To find out more about how an OpenDaylight Controller works, how it integrates and deploys in SDN environments, as well as learn which companies are creating ODL Controllers, visit our popular OpenDaylight Controller page.
A new SDN Consortium, code-named Daylight, has in-fact been created, we’ve learned, led by Cisco and IBM with significant contributions expected from HP, Citrix, and NEC. The structure is an open-source foundation, modeled after the Apache and OpenStack Foundations.
The foundation (currently referred to as OpenDaylight) is expected to be announced around the Open Networking Summit (ONS) in April. Daylight has been percolating, according to our sources, for last 4 – 6 months with final negotiations wrapping up Tuesday at Citrix’s Santa Clara headquarters (which ironically is across the street from the SDNCentral office) as we broke the story on Daylight.
- Core controller functionality, including OpenFlow, from Cisco
- Overlay based Network Virtualization from IBM
- L2 Network Services from HP
- Virtual Tenant Networks from NEC
- Service Chaining from Citrix
Our understanding is the controller will be JAVA based, 100% open-sourced under an Apache 2 license and will include critical features such as high-availability and clustering. We’ve been told that the initial release is focused on datacenter networks and that control models for other market segments, such as service providers, are futures.
Unlike many consortiums, OpenDaylight software development appears to be on the fast-track, as our expectations have been set to see a demo of the Daylight’s open-source SDN controller at the ONS working with KVM and / or OpenStack and to expect the initial controller to ship by the end of the year.
One well placed source has told us that Cisco OnePK is not included — though one can expect that Cisco will include the OnePK interfaces and APIs in a future Cisco version of the OpenDaylight Controller. What is also not included in OpenDaylight are any gateways to VXLAN or VMware / Nicira.
OpenDaylight clearly alters the SDN landscape — let’s look at the winners and losers:
- Customers: this is about viable choices — and today a viable open-source alternative to VMware emerged. As we wrote a while back — the current path wasn’t viable.
- Independent software vendors: This should reduce the number of SDN platforms / controllers you may have to write to. Very similar to Linux / OpenStack.
- Big Switch: For all intensive purposes — this means a difficult, uphill road for Floodlight and the Big Network Controller, meaning it’s going to be a high bar for customers to justify a purchase of a start-up’s controller when a potentially viable open source alternative, supported by major vendors is expected to be less than a year away. As for going forward — we should expect to see them focus on SDN apps like Big Tap and Traffic Engineering which solve a real customer need today. Editors Note: Update 2/8/13: We’ve been told by reliable sources that Big Switch is joining the consortium and contributing source code to the effort. Our view is this development is a win for Big Switch — to be included with Cisco, IBM, Citrix, HP, etc is a significant milestone. However, based on end customers we’ve spoken to, what Daylight means to the standalone controller market and likelihood if customers adopt a controller from a small private company is an open question.
- VMware: Clearly OpenDaylight was started to build a viable alternative to VMware and specifically the combination of vSphere with Nicira. This proves the networking guys learned from the server guys are not going to hand their market to VMware.
- SDN Start-ups: Unless you have unique product capability and route to market or going after service provider market segments, Daylight has effectively stopped sales cycles until Daylight and it’s vendor variants arrives in Q4, 2013. See related posts on the viability of SDN for venture investment or if you should join an SDN start up
- Open Networking Foundation: they have been in favor of open-source solutions like this but not structured to create software that implements the standards. Big question is whether Daylight and ONF can align on the definition for openness and standardization.