Archive for the ‘introduction’ Category

Why even bother?

May 11, 2010

Currently most, if not all switch designs are proprietary and protected under strict licenses and NDAs. There is currently no known homebrew community, so end-users are at the whims of the vendors for updates for their products. Especially with the cheaper product lines, vendors may be very quick with ceasing support for legacy platforms, sometimes as fast as the announcement of the new product line.



The Switch economy – according to us!

April 20, 2010

Large vendors like Cisco, Juniper, Foundry and Force10 create most of their hardware and software (sometimes even chip!) designs by themselves and usually don’t share any information about these designs with the outside world (and if so – only on a “need to know” basis).

On the other hand there’s a whole ecosystem around independent companies focusing on isolated tasks of the design and production process. These are usually divided into four major groups:


What is a Switch?

April 18, 2010

A network switch is a device with multiple physical ethernet ports between which frames are forwarded according to the specific rules the switch has been configured with.

The most basic scenario would be an unmanaged switch with a single broadcast domain – in such a setup the switch would learn which MAC addresses can be found behind which ports and when it receives a frame for a given MAC address, it forwards the frame to the given port.


Consider yourself welcomed

April 10, 2010


On this blog we’ll talk about switches.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to run a proper, generic operating system on these switches? Thought so.

Our current research subject is a 3Com 3870. This is a 3com-branded version of the EdgeCore ES4649, SMC87xxML3

Stay tuned for further updates.