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Open Networking Foundation Releases Atrium Open SDN Software Distribution

ONF Atrium Eases Entry to Open Source SDN Adoption; Solves Critical Integration Challenges Facing Today’s Network Operators

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 9, 2015 – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the release of Atrium, an open SDN software distribution. Atrium is designed to help the networking industry as a whole more easily adopt open SDN by integrating established open source SDN software with some critical connecting pieces. The first release, Atrium 2015/A, incorporates the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), and Open Compute Project (OCP) components. The software elements run in either controllers or switches, communicating via the OpenFlow® protocol, and include plugin opportunities for other switching solutions to help foster an open ecosystem of interoperable, hardware-based OpenFlow® switches.

“ONF is actively creating the ecosystem and the architecture needed to bring open SDN to network operators around the world. Atrium is the first top-to-bottom, soup-to-nuts open source implementation that someone can actually download from GitHub and use to run a real network,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “Atrium’s philosophy is to build on software from many developers that has been community developed and tested to help network operators more easily build custom solutions and allow vendors to take advantage of common building blocks, reducing their development costs and improving interoperability. ONF views open source software as critical to accelerating commercial adoption of open SDN.”

The Atrium 2015/A package integrates previously standalone open source components. Routing is often the most basic application operators want for SDN, and Atrium 2015/A includes Quagga BGP because it is a popular open source routing stack. Atrium 2015/A is built on ONOS because Quagga runs on ONOS, with which we have prior experience, and ON.Lab contributed engineering resources to help with the internal “flow objectives” interface and other integration efforts. Of course, this release of Atrium also benefits from ONOS's scale, performance, and high availability. ONF member companies and others are already porting Atrium to OpenDaylight for release later this year, to leverage its widespread industry support and access to a broad variety of use cases including NFV, campus, and data center. OCP is a pioneering project for open source hardware. ONF will release future packages to support additional needs of network operators.

“We have adopted an extensible architecture so that adding features and a variety of forwarding planes will follow easily,” said Saurav Das, principal system architect at the Open Networking Foundation. “With community contribution, this platform should evolve even more rapidly.”

The following organizations contributed to this release: Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet), Accton, Alibaba, Big Switch, Broadcom, Centec Networks, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO Australia), Corsa Technology, Dell, ESnet, Extreme Networks, NoviFlow, ON.Lab, and Pica8. Others committed to contributing to future releases include Allied Telesis, Bristol is Open, British Telecom, BTI Systems, Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Ceragon Networks, CPqD, Criterion Networks, Deutsche Telekom, ECI, Facebook, Gigamon, Huawei, Infoblox, Ixia, Mellanox, Lenovo, Luxoft, NEC, NTT Group, P4.org, Riava, Sify Technologies, SM Optics, Spirent, Tencent, University of Bristol, University of Campinas, University of Lancaster, Wipro, and Zeetta Networks.

Atrium 2015/A will be available by the end of June with the following:

  • Documentation for installation, configuration, and operation
  • A snapshot of ONOS verified to work with the white-box software stack as well as other vendor switches that have provided a driver for their pipeline
  • A BGP peering application that runs on ONOS and includes the Quagga BGP stack
  • A collection of OpenFlow® v1.3 device drivers in ONOS, meant for talking to vendor equipment with different hardware pipelines
  • Indigo OpenFlow® client together with Open Network Linux and OFDPA for the OCP white-box switches
  • Mininet with the use of Open vSwitch (OVS) to emulate the hardware pipelines of the switches involved; (hardware pipelines represent a sequence of match-action tables in an OpenFlow® switch)
  • Full testing suite for functionality tests

“Atrium is entirely focused on ease of open SDN deployment by lowering barriers to adoption,” said Yatish Kumar, Atrium project lead, member of the ONF Technical Council, director of the ONF Specifications Area, and CTO of Corsa Technology. “We continue to view OpenFlow® as key to meeting operator needs for a functional multi-vendor southbound protocol. We will build on Atrium’s offerings not only in the controller and switch spaces but also in the application space, making sure that the OpenSourceSDN.org community has a voice in what is included in future releases.”

Atrium will be on display in the SDN Solutions Showcase at the Open Networking Summit, June 15-18 in Santa Clara, California; for more information please visit: http://opennetsummit.org/conference/. For more information on Atrium, please visit: www.opensourcesdn.org.

Industry Support for Atrium
ONF’s open source software initiatives are built on a collaborative effort to ensure our work is complementary to and interoperable with the work being done by other organizations. Organizations supporting ONF’s efforts have said:

"Transitioning the networking industry to shared development around open source code rather than proprietary protocols is a key part of the ONF Mission,” said Urs Hölzle, chairman and president of the Open Networking Foundation and senior vice president of Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow, Google. “Atrium is an important step toward realizing this direction."

“Top priority SDN use cases have been identified and SDN will be migrating from the lab to production deployments over the next two years,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director, Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc. “Collaborative efforts in building integrated open source SDN solutions like Atrium are an important next step in speeding SDN deployments and fostering innovation.”

“We are pleased to see OCP adopted for the open source hardware and operating software for the forwarding plane in Atrium,” said Corey Bell, CEO of the Open Compute Project. “Together with ONF and partners we are moving the industry to new models of efficiency and innovation in networking and computing for the benefit of all who operate IT infrastructures.”

“It's great to see more momentum building around open solutions for users,” said Neela Jacques, executive director of OpenDaylight. “ONF is a key partner and we share a common vision and purpose to promote SDN. We look forward to seeing the next release of Atrium running on OpenDaylight offering even more opportunities for operators to adopt open SDN.”

“We value working closely with ONF and pleased to bring Atrium to life and provide ONOS and BGP peering application as the key building blocks,” said Guru Parulkar, co-founder and executive director of ON.Lab. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with ONF and enabling real progress of open source software in achieving mainstream adoption.”

About ONF
Launched in 2011 by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a growing nonprofit organization with more than 140 members whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of open SDN. ONF promotes open SDN and OpenFlow® technologies and standards while fostering a vibrant market of products, services, applications, customers, and users. For further details visit the ONF website at: https://opennetworking.org.