Having announced itself in April, the OpenDaylight Project is trying to show fast progress. The group revealed details of its open-source controller for software-defined networking (SDN) last week, and Thursday, it’s announcing its first sizable group of software contributions from members.
OpenDaylight’s open-source approach is supposed to speed the creation of a de facto standard framework for SDN, so in a way, it’s important for the group to show a lot of progress in the remainder of this year.
Now at 27 members, OpenDaylight describes itself as a peer-driven meritocracy, not a free-for-all where particular vendors’ self-interest can get knitted into the code. At the same time, though, one can’t help but notice it when certain vendors get bits of themselves accepted into OpenDaylight’s libraries.
It’s not just big vendors like Cisco, either (although Cisco does get three mentions and a nod for its IETF-standard Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP)). Here are a few OpenDaylight contributions that seem notable at first glance:
- Plexxi contributed its Affinity Metadata Service, an API for retrieving a description of a workload’s infrastructure needs. The idea of affinities — groups of network elements that a particular workload wants to use — is a key part of Plexxi’s architecture.
- ConteXtream is the one calling out LISP, having contributed its own mapping service for the protocol. LISP helps define network overlays and is a part of ConteXtream’s Grid technology.
- The lone contribution in the announcement that’s not from a vendor is an Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol, contributed by Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller of the University of Kentucky.
- IBM has contributed a version of its Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet (DOVE) network virtualization technology, just as it had promised in April.
OpenDaylight still faces questions about its ultimate direction. In June, Big Switch Networks made a big deal about scaling back its involvement in the project, and some big names such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel are participating at lower sponsorship levels, which suggests they’re keeping an eye on the project but aren’t fully convinced yet.
Today’s announcement won’t change the debates around OpenDaylight, but it’s at least a sign that the group is getting work done — which, for some, is the entire point.
All nine new contributions are listed in the OpenDaylight press release, included below.
Influx of New Technology Contributions to OpenDaylight Advances
SAN FRANCISCO, July 25, 2013 – The OpenDaylight Project, a community-led and industry-supported open source framework to advance Software-Defined Networking (SDN), announced an influx of new technology contributions ranging from networking protocols to virtualization to security. OpenDaylight reviewed and accepted contributions from Cisco, ConteXtream, Ericsson, IBM, NEC, Pantheon, Plexxi, Radware and developers Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller from the University of Kentucky. Membership in OpenDaylight, having grown to 27 companies since launch, combined with strong community growth is fueling an accelerated pace of development for the open source SDN project.
SDN is an emerging and radically different way to build and manage ever-larger and more complex data networks across a single location or around the world. In just a few short months OpenDaylight, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, has united companies, developers and academia to create a large and vibrant open source SDN community. The project’s shared goal is to deliver a common and open SDN platform that expands the intelligence of the underlying network infrastructure to make it more responsive to overall IT and service provider demands.
“Community growth for OpenDaylight has been astonishing with hundreds of developers now contributing their time and talents for the advancement of SDN. Everything is starting to congeal between the contributions and the people working fast and furious to build what we expect will be industry leading SDN technology,” said David Meyer, Technical Steering Committee chair, OpenDaylight Project. “The steady growth of the corporate member base is ensuring that we have a solid financial foundation from which to operate. It’s an exciting time to be involved with SDN.”
The base architecture for the OpenDaylight controller is a combination of two code bases that were brought together through a collaborative proposal by Colin Dixon of IBM and David Erickson of Stanford. Shortly thereafter, NEC contributed a key feature with its Virtual Tenant Networking technology. More recent contributions represent enhancements both small and large to OpenDaylight and reflect a growing endeavor to integrate efforts across the developer ecosystem. They are:
Affinity Metadata Service: Contributed by Plexxi, this service provides an API allowing the OpenDaylight controller and higher-level applications to create and share an abstract, topology and implementation independent description of the infrastructure needs, preferences and behaviors of workloads that use the network to “talk” to one another.
BGP/PCEP protocol library: The Cisco-contributed library provides Java-based implementation of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and the Path Computation Element Protocol (PCEP) — two common and pervasive networking protocols.
Defense4All: Radware contributed this toolset to be used for the detection and mitigation of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Defense4All subsystems include statistics collection, anomaly detection, traffic redirection and mitigation management that together allow applications to leverage the OpenDaylight controller and an SDN architecture to effectively manage DDoS attacks.
LISP Mapping Service: ConteXtream contributed its Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) Mapping Service and protocol plugin. The LISP protocol enables separation of endpoint identity (EID) from routing location (RLOC) by defining an overlay in the EID space that is mapped to the underlying network in the RLOC space. LISP is also a mapping service that provides the EID-to-RLOC mapping information including forwarding policy to LISP routers for tunneling and forwarding purposes. In the context of network virtualization, a mapping service can be queried by LISP-enabled network devices to provide mapping of the virtual network endpoints to the underlying physical network, including the associated forwarding policies.
Open DOVE: IBM contributed a version of its established network virtualization technology, called Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet (DOVE), that provides isolated multi-tenant networks on any IP network in a virtualized data center allowing administrators to define virtual switches and networks, Quality of Service, security, bandwidth, priorities and more. DOVE provides each tenant with a virtual network abstraction providing Layer 2 or Layer 3 connectivity and the ability to control communication using access control policies. Address dissemination and policy enforcement in Open DOVE is provided by a clustered directory service. It also includes a gateway function to enable virtual machines on a virtual network to communicate with hosts outside the virtual network domain.
OpenFlow 1.3.0 Protocol Library: Pantheon’s contribution is an implementation of the OpenFlow protocol as defined in OpenFlow Switch Specification Version 1.3.0. The library is designed to be extensible from third-party bundles in order to support vendor extensions and should serve as a basis for the OpenFlow 1.3.0 southbound plugin for the OpenDaylight controller.
OpenFlow Plugin: Cisco, Ericsson and IBM combined efforts to create a common, uniform OpenDaylight plugin to support all implementations of the OpenFlow specification as it develops and evolves. It provides support for the existing OpenFlow 1.0 implementation, while aiming to support OpenFlow 1.3.x and further versions of the specification. It will be implemented in a way that existing and future OpenFlow protocol specifications can be integrated and published for the OpenDaylight controller.
Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol (OVSDB) is a project led by Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller from the University of Kentucky. Open vSwitch is an open source software project implementing virtual switching that is interoperable with many major hypervisors and used extensively in cloud computing environments. The OVSDB integration project will allow OpenDaylight to view, modify and delete Open vSwitch objects such as bridges and ports by way of the Open vSwitch database.
YANG Tools: This is an infrastructure project initiated by Cisco aimed at developing necessary tooling and libraries providing ubiquitous support for YANG as a data modeling language within OpenDaylight.
“Collaborative development is powerful in bringing together the best and brightest in their fields and surfacing solutions to the computing industry’s pressing challenges. SDN is one such challenge,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “OpenDaylight has seen a level of participation that is rare at so early a stage in an open source software project and we’re excited about its progress. This momentum is a good sign for the future of SDN.”
Developers who are interested in creating the future of SDN can join the project at any time: http://www.opendaylight.org/developers/how-participate. As with any well-run open source project dedicated developers who contribute high-value code can evolve to become committers in the project, with the lead committer being elected by his/her peers to sit on the OpenDaylight TSC.