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Why Program a Switch?

It's a good question.... Switches are not that exciting, right?

Anonymous grey or black boxes with hypnotic blinking lights, that hum quietly in the data center. They read the standard packet headers and diligently forward traffic from one interface to another. But what is ‘the standard’, who defines it? Imagine for a second that you can define your own standards. With the emerging generation of programmable switches you maintain the normal switching protocols; we are not reinventing the wheel here. But you can overlay your own network logic to be executed simultaneously, at blistering wirespeed throughput.

You can implement any industry-specific network protocol, layering them on top of IP/Ethernet, potentially removing the need for swathes of costly black-boxes and specialist hardware. You can use custom layer 7 application logic and tagging, to build an intelligent network edge that offloads CPU processing and filters, prioritises and directs traffic; increasing system performance by orders of magnitude. You can secure, monitor and analyse your network on previously unimaginable levels.

You can build an intelligent network and engineer functionality that, in the age of digitization and ever increasing security concerns, translates into significant competitive business advantage.

So who is this “you”? In a world of theoretical vapourware, “you” can develop a vaccine for COVID 19, predict the lottery, second guess Donald Trump’s next tweet, and still be home in time for dinner. But re-imagining your network is pretty complex. It requires specialist knowledge and skills, and a lot of hard work. On your own, this is a herculean task.

This is where APS Networks comes in. We design and build switching hardware that is optimized towards programmable networking, software defined networking (SDN), disaggregation and network functions virtualization (NFV). But this is just the start of what we do. We then offer training, consultancy and custom development services on top. And with P4 programming on the Intel® Tofino™ ASIC, “you” might be surprised how quickly we can deliver some very real results!

As if we hadn’t already piqued your interest, there is ‘a-whole-nother’ side of APSN we haven’t started on. Software, ‘programmable’ anything, is all moving in one direction: open source and collaborative development. Sure, there is still a place for constrained, proprietary software and black-box networking within organizations who just want to buy off-the-shelf. But in any industry where digitization plays a role, where: products are sold, trades are made, services are delivered, and core systems operate across a network: the real, strategic technology innovation is happening in the open source arena.

If we have your attention, take a look at our current range of switches and/or contact us because we are happy to chat.