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Open Compute

Robert McMillan, Wired, Facebook Touts Gear That Will Reinvent the Network Engineer, here.

That’s remarkable because traditionally, network engineers are a breed apart. They master obscure protocols and the command line interfaces to Cisco and Juniper machines, but they don’t typically hack the underlying software that powers these machines. Cisco’s switches ship with an operating system called Cisco IOS. It’s closed source, and the only people who get to hack it work for Cisco.

But now Ahmad and others have been working to build a new breed of switches and routers — ones that will be hackable much like today’s servers. “To me, this project is the start of something really, really big,” says Ahmad.

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