Both were community-developed at OpenSourceSDN.org, the ONF says.
In intent-based networking, applications convey only the intent of how they want the network to behave. They don’t tell the network infrastructure how this is to be done. An intent-based framework frees the applications from having to adapt every time there’s a change in the network, and it should also make network programmability easier for a larger audience.
For the Aspen project, the ONF collaborated with the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC)‘s Unified Communications (UC) SDN Activity Group, which created a use case specification for automating UC quality-of-experience. The project also includes work with HP, Microsoft, and NEC to address automation in multimedia network performance requirements.
Aspen is able to provide code for a real time northbound interface (the interface between applications and the controller) via OpenFlow, which allows applications to automate QoS for real-time multimedia services such as voice and video. The multimedia traffic can be provisioned with the appropriate priorities and bandwidth on the network to make sure it’s separate from non-real-time traffic, resulting in a better multimedia experience, ONF says.
The Boulder project specifies the architecture and initial information model for an intent-based interface to the SDN controller. It’s designed to enable intent-based portability across different controllers while also providing a layer that shields application developers from all of the specifics of controller implementations, which allows for the creation of a large ecosystem across different domains of the network.
Boulder works closely with multiple open source infrastructure controllers such as OpenDaylight (through the Network Intent Composition project), the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), and OpenStack. And since it’s dual-licensed under both Apache Software License and Eclipse Public License, it can be used in other controller projects.
Aspen and Boulder will be demonstrated during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany, Oct. 12-16.