HP today announced the launch of the OpenSwitch community and a new open source network operating system (NOS). HP and key supporters, Accton Technology Corporation, Arista, Broadcom, Intel, and VMware, are delivering a community-based platform that provides developers and users the ability to accelerate innovation, avoid vendor lock-in, and realize investment protection as they rapidly build data center networks customized for unique business applications.
Here’s the official OpenSwitch site – and I’ll admit, this goes way over my head.
The gist of the difference between a desktop/workstation/server OS and a network OS is that the hardware architecture on a traditional motherboard is a massive bottleneck for network switching.
A modern core network router will have the CPU manage the routing table and then every port will have its own forwarding processor and a direct physical connection to every other forwarding processor.
It’s sort of like the difference between programmed I/O and DMA or between PCI (bus) and PCI Express (crossbar switch).
Edited 2015-10-06 04:10 UTC