Marvell ROS Franchise and OpenROS Initiative

Marvell Total Solution ROS Franchise system

Marvell’s Routing Operating System (ROS) NOS software provides a fully integrated Layer 2+ software solution. With a full array of Access and Enterprise features available on the whole range of Marvell Prestera family of chips it enables rapid bring to market of wire-speed routing switches and integrated access products.

In order to meet the explosive demand for intelligent switching solutions, cooperation between merchant silicon and software vendors is playing a very important role in the complex development process. The close relationship between Marvell and Larch is a perfect example of how two companies have brought together best-in-class hardware and software to create a powerful model that enables data and telecom manufacturers to quickly and efficiently integrate switching and routing into their next generation products.

For years major Tier-1 networking vendors have been incorporating the software based on Marvell’s ROS in their systems. High-performance IP routing and switching systems require a significant investment in software protocol development, product integration and validation, which in the past has slowed product time to market. Larch Networks helps datacom and telecom equipment vendors to design and release advanced networking equipment, providing wire-speed switching and routing, Quality of Service (QoS) and traffic prioritization to support voice and data application services, while meeting their engineering schedules and significantly reducing time-to-market.

Larch is a Certified Marvell Partner for Marvell’s Franchise program with access to the ROS software sources and can bring-up the COTS software, delivered as binary image, for the customized hardware, develop additional functionality required and support customers for the whole product life cycle.

The OpenROS initiative opens up possibilities for a wide range of solutions to be integrated with network device hardware. Some examples include a WiFi controller, a cloud management agent, a network quality measurement node, and hardware controlling software modules with drivers.

Enhancing Hardware Functionality on Marvell Devices

While checking the hardware capabilities one can see an extensive list of functions listed. However each and every feature now requires software behind it that will keep track of the protocol, API’s and management. In this meaning software is an enabler to the hardware chip capabilities. Larch takes an important role to further develop and enhance the functionality of Marvell-based devices with a systematic approach. 

It begins with a thorough analysis of the customer requirements, target hardware and current software capabilities and limitations. Then, Larch Networks’ software developers with an extensive knowledge of Marvell SDK and hardware work closely with hardware engineers to design tailored software extensions to Marvell ROS system that solve specific problems and deliver required functions. This process involves rigorous testing and validation to ensure compatibility, stability, and adherence to industry standards.

By integrating new features and capabilities Larch’s developers unlock the full potential of Marvell-based devices, enabling advanced applications in diverse domains like automotive, networking, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Among the last features integrated by Larch are routing protocols, PTP (precision time), MCLag (multi-chassis aggregation) and VxLAN.

The OpenROS system empowers users to develop and execute customized applications alongside the ROS system, providing enhanced control and flexibility

Previously, the Marvell ROS system operated as a closed solution, restricting access to the underlying system and hardware. Recognizing the growing demand for user freedom and the desire to develop proprietary software to enhance device functionality, Larch Networks has initiated the OpenROS project. This initiative allows users to develop and run their own applications in conjunction with the ROS system on the switch CPU, granting access to the device’s root file system.

OpenROS adds the ability to use standard Linux interfaces for intercepting and sending network traffic from switch ports. Larch Networks has also implemented dedicated management channels that enable seamless interaction with the ROS system internally, without exposing it to external agents. Customers can augment the functionality of ROS through its CLI and management channels to enable control of the added features.

To streamline the process, Larch Networks has developed a software assembly line specifically for this initiative. This allows for convenient software updates without requiring Larch Networks’ involvement.

Overall, the OpenROS system empowers users by enabling the development and execution of customized applications alongside the ROS system, offering increased control and expandability to enhance device functionality.

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