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Evaluator
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Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Wed Apr 17, 2024 4:22 am

Curious if anyone at Mikrotik every heard of ONIE? The white box ethernet switch market is growing rapidly but you cannot call your switch "White Box" unless it supports ONIE for loading a choice of switch OS. Cumulus got bought by nVidia, BigSwitch got bought by Arista, Nicera got bought by VMWare and relabeled to NSX, Microsoft came out with Sonic, and the FRRouting project is putting out great open source networking software . There's far more activity in ONIE switches right now vs. any other segment of the market.

I don't mind using economical CRS305's or CRS309's as unmanaged 10Gb switches but it would be awesome if I could load Sonic on a Mikrotik. Is that on any roadmaps?

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BartoszP
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Wed Apr 17, 2024 8:40 am

Why do you expect Mikrotik to do that? Try yourself and share experience.
 
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Larsa
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Wed Apr 17, 2024 12:38 pm

Hi @Evaluator, and welcome to the forum!

Although ONIE is a great idea, I believe it might be difficult to implement on a large portion of MikroTik's product range since many of the low-end devices have limitations in terms of memory and storage. However I'd love to see ONIE supported on future mid-range and high-end devices.
 
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mkx
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Wed Apr 17, 2024 4:50 pm

Another aspect: MT is primarily software company (developing and marketing RouterOS). The rest (hardware, even SwitchOS) is "supporting activities". And they definitely are not heavily into hardware production (AFAIK they design their devices, but manufacturing is outsourced; I may be wrong though). So I don't think they're into selling whitebox devices, it's not their core business. I think we'd more likely see ROS support for whitebox switches (if they have required hardware resources) than the other way around.
 
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Sat Apr 20, 2024 7:16 am

Great feedback. Thanks. I’m running sonic on an Edgecore 48 port switch with fans you can hear from the front yard. I really like the fanless Mikrotik 10G switches and would like to at least configure one port as a trunk and the rest assigned to various vlans. It’s super simple to configure on AOS, IOS-XR, Junos, Bigswitch, NSX, Dell FTOS, OVS, Pluribus, SONIC, and virtually every other switch on the market. For Mikrotik I need to find an API and associated API guide, I will do the config from there. Wondering if the switch ip address has a REST endpoint or even old netconf would be great.
 
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Sat Apr 20, 2024 8:01 am

Tend to agree with @mkx.
I think we'd more likely see ROS support for whitebox switches (if they have required hardware resources) than the other way around.
RouterOS as ONIE loadable image be the first step. And likely a good one. It's kinda like another CHR at some level, and they did just release ARM64 CHR. So some ONIE packaging around it I don't think be a lot of work.

Mikrotik hardware supporting any alternative OS has never been Mikrotik thing. And likely more challenging since even with ONIE loader, the underlying linux loaded still have to deal with hardware...which may not just work. Their main schtick is same config/tools/etc from $30 to $3000 devices. RouterOS historically used well-curated and/or non-OSS drivers for the hardware. This used to be an advantage....but Linux kernel has become a lot more fast-path network friendly (DPDK/etc) than in past...
 
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Re: Loading ONIE images on Mikrotik Switches

Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:38 pm

Cumulus got bought by nVidia, BigSwitch got bought by Arista, Nicera got bought by VMWare and relabeled to NSX, Microsoft came out with Sonic
That sounds like a thing not to touch even with a long pole!

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