Two SDN groups mark progress

Cisco contributes lots to OpenDaylight; ONF launches an OpenFlow Conformance Program

Two SDN consortia this week announced progress in efforts to define a standard way to implement the technology, which promises to automate and accelerate network service introduction. The OpenDaylight organization, a vendor-driven group founded by Cisco and IBM, said it's received an influx of technology contributions from members and non-members alike, involving network protocols, virtualization and security.

The Open Networking Foundation, a user-driven group rallying around the OpenFlow way to implement SDNs - decoupled forwarding and control - unveiled the OpenFlow Conformance Program. The program provides networking vendors with an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the OpenFlow specification for implementing SDNs, the organization said.

Currently, the two organizations are working in a vacuum but have promised to keep tabs on each others' work and possibly cross pollinate if the opportunity arises. There remains, however, some suspicion of OpenDaylight's motives with many viewing the group as a way for vendors to maintain proprietary interests in the face of OpenFlow's commodity-oriented crusade.

[CRYSTAL BALL: OpenFlow and SDN: Networking's future?]

OpenDaylight said it reviewed and accepted contributions from Cisco, ConteXtream, Ericsson, IBM, NEC, Pantheon, Plexxi, Radware, and developers Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller from the University of Kentucky. Growth in participation and contributions - the group has more than 200 developers -- is accelerating the development of the OpenDaylight SDN framework, the organization said, which is expected later this quarter.

The base architecture for the OpenDaylight SDN controller combines two code bases from Cisco and Big Switch Networks, brought together through a collaborative proposal by IBM and Stanford University. Cisco also contributed a Java-based BGP/Path Computation Element Protocol library;  an OpenFlow plugin, along with IBM and Ericsson, that initially supports OpenFlow 1.0; and YANG tools to support the YANG data modeling language.

NEC contributed its Virtual Tenant Networking technology. Plexxi submitted Affinity Metadata Service, an API to allow the OpenDaylight controller and applications to create a topology- and implementation-independent description of the infrastructure.

Radware contributed a toolset for the detection and mitigation of DDoS attacks, called Defense4All. ConteXtream submitted its Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) Mapping Service and protocol plugin to be used by network devices to plot virtual network endpoints to the underlying physical network, including the associated forwarding policies.

IBM contributed its OpenDOVE network virtualization technology to provide each tenant in a multitenant network with a virtual abstraction of Layer 2 or Layer 3 connectivity, and the ability to control communication using access control policies.

An OpenFlow 1.3.0 protocol library was submitted by Pantheon that should serve as the basis for the OpenFlow 1.3.0 southbound plugin for the OpenDaylight controller. The library is also designed to support vendor extensions, OpenDaylight says.

The U of K developers contributed an Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol. Open vSwitch is an open source software project implementing virtual switching that is designed to be interoperable with many major hypervisors, and used extensively in cloud computing environments. This submission will allow OpenDaylight to view, modify and delete Open vSwitch objects such as bridges and ports by way of the Open vSwitch database.

Developers who are interested in joining the OpenDaylight project can do so here.

The ONF OpenFlow Conformance Program is designed to assure that vendor products are OpenFlow-conformant and deployment-ready, as well as compatible with other OpenFlow-enabled SDN gear. Vendors will be able to earn an ONF Certificate of Conformance for networking hardware and software, the organization said, which will open up access to protocol testing through the ONF PlugFest and other programs.

The Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education is the first lab approved for ONF OpenFlow Conformance testing.

OpenDaylight plans to run its OpenFlow-based software through the ONF's OpenFlow Conformance Program once it reaches the test cycle phase, says Phil Robb, director of networking solutions for The Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation sponsors the OpenDaylight project.

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