“Open networking” has been one of the dominant trends in optical networking in recent years, often considered the future of all networks. Listed benefits are many and far-reaching, from cost savings to operational advantages. But what does it really mean? This article addresses a few common questions, as well as a direct comparison of open networking and the traditional model.

So… what is open networking?

On a fundamental level, all “open networking” means is the disaggregation of network switch and router hardware and the software (network operating system) that runs on this hardware. This disaggregation occurs on the data, control, and management planes. This enables network operators to have greater freedom and control over their networks, since they can select a network OS that best matches their network objectives and applications, instead of relying on their proprietary vendor to provide all required functionality.

Is this a new concept?

Not at all! Disaggregation of hardware and software has been standard practice for servers for many years. This cost-effective approach is just now being applied to switching and routing. Similarly, the underlying principles of choice and flexibility are the same foundation of transceivers based on multi-source agreements.

How exactly does it differ from my traditional system?

For more information on open networking, stay tuned to our blog next week, when we’ll explore our own open network solutions in greater detail. To discuss how open networking can make network operations easier and more cost-effective for you, contact us today.