The Open Network Operating System (ONOS) is wrapping up 2015 with its fifth code release in one year. Each release is named after a bird. This one – Emu – focuses on improvements to the platform such as IP multicast and SDN-IP, as well as key use cases, including Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD), service function chaining, and support for the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) and OpenStack.
Since ONOS’s fourth release, named Drake (which is a male duck), Alcatel-Lucent has joined the open source group as a vendor partner, and several more collaborators have joined, including ECI, ClearPath Networks, and FNLab from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
ONOS has also become a part of The Linux Foundation since the Drake release. Although it’s under Linux, the open source group is maintaining its same governance, and that has caused some to complain that it’s still too tightly controlled by ON.Lab. The group stressed in today’s announcement that “the number of collaborators and contributions to ONOS from organizations and people outside of ON.Lab continues to grow.”
Here are some key focus areas of Emu:
To support IP multicast use cases and applications, the project, with contributions from DirecTV, created the ONOS Multicast Forwarding Application composed of a multicast route table that maintains any-source or specific-source multicast forwarding state within the ONOS controller; a multicast forwarding module that responds to live multicast data traffic; and a multicast intent manager responsible for interacting with the ONOS IntentService, which in turn establishes paths through the network.
SDN-IP is an ONOS application that allows software-defined networks (SDN) to connect to external networks, using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). It is a key element of the Open Network Foundation’s (ONF’s) Atrium distribution. With Emu, the SDN-IP app can be reconfigured at run-time to add or remove peers dynamically. Emu also adds default route support in SDN-IP. According to ONOS, in legacy networks if the router does not have a matchable IP prefix then it will send the packet to the next hop in the default route. Similarly, in SDN-IP if a peer announces a default route then it means that, if you do not know where to route the traffic, you can send it to that peer and it will route the traffic for you.
In June ONOS and AT&T conducted a residential subscriber proof of concept (PoC) of CORD, which aims to bring a new architecture to the central office. CORD uses ONOS for a carrier-grade open source SDN control plane. ONOS provides the network control in two places: the leaf/spine fabric and the network resources for the services, which are composed of multiple virtual network functions (VNFs) running on servers. ONOS also hosts the control applications that are virtualized as part of the domain of use. ONOS continues to coordinate its code with AT&T, and in 2016 the two will field-trial the residential PoC of CORD and will add PoCs for mobile and enterprise, as well.
Huawei has contributed enhancements to the virtual tenant network (VTN) system to enable ONOS to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 virtual networks as well as the IETF’s service function chaining (SFC). New capabilities include a set of northbound APIs for creating SFC. These include creating port-pairing for virtual functions, port-pair-grouping for load balancing of virtual functions, flow-classifiers (L2, L3, and L4), and port-chains for function chaining. ONOS also implemented an SFC control plane by creating an SFC Manager that includes classification and forwarding behavior construction.