BloxOsLite: Network management for UbiSwitch now available!

Posted by Aaron Elijah on 16th Apr 2024

BloxOsLite: Network management for UbiSwitch now available!

BotBlox announces the release of our software solution to add management to UbiSwitch Revision B, called BloxOsLite

BloxOsLite is an operating system built for the UbiSwitch (revision B) designed to give the user network management features on the UbiSwitch. These features include:

  • Port and tag-based VLANs
  • Link Aggregation
  • PHY status and control

How does it work?

BloxOsLite is an operating system on UbiSwitch thats runs on the MCU on the board. No extra plug-on boards are needed, keeping the form factor of the UbiSwitch the same. The software exposes a console over UART, which you can use to control the switch chip onboard the UbiSwitch. Below is a screenshot to give you a feel for how it looks.

What about updates?

BloxOsLite is the application but the release comes with its own bootloader too. We have documentation on the software architecture and upgrade procedure on our docs page. However, the short version is that DFU is built-in to the bootloader so that during boot, you have a set number of seconds to initiate an upgrade before the main BloxOsLite application boots. Instead of reflashing the application code over the SWD interface, as done previously, you now only need UART and a way to power reset the board. This has implications for security certifications in the future.

Future development

We are not yet done with BloxOsLite as development will be ongoing. In fact, we are currently working on revisions for the SwitchBlox Industrial and GigaBlox Nano to enable their boards to be compatible with BloxOsLite. In the future, we expect more boards to support BloxOsLite.

During development, we focused on delivering a platform that was updatable and had the most common features asked of us by customers. But there is plenty more for us to add in the future. We are currently working on adding QoS classification and traffic shaping and improving the interface to the PHYs so that you can control and query more data from them.

Also, typical 'data-plane' networking features (multicast querying and STP for example) are not supported in BloxOsLite. However, we still have RuggedSOM + SwitchBlox Rugged as an option for those customers who need those features. The software for this is still in beta and is still being actively developed.

Great! Where do I go from here?

Check out GitHub releases page to download the binaries and see our docs page for instructions on how to flash and use the CLI.