Understanding the basics of bare-metal switches

Last updated:May 2014

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Editor's note

As vendors continue to tout networking architectures that decouple software from hardware, bare-metal switches are moving into the spotlight. These switches are built on merchant silicon that may provide fewer features than proprietary chips but enable a lower-cost and more flexible switching alternative. White box switches are poised to be open enough to allow network vendors and users to choose their network operating system, depending on their organization's needs.

Read more about company bare-metal strategies, as well as the difference between bare-metal switches and white-box switching, and the Open Compute project.

1Learn about Big Switch's bare-metal strategy

Big Switch has made the move to bare-metal switches. Read about the company's decision to go with bare-metal, what this means for its SDN strategy, and how company partners are integrating its SDN software into their bare-metal switches.

2Facebook's Open Compute project employs bare-metal networking

Facebook's Open Compute project was designed to share more efficient server and data center designs with the IT industry. Learn how the project is incorporating open switches into its initiative and the impact this is having on Linux-based networking.

3Bare-metal switches vs. white-box switching

Are bare-metal switches and white-box switches one and the same? Explore what white-box switches are and how they differ from bare-metal switches.