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DENT 2.0, Secure and Scalable Open Source Network Operating System Aimed at Small and Mid-Size Enterprises, Available Now

By Announcements, Blog

Newest version of DENT, a Linux Foundation project, adds secure scaling, PoE control, and traffic policing, being deployed in retail environments in North America and Asia markets

Available for immediate download and testing; new Getting Started documentation available, supported hardware platforms list expanded

SAN FRANCISCO, March 8, 2022 – The DENT Project, an open source network operating system utilizing the Linux Kernel, Switchdev, and other Linux based projects, today announced DENT 2.0 is available for immediate download. The “Beeblebrox” release adds key features utilized by distributed enterprises in retail and remote facilities, providing a secure and scalable Linux-based Network Operating System (NOS) for disaggregated switches adaptable to edge deployment. DENT provides a smaller, more lightweight NOS for use at the small, remote edges of enterprise networks.

DENT 2.0 adds secure scaling with Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and Network Address Translation (NAT) to support a broader community of enterprise customers. It also adds Power over Ethernet (PoE) control to allow remote switching, monitoring, and shutting down. Connectivity of IoT, Point of Sale (POS), and other devices is highly valuable to retail storefronts, early adopters of DENT. DENT 2.0 also adds traffic policing, helping mitigate attack situations that overload the CPU. 

“DENT has made great strides this past year and with its edge and native Linux approach, with a rich feature set for distributed enterprises like retail or remote facilities. DENT continues to expand into new use cases and welcomes community input with an open technical community, under the Linux Foundation,” said Arpit Joshipura, GM of Networking & Edge at The Linux Foundation.

DENT 2.0 Main Features to enable secure and scalable development

  • Secure scaling with IPv6 and NAT to appeal to a broader community of SME customers
  • PoE control to allow remote switching, monitoring, and shutting down
  • Rate limiting to protect against broadcast storms, creating a stronger OS under erroneous BUM (Broadcast, Unicast, Multicast) traffic

DENT goes beyond the data center to enable enterprises to transition to disaggregated network switches and use cases available with the distributed enterprise and edge networking. The open source NOS provides key technology leverage in retail, a sector that is leading innovation in digital transformation. The Amazon public showcase of DENT hardware at re:Invent in November 2021 reached 20,000+ attendees.

“This new release of DENT 2.0 adds critical updates focused on smaller enterprise needs. This was the goal of DENT all along, and I would like to thank our members and the wider community for this broad, concerted effort to move DENT significantly forward,” said Steven Noble, DENT Technical Steering Committee Chair. “It’s not easy building a flexible, accessible network OS, and this is why I’m proud of all the effort and coordination by so many talented individuals. If you are looking for an open source disaggregated network OS, now is great timing for looking at DENT.”

Retail stores, warehousing, remote locations, enterprise, and Small and Mid-Size Enterprises are all ideal environments for DENT deployment. Wiring closets in many facilities are small. Staff expertise may be limited, and branch-office switches from leading suppliers can require costly contracts. DENT is easily deployed on white-box hardware in small spaces. It can be set up to support dozens of wireless access points and IoT sensors, creating a manageable network to track inventory, monitor shelf real estate, scan customer activity, and perform automated checkouts.

DENT premier members include Amazon, Delta Electronics Inc, Edgecore Networks, and Marvell. DENT would also like to acknowledge important contributions from NVIDIA, Keysight Technologies, and Sartura.

To download and start testing DENT 2.0 today: https://github.com/dentproject/dentOS

To join DENT technical working groups: https://lists.dent.dev/g/tsc/calendar 

Supporting Quotes

“Delta has built complete white box networking platforms based on DENT technology, helping drive a disaggregation model in edge that offers cost and flexibility benefits to customers looking for OEM solutions,” said Charlie Wu, Vice President, Solution Center at Delta Networks. “The deployment of our 1G and 10G Ethernet switch boxes with Marvell’s Prestera devices and the DENT OS in real world applications demonstrates the power of open source to accelerate technology innovation in networking.” 

