PLUMgrid Partners With Linux Foundation To Open-Source Its IO Visor Project

The Linux Foundation and PLUMgrid today announced an alliance of hardware manufacturers, Linux distribution vendors and others that aims to advance Linux networking and virtualization for modern data centers. Other partners in this alliance include Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Canonical, Cavium, Cisco, Huawei, Intel, and SUSE.

The project will be based on PLUMgrid’s existing IO Visor technology, which the company is donating to the project. The Linux Foundation will offer additional support.

The trend in compute, storage and networking is toward virtualization, and PLUMgrid argues that I/O and networking subsystems need to keep up, especially when it comes to Internet of Things applications.

In PLUMgrid’s view, the trend toward delivering network functions as virtual appliances — as opposed to expensive single-purpose hardware routers and switches — creates performance and scale bottlenecks because, the company argues, these virtual appliances weren’t built to easily scale with demand.


“As a company that actively supports a number of open source projects, we believe that open sourcing IO Visor through a community hosted with the Linux Foundation was in the best interests of not only our company, but of everyone dependent upon agile and highly performant cloud technologies at scale,” said PLUMgrid founder and CTO Pere Monclus.

That all sounds pretty abstract, but the idea here is to build the IO Visor into every server in the data center to create a virtual network. The visor then works with PLUMgrid’s Director service to create the data layers that connect all of these networks according to the developers’ needs.

“This collaboration is critically important as virtualization is putting more demands on flexibility, performance and security,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “Open source software and collaborative development are the ingredients for addressing massive change in any industry. IO Visor will provide the essential framework for this work on Linux virtualization and networking.”