& cplSiteName &

Facebook in Production Testing of Open 'Wedge' Switch

Mitch Wagner
8/28/2014
50%
50%

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Hot Interconnects -- Facebook is in production testing of its open Wedge switch design, and is on track to contribute the design and software to the Open Compute Project.

Wedge is a "top-of-rack" (small, simple, low-cost) switch with 16 (or 32) 40Gbit/s Ethernet ports, designed to be the "first building block" of the "Facebook disaggregated switching technology," according to a presentation here by Facebook Network Architect Yuval Bachar.

It will be Facebook's first switch contribution to the OCP. It runs FBOSS, a Facebook operating system based on Linux, and can be managed using server tools.

Bachar described the architecture as "hybrid SDN" -- SDN-like, but with some intelligence in the control plane.

"Disaggregation" refers to Facebook's design philosophy "of breaking down traditional data center technologies into their core components so we can build new systems that are more flexible, more scalable and more efficient," Bachar and Adam Simpkins said in a blog post introducing the Wedge switch two months ago.

Facebook needed to build its own switch because it needed more agility than vendors can provide. Facebook changes its requirements on a three-month cycle, faster than OEMs can move. Facebook needs a switch specific to its own data and scalability needs. The company runs hundreds of thousands to millions of servers, Bachar said.

Wedge is not just another white box, Bachar stated; it's the industry's first fully open switch, in both software and hardware. It is standards-based, Ethernet-only, and integrates with the Open Compute architecture, with its subsystem built using the Group Hug computing architecture to which Facebook has contributed.

The Whole Enchilada
The Wedge switch incorporates 16 ports, scalable to 32; two power supplies, one fan; a main board made for CPU rather than graphics processor, and a microserver on top. Source: Facebook.
The Wedge switch incorporates 16 ports, scalable to 32; two power supplies, one fan; a main board made for CPU rather than graphics processor, and a microserver on top. Source: Facebook.

Server-like management and provisioning makes the Wedge particularly suitable for data center environments, Bachar said.

The Wedge builds on work Facebook has been doing with the Open Compute Project to create "open designs for racks, servers, storage boxes and motherboards," Bachar and Simpkins said in their blog post.


Want to know more about SDN? Visit Light Reading's SDN technology content channel.


The Wedge rides a couple of trends driving the networking industry today: SDN, of course, changes the network by putting intelligence in software rather than hardware. That threatens incumbents, especially Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which profit from selling proprietary hardware. Plenty of companies are already in the SDN market, but Facebook is a powerful contender wherever it plays.

Also, network managers are looking to use more sophisticated data center tools to manage their networks. The Wedge, because it runs a server operating system, offers that potential.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 6:00:36 PM
Re: FBOSS: The Forbin Project
This would be a great innovation in the os realm but I wonder if Facebook can pull this up. I wonder how successful was their last integration with linux: Facebook home.
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 7:04:36 PM
Outside the DC
Where would its first application be?
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 11:19:34 AM
FBOSS: The Forbin Project
Sounds like Facebook is building an autonomous OS!

With "FBOSS," we can also leverage existing Facebook tools for environmental monitoring that give us insight into the systems' performance, like cooling fan behavior, internal temperatures, and voltage levels. These details allow us to accurately determine power usage and efficiency, performance, and predictive maintenance.

https://code.facebook.com/posts/681382905244727/introducing-wedge-and-fboss-the-next-steps-toward-a-disaggregated-network/

Eventually maybe they'll plug us all into it, along with our Friends!

 
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.