Official Apps Website!

Everything You Need To Know About Sonic Operating System  

Operating System

"Vector icons pack - Blue-Fuchsia Series, communication collection"

Most operations are migrating to offer virtual capabilities, moving away from relying on physical systems such as connectivity. The movement to virtual services may sometimes require special systems and hardware to allow and support connectivity. One of the critical software systems needed is the operating system. All operating systems cannot support virtual services and activities hence the need for a particular OS such as SONiC. 

SONiC OS is fast becoming the default OS for virtual services and operations such as connectivity. It is currently used for complex operations such as NOS testing, which involves testing various networking equipment’s speeds to ensure they are efficient and offer the needed data speeds. The system supports virtual data center operations and other networking and connectivity needs, enabling companies to diagnose all the networking systems remotely. 

What is Sonic Operating System? 

Software for Open Networking in the Cloud, abbreviated as SONiC, is one of the operating systems used for various systems and machines. It is not a very common OS due to its uses and exclusivity. Manufactured by Microsoft and Open Compute Project, this open-source and free network operating system is based on the Linux operating system.  

However, Microsoft ceded control to the Linux Foundation, which is in charge of project compute hence the development, deployment, and applications of SONiC. Currently, it is mainly used for network-based systems such as data centers and virtual platforms, so only a few people know about it and its limited popularity. The source code is licensed by providers such as GNU General Public License and the Apache License and is also available on platforms such as GitHub. 

Main structures and components 

It mainly runs on network switches and ASICs created and manufactured by different vendors. Other hardware equipments that rely on it include gateways, routers, and other network and Ethernet connectivity devices. It is supported by diffident network features such as remote direct memory access (RDMA), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and other Ethernet technologies to support its uses for networking equipment. This makes it ideal for network connectivity, information, and internet dissemination.  

Main Users 

SONiC is not a software and OS for anyone; it is exclusive to certain communities mainly involved in networking and related facilities and services. Some common users include cloud services such as AWS, Azure, Verizon, etc. Silicon component suppliers mainly deal in networking accessories and tools, telecommunication companies’ service providers, and networking hardware and software suppliers.  

This community makes its greatest market and currently has over 850 active users and subscribers, all of whom belong to the exclusive community. The growth continues as more people embrace network usage and as the world demand for cloud services, internet connectivity, and sharing facilities continues. Data center operators are the biggest beneficiaries of this OS.  

The system can also be deployed for enterprises and service providers for specific workloads and processing activities that are heavily network and data-dependent or need an overlay to support multi-tenancy. The overlay structures are necessary for end users in the data center structure to put endpoints anywhere in the network and still stay connected. It provides long-term economic benefits for data center operations and companies.  

It can also support the company’s need to create and enforce a stronger networking topology. Companies can use it for migration from physical topologies to virtual topologies by connecting all the systems within the network and ensuring they remain within the layered network. The system makes it easier to decouple from physical topologies prone to different issues and errors that the virtual topology and systems can correct. This is necessary for supporting company operations such as remote working, customer connectivity, and virtual access to company services through mobile applications and websites.   

Benefits of using SONiC over other OS 

Cloud data centers increasingly rely on the OS since it was manufactured mainly for data center needs. The OS allows cloud center operators to share critical systems across different hardware needed for virtual connectivity, remote services, and other networking equipment. It helps them increase the reliability of network switches reducing the chances of failure; hence the main causes of failure are no longer software issues but hardware challenges. It also helps them do the upgrades virtually without needing the interventions of technicians; hence it makes it cheaper for data center operators to manage connectivity and related system and devices. 

Studies conducted by Microsoft indicated that networking systems based on SONiC OS are likely to survive longer than those using non-SONiC systems. Therefore, companies relying on SONiC operating systems could minimize software and device failures. The success of SONiC when used in these systems, especially in-house systems, is the increased responsiveness and resilience. These attributes are due to the rapid develop-test-deploy cycle; the issue refers to a situation where a manufacturer develops the system and hardware and remotely monitors their performance using SONiC capabilities to correct the problem in the next batch of hardware and system produced.  

This leads to the vendors dealing with issues likely to recur, diagnosing the systems virtually, and the problems can be fixed within the shortest duration since the problem is known. Unlike non-SONiC systems, vendors may have to spend a long time fixing the systems. Since it can support different network system vendors, and many are currently considering its applications and uses, most end users have endless networking items to select from and sometimes enjoy the economic benefits of different systems to select from.  


SONic is critical for virtual services and companies that offer networking and connectivity services. It helps increase the life span of different devices such as routers, helps companies migrate to virtual topologies, and remotely monitors all networking systems.