Mellanox Announces Open Ethernet Initiative

Open source software for Ethernet switches holds promise for the next generation of open data centers.

Mellanox Technologies recently announced its “Generation of Open Ethernet” initiative, which provides an alternative to traditional closed-code Ethernet switches. Through this initiative, Mellanox says it is “taking Software Defined Networking (SDN) to the next level and opening the source code on top of its existing Ethernet switch hardware.”

According to the company, the initiative to create open source software for Ethernet switches will pave the way for the next generation of open data centers. “The current landscape of proprietary Ethernet switches limits the foundation of compute and storage clouds and Web 2.0 infrastructures. We are excited to facilitate change and to lead the new generation of Open Ethernet that will enable a more open and collaborative world,” said Eyal Waldman, president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Mellanox Technologies.

In an article called “Mellanox Plots Death of Proprietary Ethernet” on the HPCwire website, Richard L. Brandt calls this “a bold move ... but one that could give the company a huge boost as it moves beyond its traditional role in HPC environments.” In the article, Brandt writes, “Mellanox believes these customers will be able to differentiate themselves by choosing the software that will maximize the performance of their own systems and applications. A good selection of open source Ethernet software will help make that possible.”