SONiC is Now Adoption-Ready for Organizations of All Sizes
Future-Proof Your Network by Adopting SONiC
Adopting the SONiC NOS can be transformative for organizations of any size. We can help you integrate SONiC into your existing tech stack while prioritizing successful business outcomes.
What is SONiC?
SONiC, also known as Software for Open Networking in the Cloud, is a Debian Linux-based open-source network operating system developed by Microsoft in 2016 in response to the expanding size and increasing complexity of its Azure Network. This solution was crucial for streamlining its underlying switching and routing, helping the cloud provider meet its objectives. At it’s foundation, SONiC is a cloud networking NOS, emphasizing simplicity and scalability, aimed at providing network administrators with more control and agility. It is a multi-layer containerized software facilitating easier updates and more segregated control of switch features. Despite its initial slow start, even with the monumental efforts from Microsoft and Alibaba, SONiC has seen rapid growth in recent years, with a flourishing ecosystem and contributors including at least 8 Fortune 500 companies, most data center component suppliers, and the leading routing companies.
A majority of hardware vendors and nearly all ASICs have embraced SONiC, enabling multi-vendor deployments. Vendor-agnostic toolsets and frameworks are available for seamless migration, integration, deployment, management, and support of all platforms and NOSes from a single pane of glass.
Built on the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) API, SONiC’s architecture offers a vendor-independent way to uniformly control forwarding elements like ASICs and NPUs, making it ideal for advanced network architectures, including multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.
Explore all the SONiC supported platforms.
According to Gartner®, by 2025, 30% of organizations that operate large data center networks (more than 250 switches) will run SONiC in some portion of their production environments and increase of over 10x from late 2022.
Built on the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) API, SONiC’s architecture offers a vendor-independent way to uniformly control forwarding elements like ASICs and NPUs, making it ideal for advanced network architectures, including multi-cloud and hybrid infrastructure environments.
Benefits of SONiC NOS
SONiC NOS is a cost-effective alternative to proprietary network vendors. The disaggregated networking ecosystem has progressed, reaching a new level of maturity that allows for streamlined control of a comprehensive SONiC solution, while delivering field-proven orchestration, management, and support from a single source. Organizations can now achieve significant CapEx and OpEx savings with white-box switches and open-source software while enjoying features and support comparable to traditional vendors. Gain unparalleled flexibility and control by investing only in the features you need, and trust in SONiC’s production-hardened NOS, utilized by leading hyperscalers worldwide. Experience high performance and rapid scalability with enterprise tools and automation. Below are some SONiC benefits:
Single Point of Accountability
The ecosystem has now matured to a level where a single point of accountability is available for seamless support, encompassing hardware, software, and network visibility, on par with traditional vendors.
Advanced Management Tools
The ecosystem has now has several vendors offering advanced management tools for SONiC, which are vendor-agnostic, enabling seamless integration with traditional vendors like Arista, Dell, Cisco, and NVIDIA.
Get significant CapEx and OpEx savings over traditional networking with white-box switches and open-source SONiC.
Greater Flexibility & Control
Control how you use the open-source software by investing only in the features you need, and reduce risk by not having to rely on a single hardware vendor.
Production Hardened NOS
SONiC is production hardened in data centers of the world’s leading hyperscalers and offers a full-suite of network functionality, like BGP and RDMA.
High Performance & Faster Scalability
Get high performance and faster scalability with SONiC, designed to maximize hardware performance while leveraging enterprise tools and automation
According to Gartner®, by 2025, 30% of organizations that operate large data center networks (more than 250 switches) will run SONiC in some portion of their production environments, an increase of over 10x from late 2022.
Why Hardware Nation for SONiC?
SONiC NOS can be a game changer for your organization, but realizing its full value requires a trusted partner. Our team of multi-vendor experts can offer guidance and assess whether SONiC is right for your organization’s unique needs. We are partnered with industry-leading open networking vendors, and our prior real-world experience implementing open networking solutions enables us to identify the best solutions based on prior use cases. We guide customers through every stage of the implementation process, from discovery to consultation, roadmap creation, adoption, implementation, and management. Our experts, with their diverse backgrounds in networking, security, cloud, and other key areas, help determine the most effective approach to implementing an open networking solution, bridging the gap between emerging and traditional technologies. Below are some benefits of working with Hardware Nation:
With years of open networking experience and deep expertise in data center infrastructure, connectivity, cybersecurity, and cloud solutions across diverse industries, we ensure smooth integration across your entire technology stack.
