Dubbing it the first top-to-bottom open source SDN implementation, ONF says Atrium gives users the ability to run a real network with open source software. ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt said Atrium’s inception began about two years ago when the organization realized that there were few options for the provisioning of open source software. In the last year, ONF has taken bigger steps to get working groups to produce something to fill the void.
“There is a lot of interest in SDN and people want to do something with it, but it’s not always clear what you can do with SDN,” says Pitt. “Open source is hard to do — you have to get components here and there. We want to make it available to people that want to move faster or don’t have the resources to find out all of the components.”
Atrium’s first release, 2015/A, brings together Quagga’s border gateway protocol (BGP) code, ONOS, and the Open Compute Project (OCP) framework as the initial components. These can run in controllers or switches with OpenFlow, and Atrium also allows for plug-ins and opens the door to other switching options to drive openness.
Several other organizations contributed to Atrium’s 2015/A release, including Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Extreme Networks, and Pica8, just to name a few. Other companies ranging from Facebook and Huawei to NEC and Spirent have pledged contributions for future Atrium releases.
Available by the end of this month, Atrium 2015/A will include:
- Installation, configuration, and operation documentation
- A verified ONOS snapshot that works with white box software, as well as branded switches
- A BGP peering application running on ONOS, including the Quagga BGP stack
- OpenFlow 1.3 device drivers in ONS
- Functionality tests within a full testing suite
Pitt says he wants to overcome the obstacles many cite as reasoning behind their apprehension to bring SDN into their networks.
“Without interoperability, users are afraid of getting locked in or making a decision that will eventually end,” he says. “We want people to learn about their own networks and figure out what they have going on as they move to this new technology. We look forward to seeing how people use Atrium and how they put it to work in their networks.”
ONF will be demoing Atrium at the 2015 Open Networking Summit next week in Santa Clara, Calif.