“Edgecore Networks, as the premier member of DENT, is pleased to see the groundbreaking second release of DENT 2.0, enabling DENT community members to use the DENT’s simplified abstracts, APIs, drivers, to lessen development and deployment overhead,” said Taskin Ucpinar, Senior Director of SW Development at Edgecore Networks. “This innovative product development approach enables the community to build robust solutions with minimal effort and immediately help System Integrators deploy a networking solution to remote campuses and retail stores.”

“As the chairing company for DENT Test Working Group, Keysight has partnered with the open-source community to host the system integration test bed in Keysight labs,” said Dean Lee, Senior Director Cloud Solution Team at Keysight Technologies. “Being a neutral test vendor, we have worked with the community to harden the DENT NOS in multi-vendor interoperability, performance and resiliency. We are delighted to contribute to the success and wide adoption of DENT.

“Marvell is accelerating the build-out of Ethernet switching infrastructure in emerging edge and borderless enterprise applications, and DENT is a key component to our offerings,” said Guy Azrad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Switch Business Unit at Marvell. “With DENT incorporated on our Prestera® switch platforms, we are currently enabling retailers to transform physical stores to smart retail connected environments that benefit consumers through easy and efficient in-store experiences.”

Additional DENT Resources

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

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The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Why Contributing to and Improving Open Source Software Like DENT Matters

By Blog

Croatia-based open-source company Sartura is actively involved in open-sourceprojects and ecosystems as part of its service-oriented business model. Sartura believes that the reason why open source is critical to the IT ecosystem is that it relies on a non-proprietary model and shared effort, the result of which is common good created by a large number of people, each with different goals.  

Sartura has years of experience in providing embedded Linux support on various architectures supported by different semiconductor vendors. Sartura makes use of open-source engineering to bridge the gap between open-source as a technology demonstrator and open-source as the basis for enterprise-level technology. 

We talked with Luka Perkov, CEO of Sartura, to find out why they are committed to contributing to the Dent project and how using upstreaming as a permanent strategy is important to Dent.  

How is Dent different from other embedded Linux projects that you’re experienced with? 

We built our reputation by providing services for Linux-based projects that eliminate vendor lock-in and empower companies and users to seize control of devices from the Wi-Fi and CPE ecosystem. Dent does the same in the Ethernet switch domain by unifying companies from diverse industries toward a shared goal: an open-source, full-featured network operating system. However, the Dent project stands out for its inclusiveness of every project and community member, which is why we feel motivated to contribute to the project in various segments. 

Please explain some of the other open-source networking projects that Sartura is involved with and why your company invests so heavily in giving back to the open-source Linux networking community. Which projects are of particular interest to the Dent community? 

As mentioned, Sartura started by providing considerable contributions to projects such as OpenWrt, which is a Linux-based distribution for embedded devices such as home gateways or wireless routers. Companies looking to leverage these projects also regularly turn to us for development, integration, and consulting services to tailor the distribution to their needs. 

In the past year, we launched Replica.one, an open-source and customizable Gentoo-powered firmware builder for various networking infrastructure components. The builder can currently generate firmware based on popular third-party distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, and Gentoo), and this is going to be extended to support additional distributions as well. Another key trait of the builder is that it leverages upstream community projects such as Linux kernel, U-Boot, systemd, BusyBox, and others to ensure that the generated firmware benefits from the latest mainline advancements of upstream community projects. We are continuously working together with the Dent community to demonstrate and evaluate this technology and its benefits for the Dent project. 

Why did Sartura join Dent? What’s the benefit for Sartura? 

Dent aligns perfectly with our mission of contributing to and improving open source projects. Regarding the benefits, we provide software and support services to companies looking to leverage the Dent concept. 

In the long term, we are working with the Dent community to officially adopt our Replica.one platform, which would enable Dent to leverage a unique Linux-based NOS that runs on devices ranging from Wi-Fi access points and CPE to high-end network switches and core routers. 

What’s the benefit to network equipment vendors of having a standardized network OS? 

