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Cisco joins $10M funding round for Aviz Networks’ enterprise SONiC drive

News Analysis
Dec 01, 20233 mins
IndustryNetwork Management SoftwareNetworking

Investment news follows a partnership between the vendors aimed at delivering an enterprise-grade SONiC offering for customers interested in the open-source network operating system.

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Credit: Dilok Klaisataporn

Cisco is part of a new round of investing - which has now reached $10 million - aimed at making Aviz Networks’ SONiC-based operating system more mainstream.

Founded in 2019, Aviz Networks has previously raised $4 million with venture capital firms, including Accton, Moment and Wistron, as well as vendors Broadcom and Edgecore. Cisco's contribution brings its latest funding round to $10 million.

Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) is a Linux-based NOS that decouples network software from the underlying hardware and lets it run on hundreds of switches and ASICs from multiple vendors while supporting a full suite of network features such as remote direct memory access (RDMA), QoS, and Ethernet/IP.

Some of the driving ideas behind SONiC-based systems are to simplify, scale and bring flexibility to cloud and edge networking environments. SONiC is seen as a significant alternative to more traditional, less flexible network operating systems. Its modularity, programmability and general cloud-based architecture could make it a viable option for enterprise and hyperscalers to deploy as cloud networking grows.

For its part, Aviz says it has seen a 250% growth in revenue since its founding, and it has more than 30 global customer engagements.

Aside from the monetary investment, Cisco recently partnered with Aviz to offer an enterprise-grade SONiC support package.

Under that partnership, Cisco's 8000 series routers will be available with Aviz Networks' SONiC management software and 24/7 support. The support aspect of the agreement may be the most significant portion of the partnership, as both companies attempt to assuage customers' anxiety about supporting an open-source NOS.

Aviz offers Open Networking Enterprise Suite (ONES), a suite of software to manage SONiC networks. From its SONiC-based controller, ONES supports zero-touch provisioning and configuration validation. It includes SONiC configuration templates for data-center leaf/spine configurations and supports standard networking technologies such as EVPN, VxLAN, and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

While SONiC is starting to attract the attention of some large enterprises, deployments today are still mainly seen in the largest hyperscalers. With its partnership, Cisco and Aviz are making SONiC more viable for smaller cloud providers, service providers, and those very large enterprises that own and operate their own data centers, Cisco stated.

The vendor community supporting SONiC has been growing and includes Dell, Arista, Nokia, Alibaba, Comcast, Cisco, Broadcom, Juniper, Edgecore, Innovium, Nvidia, Celetica, and VMware. It has also been integrated with other open-source projects, including Kubernetes and Ansible, and is being used by Verizon, AWS, Netflix and others to develop cloud-based services.