DENT 3.0, named Cynthia was released in April 2023. One of the promises of Cynthia was rapid release cycles, and DENT has kept up its promise with 2 minor releases DENT 3.1 and DENT 3.2. Check out the features that are added to DENT in these minor releases. To know more about these, join us at the DENT mini-summit, a co-located event at the OCP Global Summit 2023.
The Dent Project has released version 2.0 of its open source network operating system, carving out features designed to make it easier for small or mid-sized enterprises to support edge deployments.
Dent OS is a Linux Foundation project that provides a platform for disaggregated network switches running on white-box hardware, and is based on the Linux kernel and open-source projects such as Switchdev. The first release was codenamed “Arthur”, after Arthur Dent of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and this latest release was codenamed “Beeblebrox”.
2.0 adds IPv6 and Network Address Translation (NAT) support for scalability and also to support a broader community of enterprise customers. Also new is Power over Ethernet (PoE) control to allow remote switching and monitoring in edge deployments. Another addition is traffic policing measures, such as rate limiting to protect against broadcast storms and help alleviate attacks that attempt to overwhelm key infrastructure.
According to the Dent Project, the new features are intended to allow smaller enterprises to take advantage of disaggregated switches as well as enable use cases beyond the datacenter.
Read the full article at: https://www.theregister.com/2022/03/08/dent_os_2/
The Linux Foundation has released the second version of its Dent open-source network operating system (NOS), adding improvements specifically aimed at small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) as well as future applications.
Dent 2.0, code-named Beeblebrox, adds IPv6 scalability along with Network Address Translation (NAT). Also added is Power over Ethernet (PoE), which reduces cabling requirements and allows for remote switches to be monitored and shut down from one interface. Rounding out the improvements is rate limiting, which protects the network against storms of broadcast traffic such as those caused by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. It all adds up to scalability with a focus on simplicity at the edge.
“This new release of Dent 2.0 adds critical updates focused on smaller enterprise needs. This was the goal of Dent all along,” said Steven Noble, Dent Technical Steering Committee Chair, in a prepared statement. “If you are looking for an open source disaggregated network OS, now is great timing for looking at Dent.”
Read the full article at: https://www.futuriom.com/articles/news/linux-2-0-adds-scalability-and-security/2022/03
The DENT project is an open source network operating system utilizing the Linux Kernel, Switchdev, and other Linux based projects, hosted under the Linux Foundation. The project has 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. This means 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.
Read the full article at: https://linuxfoundation.org/blog/dent-2-0-secure-scalable-open-source-network-operating-system-released/
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) today announced that its Prestera® Ethernet switch platforms incorporating Dent are being deployed by leading enterprise customers worldwide, enabling a new era of autonomous networking. Dent, a project of The Linux Foundation, provides an open, modern network operating system supported by a rich ecosystem of software providers and hardware ODMs to bring lower total cost of ownership and efficient operation to the distributed enterprise edge. With these customer deployments, Marvell is helping to accelerate the build-out of Ethernet switching infrastructure in emerging applications in the borderless enterprise, such as autonomous retail, by offering faster and secure connectivity. The new technologies offered by Marvell in collaboration with the Dent ecosystem and Linux Foundation allow retailers to transform physical stores to smart retail connected environments that benefit consumers through easy, efficient, and effortless in-store experiences.
Read the full article at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/marvell-announces-industrys-first-commercial-123000775.html
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.
The Linux Foundation’s latest open source project DENT targets enterprise edge networking software with support from Amazon, Cumulus Networks, and Mellanox, among other member companies.
The group aims to bring together silicon vendors, original design manufacturers, system integrators, and original equipment manufacturers. Its goal is to build a new standardized network operating system (NOS) for distributed enterprise, campus, and remote and branch office locations with the retail industry as its initial use case.
DENT will use the Linux Kernel, Switchdev, and other Linux-based projects as the basis for the open source NOS, and Amazon will lead the effort to develop the initial seed code.
Read the full article at: https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/amazon-leads-linux-foundations-edge-nos-project/2019/12/
Amazon is contributing to a new piece of open-source software that could give it a leg up in its physical stores. The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization that maintains the Linux operating system and open-source software, announced the new networking operating system, called Dent, in a statement on Friday.
Dent is a proposed operating system for switches, which are pieces of hardware used to route data around networks, usually within companies or between companies and the internet. The market has traditionally been dominated by big companies such as Broadcom, which provides a lot of the underlying silicon chips, and Cisco, which sells finished assembled product.
Project will “benefit customers by eliminating vendor lock-in and allow hardware vendors to compete on a level playing field”
The Linux Foundation has a brand new open source baby with some heavyweight godparents: the new project, DENT, aims to create a new, non-proprietary network operating system (OS) that can tackle the issue of networking vendor lock-in head-on.
In particular, DENT’s members intend to build a lightweight, Linux-based networking OS stack suitable for “remote” locations, they said late Friday, using the Linux kernel, Switchdev (a Linux kernel driver model for Ethernet switches) and other Linux projects to allow developers to “treat networking ASICs and silicon like any other hardware.”
Read the full article at: https://www.cbronline.com/news/linux-dent-os