|Figure 1: Open Network Platform Switch Reference Design (see Intel Product Brief)|
|Figure 2: Top of rack using Broadcom merchant silicon (from Merchant silicon)|
In the compute space, the freedom to choose operating systems (Windows, Linux, Solaris etc.) increases competition among hardware vendors and between operating system vendors. Choices in switch operating system are starting to appear (PicOS and the open source Switch Light project), opening the door to disruptive change in the networking market that is likely to mirror the transition from proprietary minicomputers to commodity x86 servers that occurred in the 1980's.