The Dent project and the Replica.one platform provide open source and Linux-based NOS solutions that eliminate vendor lock-in and enable easy customization for various network applications and workloads. They allow equipment vendors to compete with industry giants by offering affordable hardware coupled with a free and Open-Source NOS that their customers can tailor to their requirements. 

Do you envision that each network vendor will make extensive modifications to Dent for their specific device, potentially using only those components of Dent that they need? Or, is the vision similar to server Linux distributions where a server vendor takes a standard Linux distribution and ships it with little modification to ensure that apps can run on it? 

I believe that we will see a little bit of both. Some vendors will go the extra mile to enable specific use cases on their devices and attract particular sectors and companies. Others will likely take the safer route by simply ensuring a functional base feature set on their hardware. 

This uncertainty is a key reason why end-users opt for open-source software – they retain the ability to modify and customize their NOS in ways that are not possible with traditional closed-source NOS providers. 

Can you summarize Sartura’s recent mainline contributions and how these contributions benefit Dent and their user base? 

We work with Dent to increase the level of support for numerous devices within the ecosystem that both Dent and Replica.one utilize. Once Dent supplied us with initial hardware samples, we started implementing and contributing the Board Support Package (BSP) to the mainline Linux kernel. This work includes delivering support for components such as power supply and sensors. We upstreamed several kernel drivers, including the Delta DPS-920AB PSU drivers and the Texas Instruments TMP1075 sensor. The support for the latter component significantly reduces maintenance overhead in the Dent project since many switches supported by Dent use this sensor. I would particularly like to thank our lead kernel developer Robert Marko, who continues to drive these upstreaming efforts forward and collaborates with the Linux community. 

We implement a zero-patch policy throughout these efforts, which means that we contribute everything back to respective upstream repositories. Furthermore, we apply the same principle throughout our Replica.one platform development to enable customers with a long-term alternative to the current Open Network Linux Platform (ONLP) based concept. 

How do you engage with the Dent community? (Example: pull requests on GitHub, providing assistance on mailing lists, provide strategic guidance on architecture) 

Sartura is very active through different subgroups of the Dent project, including Dent Developer Discussions, the Roadmap and Features Working Group (RFWG), and the Upstream Working Group (UWG). We are currently working together with Dent to set up support channels, where we aim to provide a range of development, integration, and educational services to companies starting with Dent. 

What is the Dent Working Group on upstream components and drivers? How does someone join? 

We believe that for any open-source project to be sustainable, it must collaborate with the ecosystem it utilizes. Leveraging upstreaming as a permanent strategy brings several short and long-term benefits to the project, including reduced maintenance costs, easier upgrades, and higher code quality. Because of this, we initiated the Upstream Working Group, which aims to align the project members’ goals on the critical element of upstreaming and thereby ensure technical excellence, longevity, and increased commercial growth of the DENT project. To get an invite, please consider subscribing to the Upstream Working Group. We welcome all interested parties to join the Upstream Working Group meetings held every second Monday at 7:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Why WNC Sees Dent as Key to Growing the Networking Industry

By Blog

Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) is dedicated to improving the operating performance of new networking technologies. The company offers technical support in hardware and software design, mechanical and antenna design, user interfaces, and system development. Headquartered in Taiwan, WNC has operations in the US, UK, Japan, China, and Vietnam.

We talked with Cheer Ko, Associate Vice President of Networking Business Group at WNC, to find out why WNC joined Dent and what benefits they see for their customers.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

From 1996 onwards WNC has enjoyed a number of achievements, including ranking #1 with 35% of the world’s market share for laptop antennas and becoming Taiwan’s top satellite communications product-export manufacturer, shipping over 300 million units of satellite communications products and digital home products. WNC serves as the Alpha site of the world’s major chip suppliers. Additionally, WNC is one of the world’s major automotive electronics suppliers.

Why did WNC join Dent?

