IP Infusion is one of those companies that’s been around for a long time now, but you may not have heard of them. This is despite the fact that the company was founded in 1999 by Kunihiro Ishiguro and their product is based on the open-source routing software known as Zebra. Some of you may have used Zebra in the past. It was forked in 2002 and we now hear a lot about that fork, Quagga, a software that runs on Cumulus Linux amongst others. However Zebra was used as the foundation of a routing software known as ZebOS which IP Infusion has licensed to several well known networking vendors over the years as an OEM product. Yes, the likes of F5, Citrix Netscaler, and many others are using ZebOS as their routing code. This is proven to be a good choice since ZebOS is feature rich, offering several features that you might not find in Quagga.
Today IP Infusion is joining the disaggregation movement and now plans to offer OcNOS™ as a binary network OS for White Box switches and VirNOS™ as a virtual network OS for NFV environments. Each of these network operating systems being sourced by ZebOS.
The OcNOS Management Plane contains the CLI, NetCONF and a REST API, while the control plane which is modular in nature provides comprehensive support for L2 and L3 switching protocols, MPLS, Data Center and Carrier Ethernet Networking as well as support for user-developed Apps. The OcNOS data-plane is vendor-ASIC agnostic and is pizza box and multi-slot chassis compatible. To get OcNOS on a whitebox switch you would use ONIE just as you would with Cumulus Linux. If you’re wondering what differentiates IP Infusions OcNOS from Cumulus it would be the fact that OcNOS has been around for several years providing network OS solutions that span multiple lines of business, and they don’t focus soley on a networking niche.
The list of capabilities for L2, L3, and even some more recent capabilities in data networking are extensive.
So Why Have We Never Heard Of IP Infusion?
After visiting IP Infusion at Networking Field Day 15 I had to ask myself why these guys are not as well known as they should be. That goes back to the fact that their business model has been to provide an OEM NOS solution to many networking vendors for several years. It’s now that they have deciced to make a play at the white box and NFV markets by offering their own disaggregated solution. This can be good for organizations that want to get away from vendor lock in and the headache of dealing with a support system that may not be adequate. Still this begs the question, When something goes wrong, who do I go to for support? Is it the whitebox switch vendor like Broadcom, Marvell, PMC-Sierra, or Centec or will IP Infusion be able to field support calls. Up to this point their support offering would have been direct with OEM partners and not direct with customers.
I think time will tell but these guys are excited about their offering and want the world to know. To learn more about IP Infusion and to view a technical demonstration of their product, please watch the video segments shot on-site during Network Field Day 15, in San Jose, California.
IP Infusion VirNOS Product Overview with Tetsuya Murakami
IP Infusion OcNOS & VirNOS Demo with Ajith Adapa
Additional videos can be found at http://techfieldday.com/companies/ip-infusion/
Additional Coverage of IP Infusion