Continue reading