Analyzing the Value of Open Network Switches in Enterprise Network

Updated on Jul 25, 2019 by

As enterprise networking becomes more complex, companies are exploring new ways to become more nimble and adaptable. Based on a complete separation of switch hardware and software, open network switch is gaining more traction in the data center hardware world. This is by building a scalable, programmable and agile network with simplified operation and management. So what is special about an open network switch? Is it the right time for the enterprise to move to an open network switch? Read on and we will explain what we think.

The Myth Behind Open Network Switch

Open network switches,or white label switches, are enterprise network switches with decoupling of hardware and software. Generally, the hardware and software come from different vendors, which take advantage of generic, off-the-shelf components based on open networking standards, along with a choice of network operating systems (NOS) that can be purchased and installed separately. Right now there are three flavors of open switches: bare metal switches, White box switches and brite box switches. Open networking switch is cost-effective, programmable and easy to deploy, providing a clear path to software-defined networking (SDN). It enables users to transform the network to quickly adapt to the changing requirements and accelerate innovation with simplified, high-capacity network fabrics.

Analyzing the Value of Open Network Switches in Enterprise Network

How Does Open Network Switch Work?

Open network switches operate on the principle of decoupling hardware and software, allowing for increased flexibility, customization, and programmability in enterprise network switch. Here's a breakdown of how open source switches work:

  • Hardware-Software Decoupling: Open network switches separate the hardware components (such as the switch's physical infrastructure) from the software components (the operating system and control software).Which can better meet users' needs to achieve seamless integration of network and computing storage at a relatively low price.

  • Open Network Operating System (ONOS): Open network switches frequently run an Open Network Operating System (ONOS) or a similar open-source networking operating system.

  • Operating System (OS) and Software: These switches commonly run on Linux-based operating systems. The choice of Linux provides a stable and well-established platform for the development and deployment of network applications. Network administrators have the flexibility to select or develop the software that runs on the switch.

  • Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs): Open network switches often use ASICs from established vendors to handle the data plane processing efficiently. ASICs are specialized chips designed for specific tasks, such as packet forwarding and processing. The use of ASICs contributes to the high-performance capabilities of open networking switches.

Open Network Switch Poised to Take off in Enterprises

Open netnowk switch technology has improved and matured in the past years to offer a solid, customizable, and security platform for enterprises. Other competitive advantages of open switch for fitting in enterprises include: faster to market and can address real-time customer needs while giving IT managers the freedom and permissions to innovate. In terms of network management,low-cost strategic to integrate an open switch for it improves the company’s processes to be more agile, productive, and controlled. Enterprises can expect the benefits of open switch in the following aspects:

Enhanced Agility and Scalability

To adapt to evolving customer needs, enterprises need to gain more flexibility and agility while reducing capital and operational costs. Open network switch features pricing transparency and operation efficiency, providing a low cost, open environment with rapid development and deployment of scalable applications. Open switches, with their decoupling of hardware and software, offer unparalleled flexibility. This allows enterprises to tailor their networks precisely to their unique requirements, choosing the hardware and software that best suits their needs.

Simplifying Management for Greater Efficiency

In addition to delivering high performance and minimizing cost, also needs to be simple to manage, and secure to support business. By decoupling hardware and software, an open network switch can assist in simplifying network management by enabling faster deployments and troubleshooting across networks, services, and applications. On the security side, enterprises demand the ability to monitor and respond to network security threats in real-time. With open source software, open source ethernet switch enables all the IT admins to monitor, inspect, and modify the source code, so that developers can work together to better improve the system and protect it from attacks and intrusions.

Professional Tech Support

Open switches benefit from active community support and continuous innovation. Being part of the open-source ecosystem means that updates, enhancements, and security patches are developed collaboratively, ensuring that enterprises can tap into the latest advancements in networking technology. The major players that focus on developing open source software not only offer necessary product support, some of them even capable of assisting in building a complete network architecture, like deploying SDN in enterprise for faster network automation and programming. So enterprises can count on open switch hardware/software providers for integration, support, supply chain management, as well as any necessary additional software features.

Analyzing the Value of Open Network Switches in Enterprise Network

Where Does Open Network Switch Fit in?

The past few years have seen the wide adoption of open switches in the data center.These hyper-scale data center operators have reaped significant benefits from open switches: improved automation and provision of network capacity and services, greater control over network software development, reduced network equipment expenses, and reduced operating expenses. The early adopters of open networking switch are web-giants including the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc, proving that open network hardware/software can scale and support the most mission-critical environments.

Consequently, the merits of an open switch are now available for a lot more use case: open ToR/leaf switches are being deployed in private/public cloud data centers open networks are addressing telecommunications service provider requirements for new central office architectures, managed services delivery, and Internet exchanges. In recent years, open switch has begun to penetrate in large enterprise data centers which demand sort of the same features needed by only the biggest infrastructures.Traditional enterprises that have more diverse environment also found it helpful to adopt open network solutions in distributioon facilities, POE networks and campus networks.


The evolution of open switches is making them increasingly suitable for deployment in enterprise networks, offering enhanced features and functionalities. Positioned at the forefront of the next buying cycle, these switches promise fast, easy, and cost-effective networking solutions. To ensure a successful transition, it's essential to conduct a more in-depth analysis of your IT specifics when planning to adopt open switches. If you are still confused about the open networking switch, just reach out to us at sales@fs.com.

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