WNC foresees customer need for open and standardized network equipment. The Dent project is key to the provision of open source services, applications, and hardware. WNC can better contribute its technologies and design/manufacturing services by joining Dent, and thus benefit end-users.

What objectives would you like to see Dent achieve in the next three years?

We hope to see more collaborations between developers, service and solution providers, and end-users resulting in the adoption of Dent open-source OS products in the market.

What are the benefits to WNC of being part of an open-source community?

Being a part of an open-source community like the Linux Foundation, has enabled WNC to contribute patches, codes, documents, etc. to this community. At the same time, WNC is able to benefit from the sharing of member resources.

As the Dent system is adopted in the market, we would expect that more and more partners will contribute resources back to the community. In this way, customers will have more time to focus on marketing their products. In addition, during this contribution process, WNC is also learning about advanced features and applications of other Dent partners.

Do you have a general company strategy for open source?

For the networking industry, open source is the key to growing this piece of pie into a bigger one. It’s unavoidable and it’s coming. For example, OpenWrt is pretty stable and has been adopted in many devices at many levels.

With a reliable open source OS, we can focus on adding new features more efficiently with less manpower. Additionally, it can reduce design costs and shorten the product development cycle. Our strategic aim is to contribute, adopt, verify and help customers get the right products on time.

What changes do you envision for wireless communication solutions in the next three years? (Example: more video, higher definition video, mix with LAN versus wireless)

We believe that more IoT deployments will enforce the need for high quality connectivity and higher bandwidth. This implies greater demand for time-sensitive services and low-latency enabled devices. Given the required features, hybrid networks of wired switching, Wi-Fi, & 5G technologies ideally suit IoT networks.

If you’re in an elevator and someone random, possibly not super technical, asks you, “What is Switchdev?”, what would you say in a sentence or two?

With Switchdev, you don’t have to know which ASIC is in your box. Since all networking applications and network interface configurations work with the standard Linux method, you can use Linux commands to manage the network without knowledge of the chip vendor’s API.

Open Networking for Network Switches – How the Open-Source Dent Project Levels the Playing Field

By Blog, Community News

Originally published to dzone.com

The promise of an open-source networking operating system (NOS) is enticing. Compared to legacy networking (Cisco, Arista, Juniper) which is proprietary, expensive, and complex to operate, the open networking model is disaggregated, easy to automate, and provides major cost reductions. 

An open-source NOS could give segments like data centers, retail, remote offices, and campuses an alternative solution that has significantly reduced the cost of goods and services (COGS), reduced integration time, wide access to hardware, and provides support with existing Linux toolchains, using, for example, the Ethernet switch device driver model Switchdev as infrastructure with value add apps on top.

Under the Linux Foundation, the DENT Project utilizes the Linux kernel, Switchdev, and other Linux-based projects as the basis for a solution without abstractions and overhead. DENT unifies and grows the community of silicon vendors, Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), System Integrators (SI), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), and end-users to create an ecosystem of contributors around a full-featured NOS.

I talked with Roopa Prabhu, an engineering leader and architect at NVIDIA, to find out more. NVIDIA is a founding member of DENT.

Prabhu and her team work on all things Linux kernel networking and Linux system infrastructure. Her primary focus areas in the Linux kernel are Linux bridge, Netlink, Routing, VxLAN, Lightweight tunnels, and  E-VPN data plane. 

She is involved in several Open networking communities – Linux kernel networking, Open Compute Foundation, netdevconf, and the DENT project. Her past experience includes Linux clusters, High-Performance Computing, ethernet NIC drivers, and Linux KVM virtualization platforms. She has a BS and MS in Computer Science.

What is NVIDIA’s role at DENT?

NVIDIA Networking has a decade of experience in developing Open disaggregated network systems. We were at the forefront of the Open networking revolution when it started. Having had the maturity in this space, our role in DENT is to provide strategic guidance on architecture, reviews, engaging, and developing for the Linux kernel and ecosystem. 

We are contributors and maintainers for various Linux ecosystem components that make the DENT stack – including FRR (free-range routing suite), Linux kernel switchdev, Linux networking subsystems like vrf, bridge, vxlan.

