The Open Networking User Group (ONUG) formed an open software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) exchange, OSE, in 2016 to build an open framework that enables interoperability between SD-WANs and cloud providers. Now, the exchange has grown and made significant progress on the creation of an API that would help SD-WAN vendors “talk.”
OSE was formed out of a need identified by ONUG’s SD-WAN working group, according to ONUG Co-Founder and Co-Chair Nick Lippis.
The SD-WAN group worked on proof of concepts, completed verification testing, and put together the aggregated requirements to connect branches. What the group quickly discovered, Lippis said, was that as vendors began to deploy their own SD-WANs there was no interoperability or way to connect the different solutions. Two other factors also played a role.
First, SD-WAN transitioned from being a way to connect branch offices and the private cloud to also needing to connect with public cloud providers. Secondly, the technology became needed as a way to connect networks during mergers and acquisitions such as during Cisco’s purchase of Viptela and VMware’s purchase of VeloCloud.
These factors led to the creation of the OSE.
Today, the OSE is working to define a common policy layer to open up the SD-WAN ecosystem with greater interoperability between vendors. The policy layer would include agreed-upon SD-WAN services while still enabling vendors to customize their solutions.
OSE will deliver a service level API at the upcoming ONUG Spring 2018 conference.
The service level API allows a DevOps person to send commands to an orchestrator, which Lippis said, could be either a Kubernetes, Docker, or a third-party proprietary orchestrator. The orchestrator would indicate that a particular workload requires connectivity between the cloud and a branch office, for example. The API enables a signal to be sent from the orchestrator to the SD-WAN to establish the necessary connection.
“The goal was to move away from the old-fashioned network engineering model into something that was more automated and that abstracted the configuration and complexity of setting up or connecting two different SD-WAN vendors, really moving that connectivity into the domain of the application developer,” said Lippis.
The OSE group hopes that companies will begin to code the API into their SD-WAN products and demonstrate SD-WAN interoperability at the ONUG Fall 2018 conference.
The OSE is chaired by Steve Wood from Cisco, Conrad Menezes from Bank of America, Snehal Patel from Gap, and Anusha Vaidyanathan from SilverPeak.