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Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) Opens New Certification Lab at University of Texas at San Antonio

Today the first ONIE certification lab, hosted and operated by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), is opening. ONIE is an industry standard network boot loader for installing software on network switches. Announced in conjunction with the Open BigCloud Symposium and OCP Workshop 2014, the addition of ONIE will allow organizations to add network level certification to define test suites and test platforms in accordance with the specifics of their projects. The ONIE certification lab is an extension to UTSA’s existing Cloud and Big Data Laboratory, which is the first Open Compute Project (OCP) Certification Laboratory in North America.

With each new platform and chipset, there is a significant amount of development work that is involved to ensure compatibility. ONIE certification and compliance leverages best practices to validate this process in the most expedient way possible,” said Carlos Cardenas, Associate Director, Cloud and Big Data Lab, UTSA. “We are pleased to launch the certification lab as the demand for standardization and reliability across the entire data center ecosystem – from servers to switches and now networking – becomes standard protocol.”

“ONIE provides a standards-based method to add the appropriate OS on top of a Dell switch making it much easier to scale and manage large workloads,” said Subi Krishnamurthy, Executive Director, CTO Dell Networking. “This is a critical success factor in Open Networking Innovation.”

UTSA will provide ONIE logo certification to organizations to help them meet the specific set of criteria defined by the growing community of IT and networking professionals interested in an easy open and standard protocol for adding the hardware they want to the software they choose.

The UTSA certification lab represents a new milestone for ONIE – a project that originated as a contribution to the open networking community by Cumulus Networks™ and Big Switch one year ago, and was then incubated and adopted by OCP soon thereafter. Over the course of the year, the ONIE community expanded and now includes several hardware providers that have standardized their networking gear on ONIE including Dell, Accton (Edge-Core Networks), Quanta, Penguin Computing, Celestica, Mellanox, Interface Masters and Agema. The UTSA Lab makes ONIE certification simple and allows organizations to test and validate the performance of the hardware and software they choose. This makes it easier to buy and deploy standards-based network hardware, reducing the overall capital and operating cost of network switches and breaking the proprietary stranglehold of traditional architectures.

"As a long-standing member and supporter of the ONIE platform, Quanta has added ONIE to five Quanta switches and we are excited to see ONIE evolve into a clear-cut standard protocol,” said Mike Yang, General Manager of Quanta QCT. “Certification and the support of the UTSA Lab will allow Quanta to standardize more hardware on ONIE faster while maintaining the proven processes."

The addition of UTSA’s ONIE certification lab could not come at a better time,” said Min Chao, President of Edge-Core Networks. “Networking has been a rigid and closed environment and our customers are demanding the ability to manage their infrastructures more effectively. The establishment of common standards and best practices that have proven to be successful on the compute side must resonate across the data center. Edge-Core has recognized this and already is shipping 1 GbE, 10 GbE, and 40 GbE data center switches with ONIE. Certification will be a significant value add in helping us standardize additional hardware as demand for open networking grows.”

Certification Process – ONIE Lab:

  • The hardware vendor sends a representative switch to UTSA, where it stays for the entire product lifecycle
  • UTSA will then run the test suite for a given ONIE release (the first targeted release is 2014.08)
  • Upon passing the tests, UTSA will issue an ONIE Certification Logo for the vendor to use
  • As new ONIE releases are made and a given vendor wants to officially support them, only the updated ONIE image will be required to be sent to UTSA for certification of the new ONIE release

How to achieve ONIE certification: For more details contact Carlos Cardenas (carlos.cardenas@utsa.edu)

How ONIE Works

ONIE is the combination of a boot loader and a small Linux operating system for bare metal network switches that provides an environment for automated software download, installation and provisioning. As a component of the open hardware switch platform, ONIE will contribute to and advance standards that define the hardware/software interface. ONIE allows end-users and channel partners to install the target network OS as part of data center provisioning, in the fashion that servers are provisioned.

Visit ONIE Certification Lab at UTSA

WHERE: The ONIE certification lab will be launched May 7 at the Open BigCloud Symposium and OCP Workshop 2014. This event will be held at UTSA.

The full schedule for the Open BigCloud Symposium and OCP Workshop 2014 can be found at: http://openbigcloudsymposiumandocp2014a.sched.org/

For more information on ONIE visit: www.onie.org

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