Introduction to Open Compute Project’s Networking Project: Hardware, Software, and Operations

Rob Sherwood



Rob Sherwood, Big Switch Networks



The Open Compute Project (“OCP” –, originally started by Facebook but now joined by Microsoft, Google and many tier-1 service providers and enterprise companies, is a non-profit that fosters open source and open hardware data center designs.  In this tutorial, I’ll talk briefly about OCP in general, but focus on OCP’s networking project.  The tutorial will cover what OCP hardware is available, what the OCP software stack looks like, as well as a hand-on demonstration and tutorial using OCP networking software components: ONIE, Open Network Linux, and FBOSS.  Beyond the tutorial, I will also discuss implications for the ecosystem in terms of how to consume, think about, and operate OCP-based hardware – particularly around ROI.

Attendee Experience Level


Special Requirements

Laptop capable of running a virtual machine:


  • * OCP Networking Hardware: Buying Switches Like Servers
  • * History and Ecosystem
  • * Hardware Vendors
  • * Software Vendors
  • * Support and Purchasing Models
  • * Open Source Projects: Open Compute, ONIE, Open Network Linux
  • * Future Implications

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1

Understand the economic, operational, and developmental drivers and implications of the Open Compute Project. 

Learning Objective 2

 Understand the components of the OCP software stack, including ONIE, Open Network Linux, FBOSS, SAI and SONiC.

Learning Objective 3 

Be able to install, boot, and configure an OCP switch running the OCP software stack.

Who Should Attend

  • Network operations
  • DevOps
  • SecOps
  • Virtualization operations teams
  • Enterprise data center architects and server administrators
  • Cloud services architects and administrators
  • OpenStack users
  • Network Architects