What benefits does NVIDIA get from joining DENT?

NVIDIA believes in choice for its customers. DENT gives NVIDIA an opportunity to proliferate and design and build NVIDIA hardware for the distributed disaggregated space. It also gives us an opportunity to design and develop systems with our partners and customers. We believe this strengthens our value proposition as a player in the open disaggregated networking space.

How do NVIDIA customers benefit from DENT technologies being used in the NVIDIA Linux Switch product?

NVIDIA networking customers get the choice of an Open indepenDENT operating system on NVIDIA networking hardware. DENT provides an Open ecosystem and collaborative development environment for our customers. It gives our customers visibility and participation in design, architecture, testing, and the full development lifecycle of their open network operating system stack on NVIDIA networking hardware.

What can we expect to see from DENT in the next year?

DENT ecosystem, features, and partners will evolve over time. I think we will see more features, more contributions, and more hardware vendors. 

What is the biggest problem that DENT needs to solve in the next 5 years?

Getting more operators, HW vendors, and users on board will be key to DENTs success in the next few years. 

Is DENT ready for mainstream deployment? Where do you recommend people deploy DENT?

Yes, DENT is ready for mainstream deployment. Though DENT’s initial feature set has been for the distributed edge, DENT architecture is capable of enabling more platforms and use-cases. 

What are the benefits of open API and standardized open-source components for the network manager evaluating their options versus proprietary solutions?

Open solutions provide transparency, flexibility, and control. Open communities and Open ecosystems provide faster innovation and a shared resource pool which is an economic incentive. Open ecosystems and projects like DENT also provide adopters with a path to influence the design/architecture and development of software they intend to deploy and maintain. 

This sense of control and participation is very powerful when compared to proprietary solutions.

Multi-vendor hardware with the same software stack is also a huge incentive. It enables uniformity in operations without single vendor lock-in.

Can you summarize some of NVIDIA’s contributions to the DENT community?

NVIDIA networking was the first company to enable switch ASIC support (switchdev) in the Linux kernel along with their hardware driver which enables DENT on NVIDIA switches. Since then, NVIDIA has worked with the kernel community to evolve and revise the switchdev API and infrastructure. 

Along the way assisting other hardware vendors to get on board with switchdev with reviews and feedback. NVIDIA Networking has and continues to contribute many networking features in the areas of routing/bridging/vxLAN/VRFs/Mpls to enable native HW accelerated Linux kernel networking on datacenter and edge switches and routers.

For people wondering how to work with the Linux kernel community, do you have advice on communication with people, submitting features, and generally effective techniques to make contributions?

Patience and working through feedback are critical areas to work on when working on kernel submissions. The additional scrutiny is justifiable as the kernel is the most important component of your operating system stack. Effective submissions are always clear cover letters, clear commit-msg. Looking at old email archives to see what works for a particular subsystem always helps. Git logs on a particular subsystem you are submitting to help get a feel of what has worked in the past. CC the right folks you want to call attention to.

A positive attitude on learning from feedback always works and you will get better with time.

Do you feel that there are any differences between how a large company like NVIDIA can work with open source versus a small startup?  

The best thing about open source is it levels the playing field for everyone. All participating members benefit. Of course, big companies might have more resources to maintain and engage in open-source communities, but small companies bring focused interest and agility. Diversity fuels open-source communities and all members big or small involved benefit from it. 

A shared resource pool works economically in favor of all participants. 

Do you have any advice for female developers that want to make solid contributions to the Linux kernel? Are people generally friendly and polite about newcomers making contributions?

Linux kernel community has helped me in many ways in my personal growth. Even today, I think many things I learn are from the kernel mailing lists. I don’t expect nor look for friendliness on mailing lists. Mailing lists are the place for reviews and technical discussions. As long as you have an appetite for constructive feedback, kernel mailing lists are a great place for learning and growing. 

