Data centers who are trying to quench hyper scale needs can now design their own switches based on the design of Facebook’s Wedge 40. Facebook has made the 40 gig switch’s design an open source and so anyone can mimic the schematic and other files of the switch design to produce and offer it on a commercial note.
Facebook is distributing the Switch design details through the Open Compute Project- the open source hardware and data center design initiative started in 2011 by the world’s leading social media service offering company.
Wedge 40 was designed by Facebook engineers to bring more flexibility to the way it builds and manages its data center networks.
Customization of networks to gain efficiency and to serve specific applications is possible with the use of these switches.
A Linux based operating system named FBOSS was also devised by Facebook to its Wedge 40 switches. Networking software company Big Switch is offering FBOSS as an open network Linux image, which is available as a programmable data center networking solution.
Wedge 40 and FBOSS serve like server hardware and software and can be deployed by data center managers to monitor, and control switches the same way they manage servers and storage. Facebook is using several thousand of Wedge switches in its data center environments.
The highlight is that Wedge is also acting as a building block to “Six Pack”, another data center switch designed by Facebook. Six pack helps in attaining higher capacity aggregation that offers the company the privilege to create a custom network fabric in its data center. A total of 12 Wedge switches can be packed in the “Six Pack” chassis along with fabric cards.
Note- Facebook is working on the next generation switch named Wedge 100(100 Gig) which is being designed to handle higher speeds and more complexity. The engineers of Facebook are trying to invent this switch by mid 2017, after which, all the 40 gig network switches in Facebook data centers will be replaced by Wedge 100.