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Networking giant switching switches to Linux?

Apr 16, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Alcatel-Lucent is planning to switch from VxWorks to embedded Linux for its network switch equipment, says an industry report. The shift is intended to be transparent to users of the overlaying Alcatel-Lucent Operating System (AOS), which has been upgraded to version 6.3.4, says the story.

The switch from Wind River's VxWorks to an unnamed Linux distribution should come by early next year, says an story, attributing the comments to Minka Nikolova, senior product manager at Alcatel-Lucent.

“There are great packages that are available on Linux and a lot of new packages we can integrate into our switches if we decide to do so,” Nikolova was quoted as saying. “The packages that VxWorks provides really aren't the latest and greatest. Basically everyone is moving toward Linux.”

Users will work with the embedded Linux OS via the familiar framework of AOS, which currently sits atop VxWorks, says the story. The new AOS 6.3.4 release, which may be its last before the switch to Linux, integrates network access control (NAC) directly into the OS, says the story.

Alcatel-Lucent resulted from a merger between Alcatel and Lucent Technologies in December, 2006, creating a $25 billion company. In March of last year, it was revealed that the company was using Red Hat's new Red Hat MRG (messaging, realtime, and grid) “real-time” Linux distribution in communications systems for the SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise) market, according to Red Hat. Alcatel-Lucent has used MontaVista Linux CGE on some of its high-end enterprise carrier equipment.

Although the vendor did not appear to mention a specific Linux distribution to be used for AOS, it is likely to either use MontaVista CGE, or else, in order to continue to work with the same vendor as it has previously with AOS, adopt Wind River Linux. Both distributions are compliant with Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 4.0.


The story on Alcatel-Lucent AOS 6.3.4 should be here.

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