HP serves up its open switches

Accton-based hardware, announced in February, certified by OCP and run multiple OSes

HP this week unveiled networking products aligned with its strategy to disaggregate hardware and software, opening up choices for its customers.

HP is introducing two new branded bare metal switches based on the Accton AS5712-54X. HP and Accton revealed their partnership in February.

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The first switch is the Altoline 5712, a 10G switch, and the second is the Altoline 6712, a 40G switch. Both are powered by Intel’s Atom CPU.

The Altoline 5712 is a top-of-rack switch with 48 10G ports and six 40G uplinks. It is certified by the Open Compute Project and includes the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) boot loader, allowing end users to choose among different network operating systems.

Those operating systems include Cumulus Networks Linux, which HP announced support for back in February; and now Pica8’s PicOS under an arrangement announced this week. The switch also supports VXLAN network virtualization.

The Altoline 6712 supports 32 40G ports in 1RU, or 96 10G ports with eight 40G uplinks. It also supports ONIE, Cumulus Linux and PicOS, and VXLAN network virtualization.

The switches were initially expected in March. They are targeted at Web scale data centers supporting cloud, mobile, social media and big data workloads that require lower cost and software independence.

The disaggregated hardware/software model attempts to decouple switch hardware from networking software so operators of Web scale networks can quickly scale their networks at low cost with any product of choice, and without the entanglements of vendor-specific offerings.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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