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DENT Member profile: Michael Ward – Edgecore Networks

By May 11, 2021Blog

Michael Ward,
Edgecore Networks

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Edgecore Networks Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corporation, the leading network ODM.  Edgecore Networks delivers wired and wireless networking products and solutions through channel partners and system integrators worldwide for the Data Center, Service Provider, Enterprise and SMB customers.  Edgecore Networks is the leader in open networking providing a full line of open WiFi access points, packet transponders, virtual PON OLTs, cell site gateways, and 1G, 10G, 25G, 40G, 100G and 400G OCP Accepted™ switches that offer choice of commercial and open source NOS and SDN software. For more information, visit

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

Edgecore Networks has long been a believer in enabling our customers with three key factors – Freedom, Innovation & Control.  Open-Source is a facilitator to enabling customers with these factors.   Open-source provides our customers with freedom of choice across NOS offerings.  It is unarguably a place where Innovation thrives, and it provides them with control – control over their specific solutions – using the features, technologies and solutions that are right for their environment – not what is in a reference architecture of a network equipment manufacturer that is selling to a very diverse audience.

Why did you join DENT and what sort of impact do you think DENT has on the edge, networking, and IoT industries?

Edgecore has been a part of the emergence of Open solutions in other segments such as the Data Center & Service provider markets – and we believe that the time is right for the Enterprise Edge to also benefit from what an open, community driven solution such as DENT can provide.

As DENT is designed from the ground up to be as lightweight as possible, it is well suited to address cost-sensitive product at the edge of the network.  Also, by leveraging a common NOS in the edge networking, and certain edge end-points, there becomes the ability to leverage this commonality in simplicity of device management for the Enterprise IT managers that must deal with many disparate devices spread across many locations where they do not have skilled IT resources on-site.

What do you see as the top benefits of being part of the DENT community?

Certainly, a key benefit is being a part of a diverse community that has a common goal of defining a next-generation solution for the distributed enterprise.  This community that is comprised of end-users, semiconductor vendors, device manufacturers, third party applications & solutions vendors – all bring different perspectives to the table – that when merged result in better ideas – better outcomes – better solutions to offer to the market.

What sort of contributions has your team made to the community, ecosystem through DENT participation?

While Edgecore is known to many as an open-networking hardware equipment manufacturer – and while we are providing several of the initial key platforms on which the DENT NOS is running, we are also contributing through our expertise on the software, testing & solutions side.   Our team is providing software driver support for a variety of the subsystems in the solution, but we are also taking a very active role in the Test & Validation workgroup, contributing test automation solutions, methodologies, as well as infrastructure solutions to enable effective community development and testing. We are also working closely with other members to help ensure that the releases from the DENT project are as close to production ready as possible – which has often been a hinderance of other open-source NOS projects.

What do you think sets DENT apart from other industry alliances?

Serving on the Governance Board of the DENT project, I believe that the DENT community as a whole is one that is being driven by the input of the full community – more so than perhaps some other projects in the open-community space.   While it is always good to have a driving beacon, it is important that one voice does not overpower the group as a whole – and the DENT project does a good job in balancing these inputs for the good of the community.

How will DENT help your business?

We believe that DENT will help in making open-networking much more accessible into the Enterprise segment – which expands the market opportunity which Edgecore Networks addresses.  We see more choices as a good thing for our customers and look forward to Open Networking benefiting and ever larger group of organizations.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining DENT?

Reach out and talk to other member organizations regarding the goals and charter of the DENT project.  You’ll find that the members are all well aligned with one another in wanting to see an open solution for the Distributed Enterprise emerge.   Then get involved – like anything in life you get out of it what you put into it.  If you are an Enterprise, come to the table with the real-world problems & challenges you face – and be open to exposing these to the community and from that you’ll benefit from solutions that can emerge.  If you are on the semiconductor or equipment manufacturer side – think less about you’re sharing information with your competition – and more about how we are collectively growing a market that will serve to benefit us all.   And if you are a third partner solutions / integration company, think about how you can bring new, innovative ways of serving your customers using DENT-enabled solutions – and work with the parties in the Community today to bring those to light.