For many years, open networking represented the cutting edge of technology, which can be both good and bad for vendors in this marketspace. Going directly against the monolithic chassis vendors and their established proprietary ecosystems, open networking held the promise of increased feature innovation, shorter rollout and deployment times, and easier support with open support for multitudes of vendors.
But being on the leading edge of innovation is a double-edged sword: Untested products and solutions, vaporware vendors with little to no history, and a high barrier of entry for technical teams are often cited as reasons that we don’t see broader adoption of open networking. Indeed, for a few specific types of networking customers the monolithic system vendors offer some compelling benefits that even today, open networking could be hard pressed to compete with.
These benefits, of course, come with a cost. For the networking customer that isn’t resource or time sensitive, such as large institutional bodies, the closed system vendors offer a comprehensive networking solution. These larger networking customers historically are risk-averse, tending to shy away from the latest technologies in favor of stable, tested products.
Open networking today has matured to the extent that many of these feature gaps that have existed previously are no longer. In fact, due to the heterogeneous ecosystem of various hardware and software components, we are seeing more and more defectors to open networking from customer segments we wouldn’t traditionally expect.
Recently we had a significant customer win with a publicly traded infrastructure vendor. They were in the process of upgrading their network, consisting of millions of miles of fiber deployed nationally. Because they were an existing customer of one of the big chassis vendors, naturally their first stop to evaluating upgrades was with their existing vendor. They were informed of an 18-month lead time on hardware, and then deployment can commence.
This sort of delay can be typical while many of these vendors are still contending with supply chain problems from the pandemic, which is impacting product development cycles now.
Out of necessity this customer turned to open networking solutions. The OcNOS solution they chose, along with networking hardware from open networking vendors such as Edgecore and UfiSpace, not only offered similar performance, but it did so at a fraction of the price.
In addition to immediate availability and cost savings in hardware, ongoing operations expenses were also reduced by an order of magnitude. The OcNOS software platform offered a common user interface to drastically reduce the need for complex system administration. Power consumption of this new hardware was also markedly more efficient than the monolithic chassis, to the extent it became its own selling point.
NOS Leader and Outperformance for Three Years in a Row
The IP Infusion OcNOS Network Operating System was recognized last week by technology analyst group GigaOm as a Leader and Outperformer in their annual Network Operating System Radar Report. This is the third consecutive year that IP Infusion has been recognized as an industry leader, where we have outpaced other big vendors such as Cisco and Juniper. Being a pureplay software vendor allows IP Infusion to have market focus, and our maturity in this market space as the open networking alternative is a testimonial to how advanced open networking products have become.
With the increasing demand for network performance, traditional networking approaches have become outdated and insufficient. Open networking provides a more flexible and scalable solution that can keep up with the needs of modern applications and services. Contact us today for information on how open networking products should be your next upgrade option.
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Kelly LeBlanc is the Chief Marketing and Product Officer for IP Infusion.