Keysight organizes virtual SONiC plugfest to demonstrate the maturity of the open source network operating system

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the first SONiC Open Source Network Operating System Community Plugfest which will take place May – June 2021. The Plugfest will enable members of the Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) community to validate SONiC across multiple vendors.

SONiC is an open-source network operating system based on Linux that runs on switches from multiple vendors and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). SONiC offers users the flexibility to create network solutions while leveraging the collective strength of a large ecosystem and community. SONiC is based on a disaggregated architecture (separate switch silicon, white box switch and network operating system software) within an open-source community.

"SONiC has gained popularity and development efforts accelerated throughout 2020, despite the lack of travel and face-to-face interactions from COVID-19 restrictions," said Alan Weckel, principal analyst and co-founder of 650 Group. "SONiC has gained complex features and functionality and continues to be hardened for data center deployments well beyond the hyperscalers. Community testing events like this provide the community with the opportunity to determine how well the parts and pieces of SONiC work on a level playing field." 

The Open Community Test Event will include three types of participants:

  • Customers: Customer Advisory Board (CAB)
  • Vendors: original design manufacturers (ODMs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and network equipment manufacturers (NEMs)
  • Test partners: Keysight Technologies and Aviz Networks

The Plugfest CAB will determine the maturity of SONiC on different hardware platforms from a user perspective. It consists of companies including CTC, LINE, Yahoo! JAPAN, World Wide Technology, Apresia Systems,, Zhejiang Lab, Ucloud, Internet Initiative Japan, Macnica, Nissho Electronics, and LinkedIn.

"As an early adopter of SONiC, we have been excited to see the community contribute to SONiC's success," said Shawn Zandi, Head of Network Engineering at LinkedIn. "This plugfest is an opportunity to validate SONiC readiness and to see how others plan to use SONiC in their environments."

"The plugfest provides vendors and end users a platform to showcase the maturity of SONiC through a common test framework," said Dean Lee, senior director, cloud solutions at Keysight Technologies. "While community tests have taken place, this is the first time that each of these groups have the opportunity to understand the maturity of each level of SONiC system integration from an end user's point of view."

"The SONiC community welcomes more focus and effort on test," said Lihua Yuan, Partner Dev Manager Microsoft. "While SONiC has gained wide industry support, this effort offers the end-user community the opportunity to test the key elements of SONiC under diverse conditions including multiple vendors."

The virtual plugfest will feature three categories of tests to validate each level of system integration: an essential test suite will validate key features listed by the SONiC community; a scale test suite will characterize control and data plane scaling and capacity; and an operation test suite will test performance, failover/failback and deployment in leaf/spine topology. Results of the plugfest will be announced after the conclusion of the event.

"Keysight Technologies and Aviz Networks have partnered to help accelerate the adoption of open networking with SONiC," said Karam Gerges, vice president, AVIZ Networks. "We look forward to working together with the community at this plugfest to test SONiC performance and scale for different customer use cases."

Keysight and Aviz Networks will provide the common test platform used in the plugfest. This platform offers a data center fabric test environment to stress SONiC performance and scale. The test environment can scale in multiple dimensions including the number of hosts/servers, top of rack (TOR) switches, leaf switches and spine switches to simulate a hyperscale data center environment.

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