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Asterfusion: From Data Center to Campus Network, all in SONiC

written by Asterfuison

January 10, 2023

We’re thrilled to announce that Asterfusion has launched a series of SONiC NOS based Layer2/Layer3 open campus network switches in last season, designed for modern enterprise open campus network upgrades. This new series of network switches aims to facilitate the transformation of a more open, secure, and no-flooding next-generation campus network.

The traditional network architecture in campus networks is unable to keep up with the dynamic and ever-changing business needs.

  • O&M personnel need to manually access and control the different network layers, which is becoming increasingly difficult and tedious as the enterprise campus scale expands and the number of users increases.
  • Network expansion, new service provisioning, broadcast storms, access policies, and solving WiFI drops are the daily troubles faced by campus network engineers.
  • As the number of terminals, bandwidth and interactions increase, east-west traffic continues to grow, and security risks such as worms, Trojans and hacker attacks occur daily, the need for an upgraded network architecture becomes ever more important.

To overcome these issues, an innovative network architecture solution is needed to ensure the smooth and secure operation of the network. Such a solution can help reduce network O&M personnel workload, ensuring optimal network performance.

Asterfusion: From Data Center Switch to Campus Layer2 layer3 switch, all in SONiC

Nowaday,SONiC network switches have been a popular choice in the world’s most advanced data centers, such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Cloud. The open network technology they represent has brought a massive change to the IT industry.

What is SONiC (Network Operating System)

SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) is a free and open source network operating system based on Linux and developed by Microsoft and the Open Compute Project.

SONiC includes the networking software components necessary for a fully functional L3 device and was designed to meet the requirements of a cloud data center.It allows cloud operators to share the same software stack across hardware from different switch vendors.

Asterfusion is the world’s first provider of open network solutions that run SONiC at the access layer of the campus network. A popular misconception is that access network switches are low-end, purely layer 2 switches, and that they work as long as they are powered up. However, Asterfusion is challenging this notion, by positioning its products at the campus access/aggregation layer, with a feature-rich enterprise-level SONiC distribution – AsterNOS.

AsterNOS merges the security of the open source Linux kernel and the scalability of SONiC’s open architecture, while keeping the same stability and ease of use offered by commercial versions. The powerful software functions of AsterNOS, coupled with 6 models of hardware, are enough to build a comprehensive network architecture from the access layer to the core layer – covering SME offices to large-scale campus deployments.

We’ll now talk about Asterfusion’s new CX-M series campus switches, exploring their software capabilities, hardware design, and deployment value.

Software Capability: Feature-riched Campus SONiC NOS

01.Complete Layer 2 and Layer 3 network functions

  • CX-M series provides multiple IP routing protocols to construct a highly flexible campus IP structure

The CX-M series supports static routing and OSPFv2/v3, BGP4/4, ISIS and other dynamic routing protocols to construct a highly flexible campus IP infrastructure. Moreover, it provides more flexible policy routing and ECMP (Equal Cost Multipath Routing) to increase the routing reliability of the campus network and maximize the actual available transmission bandwidth.

  • Provides network virtualization to meet multi-tenant scenarios in cloud-based campuses.

With the growing scale of campus networks, the idea of creating a private network based on the business needs of certain departments is no longer suitable. By utilizing VXLAN/EVPN, multiple virtual private networks can be established in the physical network of the CX-M series, catering to different scenarios such as office, R&D, and the Internet of Things. Furthermore, the device’s API-connected management platform can enable unified, automatic O&M management across buildings and regions.

  • Seamless Roaming of Wireless Terminals

CX-M offers seamless roaming of wireless/wired terminals. When a terminal device is connected to the campus network through a wireless AP, the CX-M switch converts it to a 32-bit host route and goes online. When a device moves in the network and switches to a new AP, CX-M updates the security authentication information and the route of the whole network through a distributed algorithm, so that the original service flow can be seamlessly transferred to the correct path.

During the entire roaming process, the IP address and security policy of the terminal device remain unchanged, and the original service is not interrupted.That means you won’t be interrupted by any lag when you’re on a video conference call while you move between floors.

  • Provide differentiated services for voice, video, Internet and etc, ensuring a smooth interconnection

The CX-M series support the Voice VLAN function, which identifies voice service data flows through MAC addresses and VLAN IDs, and increases their transmission priority to guarantee service quality. In addition, CX-M also supports QoS policies such as priority mapping, traffic policing, traffic shaping, and queue scheduling, which provide end-to-end service quality assurance when bandwidth is limited.

