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OSSDN Drives Interoperability – Part 2

Sep 19, 2016
Bithika Khargharia
Bithika Khargharia About the author

Bithika Khargharia provides insight on three additional ONF OpenSourceSDN.org open source projects.

OSSDN1 jpgLast week I talked about three different ONF OpenSourceSDN.org projects that are driving interoperability in – programmable data planes (Project Protocol-Independent Forwarding (PIF)), microwave and millimeter wave networks (Project Centennial), and packet-optical networks (Project Snowmass). This week I want to talk about three additional ONF OpenSourceSDN.org projects that are continuing to drive interoperability across Controllers (Project Boulder) and in the context of pre-integrated and deployable use cases for – Service Provider (Project Atrium SP) and Enterprise (Project Atrium Enterprise).


Project Boulder

I’ve seen industry analyst firm Gartner note that three of the ultimate long-term values of SDN are – 1) bringing the network and the apps closer together, 2) reducing vendor-lock in and finally 3) enabling market innovation. Project Boulder is building the mechanics to address #1 which paves the way for #2 and #3. At the heart of it, Project Boulder’s Northbound Intent APIs (that came out of ONF NBI Work Group) enable applications to specify what they need of the network leaving it up to the network to determine how to deliver. These APIs are non-prescriptive as far as delivery of network services are considered, provide application portability across Controllers thereby preventing vendor lock-in & provide a universal intent expression for any application’s network needs.  Project Boulder exposes Intent as a grammar that can express how network endpoints or endpoint groups connect with each other. The connectivity expression can be further qualified with constraints and/or conditions. Boulder also provides a runtime engine (as of this writing one available on ONOS and another on ODL) that is responsible for compiling Intents into a network-specific language (e.g. OpenFlow) and programming the underlying Network appropriately. This is Project Boulder’s service assurance as requested by a top-level application that can be portable across ONOS or ODL.

Project Atrium SP

Project Boulder pngThis project paves the way with ONF building pre-integrated, interoperable and deployable open source SDN solutions. The Atrium SP portfolio, specifically targeted for the Service Provider,  includes an Open Source SDN Router (built on ONOS and OpenDaylight ) as well as an Open Source SDN Leaf-Spine Fabric on OF 1.3 multi-table capable hardware.

For the SDN Router it integrates the open source Quagga BGP Peering application and for the Spine-Leaf Fabric it integrates an ONF authored Fabric Control Application. A key technical contribution of this project is in abstracting the variability of OF 1.3 multi-table hardware from applications north of the Controller. It is with this abstraction called Flow Objectives that you would see the same SDN distribution running the Fabric Control application as well as the Peering application on a variety of OF 1.3 multi-table hardware. It is also worth noting that the Atrium Router has demonstrated Internet-scale peering across NRENs (ESnet, Bay Area & AARNet/CSIRO, Australia) while the Atrium Fabric is a key piece in the Linux Foundation Project CORD that has gone on to bring cloud-style agility and economies of scale to AT&T Central Offices.

Project Atrium Enterprise

This project builds on the Atrium SP work to bring an Open Source SDN distribution for the Enterprise. Enterprise IT organizations today face a shift in the behavior of a global digital workforce. Round- the-globe, round-the-clock digital collaboration is a given for the increasingly mobile worker whose life is defined by social on or off campus experiences. How does Enterprise IT provide them the best in class campus experience within budget?

Atrium Enterprise addresses these challenges in a multi-phase development effort. In this first phase it addresses the Enterprise Collaboration experience by developing to IMTC specifications - a QoE (Quality of Experience) service and an Automated Diagnostics and Reporting service for real-time sensitive Enterprise Productivity Applications. The solution provides integrated wired-wireless support, a choice of OpenFlow 1.3 data planes, and seamless brownfield migration. For the social experience on campus it brings internet-first connectivity to the Enterprise. At each campus connected by the Enterprise WAN, it drops non time sensitive internet traffic off the high-cost managed WAN onto low-cost local internet connections. This maintains the social experience on campus but frees up WAN resources for real-time sensitive Enterprise Productivity Applications and gives IT an opportunity to reduce WAN budgets, while offering a best in class on premise experience (e.g. for meetings) to corporate users.  This project also uses Project Boulder as its standardized Northbound APIs for application integration.

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If these projects spark your interest, find out more from David Lenrow (Project Boulder), Saurav Das (Project Atrium SP), Gert Vanderstraeten (Project Atrium Enterprise), and myself at the OpenDaylight Panel on ONF OSSDN, September 27, 2016.

- Bithika Khargharia, ONF OSSDN Director of Product and Community Management and Principal Engineer at Extreme Networks

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bithika Khargharia
Bithika Khargharia