Modular and open source are now the watchwords for network infrastructure, whether you’re delivering internet connections or VR cat videos.
On Tuesday at the Structure 2016 conference in San Francisco, Facebook announced its most powerful modular data-center switch yet, and AT&T gave an update on its huge migration from dedicated servers to a software-based architecture.
Once the same kind of hardware can do different things in a network, everyone gets more freedom to accomplish what needs to get done.
That’s true for Facebook, which built on its own switch innovations and software stack in the new Backpack switch, and for AT&T, which says enterprises can now order and turn on services in 90 seconds instead of 90 days. Agility is also the key selling point for cloud companies like Google, which hopes its customers can ignore hardware altogether in a few years.