02.Abundant and practical safety features

The CX-M is equipped with abundant and practical safety features. It has DHCP/ND snooping which defends against various network attacks from fake DHCP servers, gateways, and illegal users. Moreover, there are multiple campus authentication methods (802.1x authentication/MAB) with IP source guard (IPSG), dynamic ARP detection and other technologies, making sure that there are multiple checkpoints which keep illegal exterior access away.
It is worth noting that, this three-layer campus network created by CX-M, with each interface being a broadcast domain, Layer 2 isolation between terminals, thus eliminating the security risks caused by the layer2 broadcast mechanism.

Hardware design: Tailored for the Campus Network Scenario

Asterfusion layer2layer3 network switches

The CX-M series of campus switches have only 11 SKUs and 6 hardware models, to cover the full range of application scenarios of the campus network. All series adopt open and disaggregated general-purpose hardware, making the cost and supply period more controllable. Equipped with data center-class programmable switching chips, providing flexible large scale space for expanding campus networks; Some models use the built-in processor of the network switch chip as the management CPU, which can reduce the networking cost for customers to a certain extent.

Considering the future development trend of the campus, CX-M provides 25G/100G uplink interface, which naturally adapts to the high-bandwidth traffic brought by the WiFi 6 era; 24-port/48-port high-density downlink access helps to simplify network deployment complexity.

Green and energy-saving component selection combined with intelligent port/fan energy-saving mechanism, the lowest power consumption of the CX-M series under full load is only 63W.

Excellent PoE Capability

Our CX-M series provide PoE power supply models and supports up to 48-port 30W PoE+ (802.3at), with 8 ports configurable as 60W PoE++ (802.3bt) ports, providing remote power supply to PD devices such as IP phones, wireless APs, cameras, etc. It features Fast PoE and Perpetual PoE, delivering power to PD devices quickly once the network switch is powered up.
Furthermore, it ensures safety through short-circuit protection, over-current protection, over-voltage protection and over-temperature protection. In case of power outages, power supply to the PD device will be cut-off.

Asterfusion SONiC based Open campus network switch:Incredible Value for Money

Asterfusion CX-M offers amazing features with an unbeatable price. For instance, Edge-Core sells a 48 x 10GE + 6 x 100GE network switch for a retail price of $5000-$5500. In comparison, similar offerings from FS are priced around $4100- $4600. Asterfusion, however, provides a 48 x 10GE + 6 x 100GE layer 3 network switch preloaded with its enterprise SONiC NOS at only $2,499. This allows the users to enjoy advanced features like VXLAN and BGP-EVPN at half the cost of other manufacturers. Now, thanks to the increasing popularity of open networking, data center operators of all sizes can purchase durable, high-performance switches at a much more affordable price.

SONiC NOS based 48 x 10Gb SFP+,6 x 100Gb QSFP28,L3 Core/Leaf Switch for Enterprise and Data center

Deployment Value: CX-M Series can decrease expenses & enhance productivity For enterprises

CX-M series can help enterprises drop expenses and amplify productivity with its three-layer networking. Compared to traditional networking solutions, CX-M series can be used to construct a three-layer campus network infrastructure, and can decrease expenses by up to 40%.

01.Eliminate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to save device port resources Achieving 100% link utilization.

1. Eliminate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), save device port resources, and 100% link utilization
Simplified topology, simplified O&M, and greatly reduced OpEX.

02.Simplified topology, simplified O&M,greatly reduced OpEX.

All terminals can forward through Layer 3 routing, eliminating the Layer 2 broadcast domain, saying goodbye to annoying broadcast storms.

Avoid using stacking to reduce O&M difficulties, and use ECMP equivalent routing to improve traffic forwarding efficiency.

Avoid using stacking technology to reduce O&M difficulties, and use ECMP equivalent routing to improve traffic forwarding efficiency
 A set of management configurations can be automatically applied to all devices, replacing manual configuration and greatly improving O&M efficiency.

A set of management configurations can be automatically applied to all devices, replacing manual configuration, greatly improving O&M efficiency.

03.Small volume with high-density port ,reduce space occupation

Small volume high-density port access, flexible deployment, reduce space occupation

At present, under the new-generation cloud-based campus network architecture launched by Asterfusion, the CX-M series campus switches equipped with AsterNOS have been applied in the campus of large Internet companies, fully releasing the huge potential of the open network.

Next-generation cloud-based campus network Asterfusion Open Campus Network
Next-generation cloud-based campus network Asterfusion Open Campus Network

We hope this will help make your campus network upgrades easier and more efficient. Welcome to the future of networking!

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