Amazon Web Services (AWS) has contributed a specification for an Edge gateway to the Open Compute Project.
The specification is designed to allow mass-produced hardware for easy deployment to Edge applications in sectors such as retail. It plugs into the OCP Switch Abstraction Layer (SAI) networking specification, so users can work with various network operating systems such as OCP's SONiC, which was contributed by Microsoft for the Linux Foundation's Dent.
Like other OCP specifications, the AWS gateway is a hardware design released as open source, so it can be replicated and productized by multiple OEM equipment vendors, giving customers a reliable choice of suppliers.
Previously, OCP's Edge efforts have focused on telecoms, with the OCP Telco Project, leading to an Open Edge Server and several cell site gateways.
Vendors signed up in the OCP ecosystem and potentially delivering their version of the AWS gateway, include Edgecore, Celestica, Delta Networks, Extreme Networks, Ragile Networks, Delta Electronics, and Wistron.
Partners will produce multiple products that match a wide variety of use cases from simple WAN connectivity to SD-WAN and SASE, but which are all compatible with the base specification. The design allows for gateways configured with 48 ports (32x1Gb ports and 16x2.5Gb ports) or 24 ports (24x2.5Gb ports), both configurations include 4x25Gb SFP28 Uplink Ports. The gateway can support Power over Ethernet (PoE) at 15.4W to 100W and other options including cellular LTE, 5G, and Wi-Fi.
The design has a pluggable CPU module, to allow models to handle bigger workloads for SD-WAN and SASE.
Production prototypes are expected at the OCP Global Summit in San Jose in October 2023, with volume shipments starting in early 2024.
“We strongly welcome this development as it expands OCP’s multi-vendor open-edge ecosystem to the enterprise market that will serve many geographies in EMEA, North America, and APAC," said OCP Foundation CEO George Tchaparian. "This is aligned with several of OCP’s strategic directions including enabling movement of workloads to the edge, and development of hardware and software that is hardware-aware under OCP’s Hardware-Software Co-design Strategy."
It also points the way to increased collaboration between OCP and Linux Foundation on SONiC and Dent, he added.
“Our increased engagement with the OCP is in line with AWS strategy to foster a vendor-agnostic supply chain for edge hardware that can be deployed in Just Walk Out technology locations, as well as other environments,” said Michael Lane, principal technical program manager at AWS.
IDC VP and general manager Ashish Nadkarni welcomed the gateway specification: “The market for Edge computing equipment and services is moving to mainstream volume deployments and open ecosystems will play an important role in creating resilient supply chains. In addition, the modularity contained within the AWS-developed enterprise gateway specification and choice of Network OS will make product variants that are compatible with the specification applicable to many different use cases, which is an imperative as new Edge computing use cases continue to emerge."