For any new female developers wanting to learn Linux kernel development, the best thing to start with is lurking on mailing lists. It’s a good learning experience to get started. It has helped me. Organizations like Outreachy are doing a great deal to help female developers get on board in open source communities. 

Start slow and be patient. It is very rewarding.

How can a hardware vendor get started with assessing DENT?

There are many ways to get started. Get familiar with the DENT software architecture so that you know what the hardware-software integration points are. Reach out to the DENT community, join weekly calls, join the mailing list, collaborate with other vendors. Since DENT is based on Linux kernel switchdev, learning about Linux kernel support for switch ASICs helps. 

There are a lot of open-source technical conference presentations on the subject. The best part of integrating hardware in an existing open-source operating system and ecosystem are the things you can leverage and borrow from existing open work. 

If you could add one enhancement to the Linux networking stack, what would it be?

Linux networking API is constantly evolving with newer features and API, but it takes a really long time for network infrastructure applications to catch up. Plus, there are separate APIs or channels for each networking subsystem in some cases (eg., ethtool, devlink, rtnetlink). The kernel community has been doing great work in unifying all networking API under Netlink and also a lot of effort goes into extending user-space utilities like iproute2 with code to enable new API and example code. 

Having been through some experience with network operations and network infrastructure code, what is missing is a library that can unify all networking APIs and is developed at the pace of networking features being added to the kernel. I have spent time on extending libraries like this for my own company and have seen everyone doing the same. Having such libraries come out of the kernel development community or as part of kernel releases will be a great thing for faster adoption I think. This is already happening in some areas like the eBPF libraries for faster eBPF adoption, and it’s a good trend. 

The other thing I would like to see is unification in the kernel and hardware network programmability APIs. Linux networking has had great success with hardware acceleration support, and I hope it continues to have this along with kernel networks programmability technologies like eBPF and XDP.

Dent Member profile: Janet Chen – Arcadyan Technology Corporation

By Blog

Arcadyan Technology Corporation is a Taiwan-based manufacturer that focuses on 5G, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) switches, broadband access technology development, and optimizing audio and video streaming quality. Arcadyan delivers a full line of broadband access and digital home solutions. We asked Janet Chen, CTO, to find out more about why Arcadyan strongly supports an open source community approach and what advantages a company gets from joining Dent.

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

Founded in 2003, Arcadyan Technology specializes in broadband, multimedia, wireless and mobile network communications. Arcadyan focuses on the research and development of wireless communications, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) switches, 4G/5G high-speed network Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), small cell devices. We combine voice and multimedia technologies in order to provide diversified solutions for a digital home using mobile broadband systems, multimedia over wireless networks, and equipment for 5G vertical scenarios.

Arcadyan Technology has been actively investing in R&D for many years and continues to maintain a leading position in the global networking industry. With our R&D talents and industry experts, our R&D team is leading the industry in hardware design, software and management development. We sell customized and differentiated products and services that meet our customers’ needs. We have developed full featured and comprehensive smart home networking solutions, customized Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) switches and more. For more information, visit www.arcadyan.com

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

Arcadyan believes that an open-source network operating system (NOS) will be an important option to pool together wisdom and strength to support networking operating system development. Open source provides an open area to allow experts in different areas to have a place to contribute their knowledge and skills to the public.

Customers always have the freedom to choose proprietary or open source NOS technologies. We encourage open source because it is the place for innovation. It’s a creative paradise.

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

Arcadyan develops edge and access market segment products for vertical domains. Our Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) switches are suitable for enterprise and edge networking and as IoT application backhaul.

We believe these are growth areas.

Arcadyan sees edge, networking and IoT industries converging as 5G quickly becomes more prevalent.

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

It is helpful for the future product development. As part of the Dent community, we can learn market trends in enterprise and edge business segments. Another benefit is communication and information sharing around feature development in the open source community to meet future market demand.

By cooperating with chipset vendors, for example, it may create more features on silicon allowing for more creative applications to be developed in the future.

