With the upcoming release of the 2016 SDN Controller & Network Virtualization Report, SDxCentral recently caught up with Inocybe Technologies Andy Salo– a technology executive with broad experience in product management, marketing, go-to-market strategy, strategic partnerships and operations for early and late stage startups. During the interview Andy discussed pure-play OpenDaylight, Inocybe’s Open Networking Platform, and turnkey OpenDaylight Software-as-a-Service platform. Read the full interview below.
There are a lot of open source virtualization solutions. Why did you decide to focus on what you call pure-play OpenDaylight (ODL)?
Inocybe Technologies has been involved in networking innovation for over a decade. Our main vision has always been that network management is too complicated and consists of too many manual processes.
In 2005, we started by creating ‘user empowered’ networking, in which users could self-provision services across the network. Additionally, we wanted to extend the platform to sensors, compute and other hardware devices. This led us to build an IaaS framework on top of which we developed Inocybe’s Virtualization Platform. With the industry’s creation of the OpenDaylight ecosystem in 2013, we decided to accelerate and focus on SDN and NFV innovation and make it consumable. We approached our end-to-end strategy as a partnership with other complementary companies, and became a pure-play OpenDaylight company to execute on our vision.
With more than 13% of Global OpenDaylight Production Deployments to-date, we are the leading pure-play OpenDaylight company. Our distribution binaries are currently used by customers around the world, within their Operator, Enterprise and Vendor-based OpenDaylight solutions and products. We offer a robust, commercially supported platform that allows end users to create their own set of OpenDaylight solutions, derived from recipe-based use cases, and building upon our vast experience with these customer deployments.
What types of trends and developments are you currently seeing in the pure play ODL community.
We’ve learned a lot since the inception of the OpenDaylight project. OpenDaylight itself has become the largest open source networking project in the history of the world by lines of code and total committers. A very successful project by any measure.
Our customers have been using and plan to use OpenDaylight in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined, from smart cities and buildings to embedding OpenDaylight in devices (CPE or Switches) and even managing electricity grids with SCADA support. For us, OpenDaylight is the Linux of Connected Things, and can be used for anything that can be modeled and controlled.
That said, one of the broader trends in the OpenDaylight community has been a shift from proof-of-concept use-cases to commercial-grade production deployments. For example, SDN use-cases that are currently deployed in our customers’ production environments range from Security Enforcement using Access Control Lists, L3 VPN Management, optimal path routing, to broadband packet cable network management of CMTS devices.
You have been involved in some smart cities projects. Tell us how SDN and ODL can enable smart cities.
We recently demonstrated our end-to-end OpenDaylight-powered smart city infrastructure in partnership with Juniper Networks and Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) at the 2016 OPNFV Summit in Berlin. This smart infrastructure includes a multi-tenant network that can manage numerous service providers with a single administrator. This infrastructure is based on the concept of “infrastructure as a service,” which utilizes our Open Networking Platform to create ‘virtual network elements’ that allow multiple service providers to independently operate and manage their individual slice of the network through a service provider provisioning portal. The end-user self-provisioning portal allows users to request and obtain on-demand Smart City services. It creates a winning value proposition for network managers, their customers and municipalities.
However, the benefits will be felt far beyond the relationship between households and telecom service providers. A smart city infrastructure stands to make dramatic improvements on the efficiency and costs entailed in municipal programs and services. By implementing a dynamic smart infrastructure, cities will be able to optimize the management of communication and information flow for community services like schools, transportation systems, hospitals, power, water, waste management, and law enforcement.
Furthermore, with Smart Infrastructure, devices like lighting, HVAC, energy monitors, security devices, inventory, sensors, and appliances can be automated for daily use. With this being said, smart cities must have the adequate network bandwidth and flexibility in place to support a large amount of connected devices within their smart city. Currently, Inocybe Technologies, along with our customer, Avaya, are leading by example – having recently blown through what’s considered the ‘normal’ limits of scalability for an open, standards-based SDN architecture, by demonstrating a network architecture that supports up to 168,000 connected devices. This claim was backed up by Neela Jacques, executive director of the OpenDaylight Project, who said it is the largest-scaling architecture that OpenDaylight is aware of.
What types of use cases are getting the most traction for ODL?
There are many types of OpenDaylight use-cases that are getting a lot of traction within and outside the community. These types of use-cases vary from more security-focused, network access control and policy, to managing wide area network (WAN) connectivity for data centers by, for example, leveraging ONF’s Atrium for scalable virtual routers.
As a testament to the maturity of the OpenDaylight platform, along with a few friends in the community, we recently launched early access to the most comprehensive guide to over 90 ways to leverage OpenDaylight to save companies’ time, money and resources. We call this guide The OpenDaylight Cookbook and it is available as an eBook through our publisher, Packt Publishing or on Amazon.
Give us an example of how a technology buyer would implement ODL on a Software-as-a-Service platform
In only a few years OpenDaylight has become the cornerstone of SDN deployments around the globe. It has become critical to ensure that OpenDaylight software itself is managed and deployed with a high level of integrity, robustness, and ‘commercial strength’. Because it’s so easy to get started with ODL as a Proof of Concept, software developers and network engineers can be tempted to take shortcuts to get something rolled out quickly. Conversely, by following a structured, professional Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) process for ODL, users can mitigate potential disasters and avoid costly do-overs, while greatly accelerating the path to a production quality, commercial-grade deployment. Inocybe’s Open Networking Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Platform allows organizations to create a robust OpenDaylight environment built around specific use cases, using a full CI/CD pipeline for creating the ODL builds (distributions).
Once the use case-based distribution is created using the SaaS platform, the distribution is downloaded and deployed as an ODL instance (controller or agent). The ODL instances can be installed on any number of devices such as a white box switch, a VM on a server, or in containers.
Tell us how Inocybe’s Open Networking Platform ODL fits into the SDN market.
If you look at other open source players within the SDN market, our platform is unique in allowing companies to build their own use-case based controller solution, while supporting a broader set of components and solutions for a variety of different markets.
In terms of the large vendors within the SDN market, we provide a hardware-vendor agnostic, technology independent alternative, with the ability to customize to address specific business use cases. Our platform provides the simplicity needed without the vendor lock-in.
For the Google, Comcast and AT&T’s of this world that are contemplating doing everything in house from the OpenDaylight project, Inocybe provides the best of both worlds between a vendor solution and doing it in-house, by helping our customers simply and securely leverage the open source project from a solid foundation. Inocybe essentially acts as the ‘life-line’ into ODL while accelerating development and deployment timelines, often cutting costs and deployment schedules by over 65%. Our customers tell us they have had fantastic Return on Investment (ROI) improvements for their SDN initiatives using the Inocybe Platform.