Library of Open Networking APIs

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Open Network Switch Library (OpenNSL) is a library of Open Networking APIs that enable the development of innovative open source networking projects. It allows developers to customize, enhance and deliver differentiated solutions.
As the Internet has evolved – with more users performing more tasks with more devices — data centers are pushed to their limits to keep up with the demands. At the same time, the progress in open source applications and software can be leveraged in data center networking to create a new generation of open, flexible and customizable solutions that promise to relieve some of the bottlenecks.

Broadcom is bringing those two worlds together with its recent release of an open-source software package for its industry-leading switching silicon that will allow customization of data center operations. OpenNSL is a software interface with a set of APIs that enable the development of new applications on top of Broadcom StrataXGS® and StrataDNX™ switches, giving customers the flexibility to tailor their network equipment and meet unique infrastructure requirements.

With the OpenNSL software platform, Broadcom provides APIs that map Broadcom's Software Development Kit (SDK) to an open north bound interface, enabling the integration of new applications and the ability to optimize switch hardware platforms. This gives users the freedom to control their technology, share their designs and boost application innovation. Examples include network monitoring, load balancing, service chaining, workload optimization and traffic engineering.

Broadcom is working with leading OEMS, operators and software developers on new network applications based on the Broadcom OpenNSL APIs. In addition, Broadcom provides reference code for applications leveraging unique Broadcom switch functionality (e.g. BroadView™).

OpenNSL software is available in two packages:
  • An OEM & ODM Development Package (ODP), which is a full source code package distributed under Broadcom SLA
  • A Community Development Package (CDP), which is an Open API library with Application Development Kit distributed on GitHub




Hewlett Packard
Broadcom and HP are working together on multiple networking initiatives. Their common goal is to accelerate innovation in the marketplace by leveraging BroadView™ and OpenNSL open source projects such as OpenSwitch which is a significant project for cloud networking and the open source ecosystem.Learn more
Facebook logo
Broadcom and Facebook are working to integrate Broadcom Open Network Switch Library (OpenNSL) with the Facebook Open Switching System (FBOSS). These apps can be grouped into several large categories: Low-level apps such as the FBOSS agent that deals with the forwarding ASIC, automation apps and control apps that implement particular forwarding/routing protocols. OpenNSL provides the foundational technology that enables FBOSS to be open. Learn more
Broadcom and Microsoft are working together on multiple open networking initiatives, including support of Switch Abstraction Interface project, and BroadView™ open source project. Learn more
Broadcom and Juniper Networks are working on networking initiatives, with a common goal of accelerating innovation by leveraging Broadcom’s BroadView™ and OpenNSL open source projects. Juniper is porting the BroadView™ agent to its Broadcom-based switches, and Juniper is implementing BroadView™ clients in the Juniper Cloud Analytics Engine and in Juniper Contrail Networking to gather telemetry from both Juniper and third party networking platforms. Learn more
Broadcom and NTT are working together on multiple open-networking initiatives. NTT demonstrated an integration of a routing stack called gobgp and the OpenRoute Cache software running on top of OpenNSL at a recent OCP Engineering Workshop in Boston. Learn more
Broadcom and Accton have collaborated to port OpenNSL to Accton’s Edgecore open switch product line, designed with the industry leading Broadcom StrataXGS® Ethernet Switch silicon and supporting 1GbE, 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE connections.Learn more
big switch
Using bare metal and open Ethernet switch hardware, sophisticated SDN control software, and modern data center designs, Big Switch delivers fit-for-purpose data center networking solutions designed for enterprises, cloud providers and service providers.Learn more
Quanta and Broadcom have worked together on porting OpenNSL to multiple members of the Quanta Cloud Technology network switch product family, all based on the industry-leading Broadcom StrataXGS® architecture.Learn more


  • Rich set of APIs for most commonly used switching and routing functions: 
- L2/L3/VLAN management 
- Port and switch management 
- Link monitoring and error handling
- Packet transmit and receive 
- Statistics
- Trunking and Mirroring
- Tunnels (VxLAN)
- Access Control Lists
- Quality of Service
- Error handling
  • Enables development of Open Networking applications like Open Network Operating Systems (e.g FBOSS), telemetry applications (e.g BroadView™)
  • Portable across StrataXGS® and StrataDNX™ architectures today
  • Supported by growing number of OEM and ODM partners

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