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

Arcadyan had router networking experience in hardware and software development for tier-one telecoms. On the software side, we have our own firmware and network management team. On the hardware side, our technology covers xDSL IAD, GPON Router, WIFI, MEC SDN switches and 5G small cells.

By providing platforms for Dent NOS, we are actively contributing our expertise in hardware development, software integration and testing. 

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

The Dent project welcomes new contributions. As a representative on the General Board of the Dent project, we see the Dent open source community as a community that can collect and aggregate public wisdom and guide trends in technology development.  

How will Dent help your business?

Dent product development and cooperation is based on open-source networking around the Enterprise segment. It may show, for example, that it is good for some customers to get a high cost performance ratio with Amazon extra services. This type of information can expand our company viewpoint on this product segment.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining Dent?

Silicon vendors, ODMs, SIs, OEMs, and end users across all verticals should consider joining the Dent community. There are many novel applications that may occur in the near future. The availability of NOS options may make your product or business more profitable.

Dent Member profile: Todd Gregory – Delta

By Blog

Todd Gregory
Delta

Delta is a global provider of power and thermal management solutions. The company provides innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions that focus on addressing key environmental issues such as global climate change. Delta’s business categories include Power Electronics, Automation, and Infrastructure. Delta was recently named 2021 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for the sixth consecutive year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We spoke with Todd Gregory, Director for White Box Networking at Delta Electronics (America), to find out more about why Delta views disaggregation in data centers, and the Dent project, as a key emerging technology for Delta customers

Please explain what your organization does and why you joined the Linux Foundation Dent group?

Disaggregation is the new way for Open Networking and has been widely accepted in data centers and telecom infrastructures. Dent is a disaggregation model in Edge compared to what’s happening in data centers and telecom markets. We view this as the market trend, and we are pleased to join Dent.

In broad categories, how do you personally calculate the total cost of ownership for deployment of networking equipment?

In broad categories, I would calculate TCO = Opex and Capex costs. This formula includes four broad areas that include capital costs, administration, operations and user operation. 

Factors include acquisition price, cost of maintenance and upgrades in the costs of service or support contracts, cost of deployment and network integration costs. These are the typical factors used in calculating costs for data center managers.

For a service provider, they typically look at the TCO as the cost per port. This method is used to benchmark the main building blocks of an architecture, overall cost and the number of ports in each configuration.

What’s the number one reason people are looking at Dent?  (Example: Is it equipment cost savings?  Flexibility to pick best-of-breed equipment? Avoiding vendor lock-in?  Simplified API abstraction? Open source advantages?)

Disaggregation would definitely result in equipment cost savings in the long-term. It also provides the flexibility to select suppliers and avoid a vendor lock-in situation. Moreover, since it is open sourced, customers control their own destiny.

Where would you like to see Dent in 3 years

I would like to see Dent broaden its scope into WiFi AP/Router and IP security cameras.

In the next three years, what challenges do you feel Dent needs to overcome to become even more widespread?

Dent needs to line up more chipset vendors to support SwitchDev, add more features in Linux protocol stack and attract more end-users to adopt/deploy Dent products.

Do you feel that changes to remote work policies around the world will affect Dent development and adoption?

People will need more edge security devices at home, and Dent can provide these solutions. This will encourage more chipset vendors, OEM/ODM suppliers, SW service companies to participate in Dent – resulting in more Dent products to end-user customers.

It’s common to think of retail and educational campuses as big users of edge networking equipment. Are these groups interested in Dent? Where do you see interest in Dent?

I agree that the retail sector and educational institutions would be “big” users of edge networking equipment, especially given the current COVID-19 environment where remote services have become commonplace.

I have had inquiries from the retail sector in regards to Dent. They are highly interested.   Education is another industry where Dent could have a significant impact.

I see Dent expanding beyond retail and into both the education and government sectors. Organizations have been directed to look for Commercial Off The Shelf equipment and software (COTS). Dent would be an economical solution for these sectors and gain wide adoption.

What advice would you give to a network manager interested in deploying Dent for evaluation?

