Open Network Featured Article

Pica8 Augments PicOS Network Operating System with Dell Support

April 20, 2017



It's tough to get the most out of the network these days, mostly because there are so many options to consider. Recently, Pica8 made a move that would make its PicOS network operating system (NOS) that much more attractive in a field full of competitors: it added support for Dell's line of Ethernet switches, the Z9100-ON (News - Alert) 100G switch in particular.



The PicOS NOS, built around OpenFlow, now supports five different 100G white box switches, including those offered by HPE and Inventec, as well as two different models of Edge-Core Networks switches, including the one run by the Tomahawk chip from Broadcom (News - Alert) as well as the one with Cavium's XPliant chip driving it.

The combination of PicOS NOS and 100G Ethernet switches is poised to provide a lot of value for users, as this combination allows customers to create software-defined networking (SDN) environments for use in current operations. It also offers added flexibility in outside vendor choice. With the Dell (News - Alert) switches in place, customers are also better able to scale cloud environments to impressive levels, including multiple thousands of cores as well as flash storage support measured in petabytes.

Pica8's vice president of business development, Niraj Jain (News - Alert), commented “Enterprises and service providers are rapidly adopting 100-Gigabit switches in their networks, and they need white box and brite box choices to minimize costs and avoid vendor lock-in.”

Having more choices and greater capability is generally a positive outcome for most anyone of sufficient size to require such networking options. While there are already plenty of choices out in the market, Pica8's offering should give itself a clear distinction from those other competitors, and thus a clear advantage in the market. Flexibility is commonly a valuable trait when it comes to most any network application; sure, it's possible to overdo flexibility, but certainly at least some of it can do great things going forward.  In a case like this, it becomes not only possible to use Pica8 as the basis for expansion, but potentially even as part of an existing system since it works so well with so many different switches.

Pica8's development represents not only an advance for Pica8, but for open networking as a whole. This is likely to give Pica8 a real leg up in the market, and give a lot of users new power in the network not previously thought possible.




Edited by Maurice Nagle