Mellanox Linux kernel-based open Ethernet switch deployed by Russian telecom provider

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX), a supplier of high-performance, end-to-end smart interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems, has announced that NGENIX, a subsidiary of Rostelecom, a Russian telecom provider, has deployed a 100Gb/s Ethernet Spectrum switch based on the Linux Switchdev driver to support their next generation content distribution network service, the company said.

This is the first major deployment of an open Ethernet switch based on the Switchdev driver that has been accepted and is available as open source as part of the Linux kernel. The combination of Mellanox´s high performance and field-proven Spectrum switch systems running an open, standard Linux distribution provides NGENIX with unified Linux interfaces across data center entities, servers and switches alike, with no compromise on performance.

Web giants and network operators alike have been calling for a common API to swap Ethernet switches in and out of networks as easily as a new server. As a pioneer in network disaggregation, Mellanox Technologies has been a major contributor to enabling the infrastructure of the open source Switchdev model. The Switchdev driver runs as part of the standard kernel, and thus enables downstream Linux OS distributions and off-the-shelf Linux-based applications to operate the switch.

The driver abstracts proprietary ASIC application programming interfaces (APIs) with standard Linux APIs for the switch data plane configuration. The key advantage of Switchdev for network administrators and software developers is an open source driver that doesn´t rely on any vendor-specific binary packages, with a well-known, well-documented and open data plane abstraction that is native to Linux.

Working closely with the Linux community, Mellanox is constantly adding features and capabilities to the Linux Switchdev driver. This makes Mellanox one of the top contributors of new Linux kernel code overall, and particularly within the Linux network stack.

This week, at the NetDev 2.2 conference in South Korea, Mellanox will present the Switchdev driver offload of the Linux TC Flower Classifier (which implements match-action functionality) to a Spectrum-based Ethernet switch. This enables IT managers to implement policy-based network management using standard Linux applications, such as the Open vSwitch, while taking advantage of the Spectrum switch high-speed performance and large scale forwarding tables.

The Linux kernel Switchdev driver is available for all Mellanox Spectrum SN2000 switch systems, as well as Mellanox Spectrum switch ASIC. Mellanox Spectrum 100GbE switching and routing element introduces the world´s lowest latency and the lowest power consumption in the market.

Mellanox is a supplier of end-to-end InfiniBand and Ethernet smart interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage. Its interconnect solutions increase data center efficiency by providing the highest throughput and lowest latency, delivering data faster to applications and unlocking system performance capability. More information is available at:

NGENIX is a major cloud service provider in Russia and CIS. NGENIX distributed cloud platform is designed for multiscreen UHD video delivery, whole web site acceleration, and web applications security. The platform spans all major telecommunication centers in Russia and CIS and provides unsurpassed coverage of the Russian-speaking Internet audience.