Microsoft has developed its own Linux distribution called Azure Cloud Switch.
It is described as “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux.”
Microsoft says Azure Cloud Switch is its own “foray into building [its] own software for running network devices like switches.”
According to lead architect on the Azure project, Kamala Subramanian, “We believe there are many excellent switch hardware platforms available on the market, with healthy competition between many vendors driving innovation, speed increases, and cost reductions.”
She also said that cloud and enterprise networks alike find it challenging;
“integrating the radically different software running on each different type of switch into a cloud-wide network management platform.”
Azure Cloud Switch satisfies its desires to use the right ASN code to fit its needs by allowing Redmond to patch out software bugs much more stealthily.
It also, according to Microsoft, allows the company to scale the software down, enabling it to work on features for its data center, along with other networking needs.
Azure Cloud Switch was conceived with the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) in mind, i.e., an OpenCompute project bearing the API required to program action-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) within network devices.
“We’re talking about ACS publicly as we believe this approach of disaggregating the switch software from the switch hardware will continue to be a growing trend in the networking industry and we would like to contribute our insights and experiences of this journey starting here,” Subramaniam concludes.
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