Originally developed by Microsoft and the Open Compute Project, the Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) is a free and open source network operating system based on Linux. It was. It decouples network software from the underlying hardware and is built on the Switch Abstraction Interface API.
The new report by 650 Group, SONiC Market Forecast 2022-2027, forecasts that the worldwide market for SONiC in data centre switching will exceed US$8 Billion in revenue by 2027. SONiC’s role outside of hyperscalers will increase significantly during the forecast period.
The SONiC market is very different for hardware and software, and subsequently, vendors are looking to create a broader solution and support an ecosystem that reaches well beyond the primary operating system.
“Open Networking has always been a topic of interest in data centre networking. The trend started almost 20 years ago with OpenFlow and the interest in the broader ecosystem of emulating the rapid innovation in the Cloud,” said Alan Weckel, technology analyst at 650 Group.
He foresees two approaches to SONiC, the first and more common one will be enterprises using SONiC in combination with branded boxes from Arista, Cisco, Dell, and Juniper to get their feet wet and benefit from SONiC without huge risk.
The other approach is among pureplay SONic vendors where it is installed on white-box switches and the existing network is replaced with SONiC, making it a true replacement for branded vendor infrastructure.
"There are a lot of cloud automation pieces in SONiC that enterprises can use to complement existing vendors, which is why the first path will be more common," said Weckel.