Microsoft releases source code for SONiC
Microsoft has released the source code for Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC). This is used for running network devices like switches, and has been built in collaboration with leading networking industry vendors Arista, Broadcom, Dell and Mellanox.
This will help in building switches that are rich in functionality. And with SONiC, the hardware’s functionality and applications can reduce the dependence on a proprietary firmware through a traditional networking vendor.
SONiC is based on Microsoft’s Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) operating system. ACS is also the brain behind switches in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. The code is capable of running on various types of hardware from different equipment manufacturers and utilises a common C API – the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) for programming the specialist chips in the networking gear. This implies that ACS can be used for controlling and managing network devices. It can also implement the features needed, irrespective of who has manufactured the hardware.
According to Azure’s CTO, Mark Russinovich, “SONiC is a collection of software networking components required to build network devices like switches.”
SONiC can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Azure GitHub repository under a mix of open source licences, which include the GNU GPL and the Apache licence.