Open Network Sandbox

Solution Overview

Open networking starts with a fundamental premise: Hardware is fungible and I can run any operating system anywhere. In practice, however, this is not necessarily the case. This lab provides a hands-on sandbox to evaluate the interoperability of a mix of network operating systems that are available to run as disaggregated solutions.

Who is open networking for?

A fundamental shift in network architecture is well underway, with service providers and other large organizations transitioning from purpose-built hardware appliances to a more software-driven infrastructure in efforts to cut costs, increase agility and better serve customers. 

This shift has led to a dramatic uptick in open networking solutions, commonly known in the industry as white box networking.

Goals & Objectives

The purpose of this lab is to provide a sandbox where the behavior and interoperation of multiple open OEM operating systems can be observed and modified.

The sandbox is built with basic L3 routing (OSPF and BGP) established in a multivendor spine-leaf topology. After initial setup, a simple Ansible script will allow you to "toggle" a leaf switch between various open network instances (Cisco, Cumulus, Dell, VyOS, JunOS), observe how the new instance integrates with the existing route/switch infrastructure, capture identical configuration snippets on different platforms, and run your own configuration scenarios. 

Hardware & Software

  • Spine Leaf Topology
  • 2 fixed-OS spines (IOS-XR and Cumulus)
  • 3+ leafs (one fixed Cumulus, one fixed NX-OS, and one multi-OS variable)


  • Cisco IOS-XRv
  • Cisco NX-OSv
  • Cumulus Linux
  • Juniper vQFX
  • VyOS
  • Dell OS10