OCP Networking Project: 2015 Milestones and Looking Ahead to 2016

The OCP Networking Project members recently met at the OCP Engineering Workshop in Boston, hosted by Fidelity. It was a full day of vibrant discussions that left us feeling excited and optimistic about what's coming next. As we reflect on work done in the past year, a couple of takeaways stand out:

  • The OCP Networking Project has had a fantastic year in 2015. Thanks to our community members who have contributed specifications, packages, and countless hours of engineering discussion and reviews, we have made great strides across our three priority areas: networking hardware, networking software, and testing.
  • Looking ahead to 2016, our group will expand our vision and priorities. To accomplish our ambitious goals, we welcome newcomers onto our team who want to help us build further toward our vision of a disaggregated and open network on the OCP Networking Project.


Hardware – Mellanox Switches Accepted

Last October, we officially accepted the first OCP switch from Accton. Since then, several other contributions have been officially accepted, including the Alpha Networks 10G switch and 40G switch, and the Accton Open Rack Switch Adapter.

Today, we are happy to announce the acceptance of two new OCP switches from Mellanox, the MSX1410OCP 10G Switch and the MSX1710OCP 40G Switch. Consistent with the OCP philosophy, these two new switches feature complete and open design packages that are available for download. These switches also support a number of OCP software projects such as ONIE and SAI.

What differentiates these switches is that they are the first to feature a different switching silicon: SwitchX-2 by Mellanox. Prior contributions by Accton and Alpha have been based on the Trident2 family by Broadcom. This is an exciting milestone for the OCP Networking Project because we're diversifying our set of open networking hardware on the market.

On a similar theme, Accton also shared the specifications for a Cavium-based 32x100G switch during our OCP Networking Project meeting at the OCP Engineering Workshop. This switch will proceed through the community review process, along with other shared switches from Broadcom/Interface Masters, Facebook, and Inventec.


The OCP Networking Project has been making great progress across our three accepted software projects: ONIE, Open Network Linux (ONL), and SAI:

  • ONIE continues to be adopted across dozens of switch platforms and is also actively being used in the interoperability testing program (more on that below).
  • Open Network Linux was demo’ed on top of the Facebook Wedge switch at the OCP Engineering Workshop and is continuing increased adoption.
  • SAI offered a number of demos throughout the summer across multiple chips (Broadcom, Mellanox, and Cavium). Mellanox showed SAI working on their Spectrum 100G chip. Barefoot also showed their P4-based SAI test framework.

During the OCP Networking Project workshop, we also reviewed the HP Open Switch project, which has the potential to introduce an open Network Operating System that can run on OCP hardware switches. We held an open discussion about how this project fits into our software model for the OCP Networking Project. Broadcom also presented an overview of how OpenNSL and their Broadview monitoring software is being actively used in the HP Open Switch.


We started testing initiatives in earnest within the OCP Networking Project this year, which includes the recent strides from our partnership with the UNH Interoperability Lab. The OCP Networking Project can test complete solutions—including the system, optics, and software—to better understand how they meet our specifications and performance standards. The results and collaborative findings from the testing phase, including the actual test equipment configuration, are available for the public to review.

Looking ahead to 2016 – Faster, Higher, Broader

Looking ahead to 2016, we're excited to expand our portfolio of work by focusing on the following:

  • Faster Hardware – We want to continue the growth momentum we're seeing now, and expect more in 2016. We will continue to introduce faster switch speeds, as well as creating faster adoption of OCP switches by growing our community of OCP Networking Project members.
  • Building Beyond Lower Level Software Layers – Up until now, we’ve focused on the lower-layer building blocks of software: ONIE, Open Network Linux, and SAI. Now that we have a stable foundation in place, we can start to focus on the layers higher up the stack, including full NOS, orchestration/provisioning/automation, and monitoring.
  • Broader Testing – While we're focused on disaggregating and opening up networking on the OCP Networking Project team, we plan to focus more on the integration process so the community can more easily piece those disaggregated components back together. Expect more interoperability testing with more OCP hardware and software, along with non-OCP networking gear.

Thanks again for a great 2015, and we're looking forward to 2016!