In the past, the “open revolution” became ingrained in our lives in the form of open source software. Now it is coming to infrastructure components in the form of hardware-software disaggregation.
What is Hardware-Software Disaggregation?
Disaggregation breaks vendor lock-in between infrastructure hardware and function-enabling software. The approach is to standardize interfaces between the two. Standardization of disaggregation started with OCP (Open Compute Project) founded by Facebook. Now, OCP has vendors across the industry as active participants. OCP’s first focus areas was scale computing. Disaggregation for data center compute and storage turned out to be a big success as many vendors today provide OCP based server technologies. Over the past two years, OCP added data center switching into the mix and now has disaggregation specs for 10 Gig, 40 Gig and even 100 Gig switch. And most recently, OCP has added on premise networking to its charter with the launch of CBW (Campus, Branch and Wireless) sub-group in the OCP networking. That is exciting news for WiFi!
Benefits of Disaggregation
Disaggregation allows hardware ODM vendors to play directly in the end user market, which brings down the cost of hardware due to increased competition. It also eliminates the lock-in premium that software vendors charge on otherwise mainstream hardware, which in the WiFi space, can be up to 10x the cost of hardware. Disaggregation allows higher velocity for innovation in software by leveraging the interoperable hardware. For the customers, it brings more deployment options to the table. It also allows customers to change software vendor in the middle production without the hardware forklift, thereby de-risking the investment in infrastructure.
Ten Talk at #WLPC 2017
At WLPC 2017 in Phoenix, my TEN TALK 30 is on the topic of disaggregation for enterprise WiFi. My presentation will cover high points on OCP architecture for vendor unlocked AP, current prototypes and commercial aspects of WiFi disaggregation. It is the last ten talk on the last day, but it’s on a topic that could be the next big thing in enterprise WiFi ecosystem. So, don’t miss it!