SONiC Continues to Build Momentum

SONiC is an open-source and modern network operating system (NOS) based on Linux and containers technology that runs on switches from multiple vendors. SONiC offers a full suite of network functionality, including BGP, QoS and RDMA, that has been hardened in production data centers of some of the largest cloud providers, like Microsoft, Alibaba & LinkedIn. Increasingly, SONiC is also being used by Tier 2 cloud operators, as well as certain Telcos and cable companies.

The SONiC club now has about 850 members, including many large enterprises.

Gartner recently published 2021 Market Guide for Data Center Switching and one of the topics covered was SONiC. Andrew Lerner (Gartner) states in a recent blog that due to rapidly expanding customer interest and commercial ecosystem, there is a strong possibility that, during the next three to six years, SONiC will become analogous to Linux as a server OS, allowing enterprises to standardize on an NOS that is supported across hardware vendors. This creates opportunity for innovation in the same manner that Linux-based tooling and Linux expertise propelled benefits for customers. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 40% of organizations that operate large data center networks (more than 200 switches) will run SONiC in production environments.

Independent analyst firm IDC sees a big future for SONiC in Enterprise Networking, saying it has the potential to become the Linux of networking. IDC’s research vice president of data center networks, Brad Casemore said SONiC has already achieved the status of leading open-source standard bearer for network disaggregation, as well as the modular decoupling and composability of individual software functions. lDC forecasts that SONiC switching will represent a market worth more than $2 billion in 2024.

While critical mass adoption of SONiC is already evident among hyperscalers, many enterprises are continuing to expand their pilot programs. Over the next year, SONiC should see more enterprise interest and adoption. In the coming years, it is conceivable that SONiC could be featured in 5G, WAN and Network Edge.

Innovium and SONiC

Innovium’s TERALYNX® Family of products address the entire range of these Data Center deployments from Cloud, Enterprise and Edge. TERALYNX Ethernet Switch Silicon family has been architected from the ground up to provide the most optimized Ethernet solutions for data centers. Innovium delivers the world’s highest performance switch silicon with large buffers, unmatched analytics through fine-grain telemetry, low latency, line-rate programmability and, the industry’s best power efficiency.

Innovium enables rich and hardened SONiC support through the entire product line from 1Tbps to 25.6Tbps. With a SDK built from the ground up for SAI and SONiC, Innovium has deployed SONiC at some of the biggest data centers. Innovium contributes to the SONiC community and creates targeted value-added features to enable complete solutions for end-customers and partners that leverage TERALYNX’s unique capabilities such as FLASHLIGHT™ telemetry.

Innovium’s proven capability is supported by extensive test suites targeted at real-world scenarios. Recently, Innovium launched TERACertified switch solutions to transform the networking market with SONiC software, data center and AI optimized switches and disruptive total cost of ownership (TCO). TERACertified switch solutions deliver world-class ready-to-deploy, supported solutions built from silicon up, pre-validated with optics, DAC and SONiC NOS with no vendor lock-in.

Innovium Certified Platforms are hardened to be production grade, having verified interoperability with proven cables / partners. They are designed to be turn-key with fast custom feature enablement that accelerates operational efficiency. With world-class support, customers have deployed switches powered by SONiC and Innovium with confidence.

The following are some of the feature highlights supported by Innovium on SONiC.

Comprehensive Ethernet/IP Forwarding

  • Full featured IPv4, IPv6
  • MP-BGP with Graceful Restart
  • VRF Including Management VRF
  • 802.1Q, LAG
  • Tunneling : VxLAN

Intelligent Traffic Management

  • Control plane Policing
  • PFC, PFC-WD, PFC Watermark, Asymmetric PFC
  • RDMA

FLASHLIGHT™ Breakthrough Telemetry*

  • Congestion monitoring & diagnosis
  • Packet capture of dropped packets & buffer monitoring
  • Visibility into network usage: sflow, FlexMirroring

Ease of Operations

  • ZTP (Zero Touch Provisioning)
  • Fast Reload
  • Warm Reboot

SONiC is fast approaching the critical mass of table stakes features for enterprise and cloud data centers and Innovium plans to deliver a robust and comprehensive SONiC Roadmap.

* Available in TERALYNX™ and supported in SONiC in the future