cross pond high tech
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light views on high tech in both Europe and US
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Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Microsoft has developed its own Linux | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Microsoft has developed its own Linux distribution. And Azure runs it to do networking.

Redmond's revealed that it's built something called Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), describing it as “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux” and “our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches.”

Kamala Subramanian, Redmond's principal architect for Azure Networking, writes that: “At Microsoft, we believe there are many excellent switch hardware platforms available on the market, with healthy competition between many vendors driving innovation, speed increases, and cost reductions.”

(Translation: Microsoft partners, we mean you no harm.)

“However, what the cloud and enterprise networks find challenging is integrating the radically different software running on each different type of switch into a cloud-wide network management platform. Ideally, we would like all the benefits of the features we have implemented and the bugs we have fixed to stay with us, even as we ride the tide of newer switch hardware innovation.”

(Translation: Software-defined networking (SDN) is a very fine idea.)

But it appears Redmond couldn't find SDN code to fits its particular needs, as it says ACS “... focuses on feature development based on Microsoft priorities” and “allows us to debug, fix, and test software bugs much faster. It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our datacenter and our networking needs.”

ACS is designed to use the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI), an OpenCompute effort that offers an API to program ASICs inside network devices.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

So bizarre it might sound, this isn't any surprise if you remember that Microsoft's online services require datacenters with cost equations that cannot afford Dell machines running Windows. Microsoft has been a very early and massive supporter of Open Compute and networking is the next logical step to combine software with bare metal...

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Facebook Just Fired A Huge Shot At Cisco

Facebook Just Fired A Huge Shot At Cisco | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

On June 18th, Facebook introduced Wedge, making good on its promise from last year to push into the $23 billion Ethernet switch market, currently dominated by Cisco.

Wedge is part of the Open Compute Project (OCP), one of the most important tech projects Facebook has ever created. OCP began in 2012 as a radically new way to build and buy computer hardware. It creates free and "open source" designs where anyone can contribute to the designs and use them for free, ordering them from a contract manufacturer.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Attention all European Tech Pundits : OCP is not a hobby, I repeat, OCP is not a hobby.

Sovereignty means control and control now primarily comes from mastering the full stack.

> Bad news : Europe and France are late on this.

> Good news : it took only 20 engineers and 2 years for Facebook to redesign its hardware infrastructure from the ground.

> Better news : the job is done and there are billion $ businesses to be build to cover European region as atoms do not move at zero marginal cost.

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After criticizing it, Cisco joins Open Compute

After criticizing it, Cisco joins Open Compute | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Cisco has joined the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-driven effort to develop open source servers and switches, 16 months after criticizing it. At that time, Cisco CEO John Chambers said OCP has “weaknesses” that Cisco can exploit.

Featured ResourceChambers said efforts like Facebook’s to commoditize and wring cost out of hardware purchases will open up opportunities for Cisco to provide solutions that are better tailored to specific customer needs:"I think this will just be one more series of good challenges that Cisco will say ‘what’s the business objective on.’ There are a lot of weaknesses to the area -- we’re going to go back and solve customer problems. If you’re standalone anything, this is going to be a hard market to play in. Anything white label, where the decision is cost or opex, you’re going to lose."
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Open Compute : Sixteen months later Cisco looks to get "ahead of the game" according to Network World

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Facebook Rattles Networking World With 'Open Source' Gear

Facebook Rattles Networking World With 'Open Source' Gear | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Two years ago, Mark Zuckerberg and company turned the hardware world on its head when they launched the Open Compute Project, an effort to improve every aspect of the modern data center and share the results with the world at large. They began by “open sourcing” fresh designs for computer servers and power systems and cooling equipment. Then they did the same with hardware that stores massive amounts of digital data. Then they remade the racks that hold all these machines. And now it’s time for the networking gear.


The idea is to design a networking switch that anyone can load with their own operating system — just as you can load your own OS on a computer server. Typically, networking switches are sold by hardware giants such as Cisco and HP and Dell, and they ship with software specific to the company that designed them. But Facebook aims to separate the hardware from the software.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

After opensourcing data center gear end equipment, Facebook extends the approach to network : towards open SDN?

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