We have deep relationships with the top disaggregate hardware, software, and solutions vendors.
Our team of network architects builds next-gen networks tailored to your unique use case and provides end-to-end solutions from discovery to deployment and management.
We follow a vendor and technology-agnostic approach to ensure you get the best holistic solution based on your needs.
Our Strategic Partners
The many benefits of SONiC, once exclusive to hyperscalers, are now within reach for enterprise clients. Contact our team of seasoned networking experts to learn why right now is a transformative time in the industry as we move closer to wider SONiC adoption.
Frequently Asked Questions
SONiC is a Debian Linux-based, open-source network operating system developed by Microsoft in 2016 and was designed for its rapidly growing Azure cloud infrastructure. Utilizing a containerized microservice architecture, it hosts applications within independent Docker containers and uses the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) for hardware abstraction.
SONiC boasts the fastest feature development velocity of any previous NOS with its community of over 4,000+ contributors. It is gaining industry traction, being adopted by major players in hyperscale data center, enterprise, and service provider market segments. With vendor independence, customizability, strong community support, and cost-saving benefits, SONiC offers an attractive choice for organizations seeking enriched features while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). Additionally, SONiC is interoperable with top industry hardware platforms and chipsets.
SONiC’s recent deployments encompass diverse use cases and industries, including data center fabric, data center interconnect, LAN, enterprise, telco, and edge computing.
SONiC can be challenging to adopt on your own, especially if your organization has limited expertise and engineering resources. However, with the right resources and guidance, SONiC can be successfully adopted by organizations of any size. You can start with one or two switches and scale up as needed.
With Hardware Nation’s True SONiC, you can confidently adopt SONiC, regardless of your deployment size or engineering resources. Hardware Nation’s True SONiC is an integrated approach that provides expert guidance, professional services, training, support, orchestration, and management all in one integrated package.
You can buy switches with SONiC pre-installed or download SONiC separately, depending on your needs. Enterprise customers typically choose the pre-installed bundle option with the manufacturer’s enhanced and hardened version of enterprise SONiC, such as those provided by Edge-Core, NVIDIA, Juniper, and Micas Networks. If you want to develop and manage your own software, as is typical with hyperscalers and organizations with in-house engineering resources, consider buying the bare metal switch and downloading the community version of SONiC. Since SONiC is open source, you can choose a mix of vendor support and your own in-house efforts, depending on your experience and resources.
Yes, there are several versions of SONiC. Here’s an overview:
- The community version is the free and open-source version of SONiC. It is developed and maintained by the SONiC community and is available for download from GitHub. The community version of SONiC is a powerful and flexible network operating system, but it is not yet a plug-and-play solution for mission-critical deployments. It requires software development and customization to meet the specific needs of your environment.
- Enterprise SONiC distributions from major vendors such as Broadcom, Edge-Core, NVIDIA, Juniper, UfiSpace, and Micas Networks are enhanced with additional features and enterprise-grade support, making them ready to use for mission-critical deployments.
- Hardware Nation’s True SONiC is a turnkey solution that includes everything you need for a successful SONiC deployment, including guidance, hardware, software, support, professional services, and network management and orchestration tools.
When choosing a version of SONiC, it is important to consider your needs and requirements. The community version is free and open-source, making it ideal for research or in-house development. Enterprise SONiC distributions from major vendors are stable, secure, and ready for mission-critical deployments.
Yes, SONiC is an open-source NOS and is available for free. Major vendors also typically provide their enterprise SONiC version for free with a purchase of their platforms and SONiC support. As an open-source NOS, you always have the option and freedom to purchase additional uplift services, migration support, training, and network management tools from any vendor on the market.
Yes, you will receive a plug-and-play platform with SONiC pre-installed as part of Hardware Nation’s True SONiC solution. True SONiC represents our integrated approach, seamlessly combining multiple vendors’ offerings into a cohesive solution for the customer.
With this solution, you will get 24/7/365 support for both hardware and software, as well as expert guidance, professional services, training, and network management and orchestration tools, all from a single vendor, just as you would with a traditional networking vendor.