what is sonic nos

What is SONiC NOS? Why’s Everybody So Excited About SONiC?

Network infrastructure is crucial for modern IT organizations as they strive to deliver superior business value by helping their organizations increase productivity, deliver services faster, and remain flexible.

In addition, the use of modern applications and workloads like virtualization, cloud, IoT and AI are pushing the boundaries of existing data centers so more traffic moves from the edge of the network into the clouds. To support these demands, IT organizations need a modern network infrastructure that can support these demands.

What is SONiC NOS – Network Operating System?

SONiC stands for Software for Open Networking in the Cloud. It is an open-source, Linux-based network operating system (NOS) that runs on switches from multiple vendors. It implements standard Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols, and provides developers with a straightforward way to add new features.

SONiC was developed by Microsoft for their Azure cloud. Microsoft made SONiC an open source in 2016. Today SONiC is the most popular open-source network operating system for data centers and private clouds.

SONiC offers many benefits for users, including the ability to deploy it on any type of hardware, the ability to use it with any type of network operating system, and the ability to create an ecosystem of providers and customers.

SONiC offers a full-suite of network functionality, like BGP and RDMA, that has been production-hardened in the data centers of some of the largest cloud-service providers. SONiC offers the flexibility to create data center networking solutions, while using the collective strength of a large ecosystem with an active developer community. SONiC is designed for scalability and is in production today in large data center fabrics.

What is SONiC by Kamran Naqvi, Principal Architect at Broadcom Software with over 20 years of industry experience.

Rapidly Growing Ecosystem

SONiC’s ecosystem is rapidly growing, with new vendors and deployments being added all the time. This growth is fueled by the Open Compute Project and SONiC community, which provide support and resources for those wanting to deploy SONiC. As more people deploy SONiC, more ASICs and Microsoft telemetry support become available, making it easier for those looking to containerize their compute infrastructure. Broadcom switch support is also increasing, making it easier to deploy and manage SONiCs.

Disaggregation Overview

Disaggregation is the process of separating a single service or function into multiple, smaller components. In the context of networking, disaggregation refers to the separation of network hardware and software components. This approach allows for more flexibility and openness in networking, as service providers can mix and match different hardware and software solutions from different vendors. The open networking ecosystem comprises a number of different software solutions for open networking in the cloud.

You can find more about Disaggregation and Open Networking here.

Why’s Everybody So Excited About SONiC NOS?

SONiC NOS is a new type of open-source network operating system that has been designed to meet the needs of modern cloud environments. It offers a number of advantages over traditional network operating systems, including better performance, scalability, and flexibility.

Moreover, SONiC offers the flexibility to create data center networking solutions, while using the collective strength of a large ecosystem with an active developer community. SONiC is designed for scalability and is in production today in large data center fabrics.

Main Goals of SONiC

  • Allows network operators to use best-of-breed switching hardware for the various tiers of the network
  • By using containers it helps deploy new features without impacting end users and rolling out updates securely and reliably across the network in hours instead of weeks
  • SONiC Enable Software-Defined Networking software to easily control all hardware elements in the network by using a unified structure to eliminate duplication and reduce failures

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