Ever since software-defined networking (SDN) first came on the scene, the networking community has aimed to harness the technology to increase network functionality and lower the cost of operating complex networks. Many early adopters have worked to completely reinvent their networks with SDN, OpenFlow, and other related technologies, but people have had less success with using SDN to make more incremental – but still very effective – improvements to legacy networks.
A new white paper from KulCloud introduces a powerful new software approach to abstract legacy IP routing and forwarding using OpenFlow. The paper outlines KulCloud’s PRISM (Perfect Routing Integration of SDN using OpenMUL) solution, an SDN routing/switching solution built on top of the company’s OpenMUL SDN platform. The white paper, “PRISM: A Policy-Driven, High-Performance SDN Edge,” looks at how PRISM uses OpenFlow to leverage and incrementally improve upon existing protocols at the L2/L3 network edge by providing a single, simple management plane.
While new to the U.S. SDN market, KulCloud launched in 2011 and was the first Korean company to launch a highly scalable SDN Controller platform with OpenMUL. KulCloud argues that the physical and logical devices that sit at the network edges, or borders, are core enablers for innovative services. It focuses on solving problems at these borders such as where the SDN network meets the legacy network, where the mobile LTE network meets traditional L2/L3 WAN, or where the data center network meets traditional L3 domains.
PRISM provides a seamless upgrade path from legacy to SDN environments because it lets centralized logical routing instances control any set of geo-distributed or local data planes. The white paper outlines the PRISM architecture and explains how it preserves external networking protocol interfaces such as OSPF, BGP, VLAN, etc., while delivering cutting-edge innovation at the same time. It also explores how white boxes can be employed with resilient controller software to improve existing networks and drive innovation at the network edges.
The white paper examines specific challenges when it comes to scaling PRISM, and it highlights two primary use cases for the solution:
- Policy-driven, dynamic data center gateway: PRISM gives the option to deploy solid, pure OpenFlow-based L3 gateways to the software-defined data center. It also works on top of any vendor L2 fabric.
- Flexible software-defined provider or customer edge: PRISM is stackable and can readily replace traditional IP/MPLS label edge routers (LERs) or label switch routers (LSRs). PRISM can also act as a VLAN to MPLS translation edge between customer’s L2 and provider MPLS domains.
PRISM is available now as a beta release and can be integrated with Open vSwitch-2.3.0, Pica8 white boxes, and HP OpenFlow switches. Future work aims to integrate PRISM with more vendor devices and apply the architecture towards campus and enterprise networks.
Read the white paper to learn more.