I would tell any network manager to engage with the Linux Foundation and project Dent community. There are hundreds of networking experts, software companies and manufacturers that are eager to advise and assist anyone interested in deploying Dent.

This knowledgeable community can aid in deployment, share lessons learned and show the factors needed for a successful Dent launch.

 

DENT Member profile: Michael Ward – Edgecore Networks

By Blog

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 www.edge-core.com

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.

DENT Member Spotlight: Marvell

By Blog

Kishore Atreya,
Software Product Line Manager,
Marvell

At DENT, we are kicking off a new Member Spotlight blog series to highlight our community members and organizations. Our first QA is with Kishore Atreya, Software Product Line Manager at Marvell. Intersted in being spotlighted? Send an email request to PR@dent.dev

Can you tell us a little about your organization?

(Kishore): Marvell is a leading provider of data infrastructure semiconductor solutions which includes a comprehensive networking portfolio under which the Marvell Prestera® Ethernet switch product family resides. We have been building switches for well over 20 years with millions of devices in production and deployed worldwide for a wide variety of use cases including enterprise, retail edge, carrier, data center, and SMB. In addition to our silicon portfolio, we work with and maintain a healthy software ecosystem with support of  SDKs, NOSs and HALs.

Why is your organization adopting an open-source approach?

(Kishore): We are strong believers in enabling customers to control their own destiny. Open source is a great vehicle for this. The modern network operating system is transitioning to a commoditized set of features based on standards. An open source approach democratizes the data plane and control planes of a network thereby providing operators choice. Enabling users to build their own features and applications to run on top of a standard NOS allows the ultimate flexibility in deployment and facilitates advanced use cases of networking equipment such as data in-flight machine learning.

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

(Kishore): We joined DENT because we are strong believers in its mission and because of the fact that it is based off of Linux. Linux provides operators the ability to manage switches like servers which is advantageous for deployments that are spread out over multiple branches, such as that of the retail edge. Additionally, since DENT is Linux-based, it’s extremely easy for users to add their own applications on top of the switch OS. These applications can take advantage of on-switch CPU resources to reduce latency in environments where there are many endpoints such as in the emerging edge applications scenario. Data can be aggregated in the network and pushed out, minimizing the amount of northbound traffic going to a data center.

Additionally, we  saw that there is a gap in the market with respect to NOS disaggregation for enterprise and edge networks. DENT fills this gap quite nicely with its targeted approach to the edge.

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

(Kishore): Being a part of the DENT community provides silicon vendors unparalleled access to emerging trends in enterprise, edge, and networking, giving us insight to challenges these industries are facing. Working with the DENT community, we can put together unique solutions to help address the specific requirements of what we call the borderless enterprise. As mobility and cloud applications extend the boundaries of the traditional campus environment, deployments at the access and edge will continue to grow. We are committed to helping bring innovative solutions for automated and personalized experiences within the borderless enterprise across the smart edge and retail networking.

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

(Kishore): Our team is an active participant in the community. We are working on the Technical Steering Committee to drive the DENT roadmap and are also contributors to test cases and switchdev drivers. The Arthur release, announced by DENT in December, is running on multiple 1G and 10G platform deployments incorporating Marvell’s Prestera Ethernet switches in production.

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

(Kishore): The open governance model of DENT is what sets DENT apart from other alliances. Every member has a seat at the table and decisions are made for the betterment of the community.

How will DENT help your business?

(Kishore): DENT helps our business by plugging a hole in the larger disaggregated NOS market for enterprise and edge use cases. Having a NOS supported by a rich community allows our sales and channel partners to put together proposals addressing customers who need a NOS for enterprise or edge use cases, but do not have the resources to do one on their own. We are able to train our channels to promote DENT via the strength of its community which includes system integrators, ODMs, silicon vendors, and end customers.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining DENT?

(Kishore): Do it — the more the merrier! If you have a problem that needs solving for emerging edge or enterprise networking use cases, come be a part of the only community NOS that is directly targeting that space. DENT is not for one user—it is for all and every voice is recognized at the table.