The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) webinar shed light on the optical networks research conducted in ONF’s Open Transport working group. The event addressed essential topics such as the need for transport software-defined networking (SDN) in the market place, as well as the works of the Optical Internet Forum (OIF) on optical networks. After the event, the audience submitted questions about OpenFlow and transport SDN that panelists Lyndon Ong, Dave Brown, and Vishnu Shukla answered. Have a look at the below Q&A answers from the optical networks in SDN webinar to further explore the latter topics.
Where does OpenFlow fit in transport SDN?
ONF: OpenFlow will provide a standard southbound interface to transport equipment in SDN supporting a simple table model that is flexible and has been extended to cover multiple layers of technology. There will be competing interfaces, including vendor proprietary ones, but OpenFlow will have iNts place due to its particular strengths, for example with white box implementations.
How can I participate in the open source activities to develop and implement the Transport API?
ONF: The ONF Transport API work has been designed to be friendly to open source activities. Draft documents are posted on a GitHub site for ONF Open Transport work and there is an associated open source implementation project for the APIs (named Englewood). If you are interested in participating, you can work directly in the Open Transport activities if you are an ONF member, or provide comments and contribute to open source implementation on the ONF’s open source SDN GitHub site.
What is one of the critical issues carriers face related to the SDN deployment?
OIF: The operationalization of SDN is the greatest challenge faced by carriers. Some of the work conducted by the OIF, such as the “operation tool box” directly addresses this issue.
What should we expect to see in a 2016 Interop demonstration compared to 2014?
OIF: The 2014 demo tested prototype transport SDN technologies in a real-world-cloud-bursting application. It tested current southbound interface protocols, like OpenFlow Extensions and prototype northbound service request and topology interfaces. Detailed results are published in a paper found on the OIF web site.
The 2016 demo, tentatively planned for fall 2016 culmination, will build on that work, again in cooperation with the ONF. Once again, we plan to utilize carrier-hosted lab environments for the testing aligned OIF/ONF APIs among several system vendor NEs. The focus will be on a practical use case – congestion-triggered transport connection setup, and possibly SDN-enabled NFV scenarios as well.
For those interested in participating in the 2016 demo, can you provide more detail on how to get involved, the timeline, what’s required to support the demo, cost, and other factors?
OIF: This is in early planning stages so now is a perfect time to get involved. For a likely readout event in the fall of 2016, we’ll nail down the scope in January and confirm participants by April, then develop test cases and specs for carrier-hosted lab testing in July through September. Interested parties can first download and review the 2014 demo paper and other published work on transport SDN at our website. Then, as the OIF is a member contribution-driven organization, interested parties can join the OIF, attend, and participate in our meetings and help accelerate wide-scale adoption of transport SDN.
How is the OIF translating its years of work on control plane to transport SDN?
OIF: Our work in SDN is consistent with our longtime goal for seamless interworking and builds on our work in control plane. That is, seamless interworking across layers and domains and specifically, seamless operation of heterogeneous networks in an SDN architecture. Our approach recognizes that, at the control plane, domains can use network management, SDN or distributed control plane internally. And at the transport plane, domains can use different technologies. This is illustrated in our recently published transport SDN framework (reference figure – webinar slide #25) and was validated in our 2014 Global Transport SDN Demo.