SDN & NFV Technologies

Software Defined Networking & Network Functions Virtualization Technologies

It’s difficult to identify SDx, SDN & NFV Technologies you should be tracking.

At SDNCentral one of our missions is to identify and share information about core SDN & NFV Technologies. Below you’ll find  Software Defined Networking, Network Functions Virtualization, or Network Virtualization Technologies we found or that some recommended to us.  If we’ve missed a technology let us know and we’ll post it.



ECMP Equal-cost multi-path routing (ECMP) is a routing strategy where next-hop packet forwarding to a single destination can occur over multiple “best paths” which tie for top place in routing metric calculations. Multipath routing can be used in conjunction with most routing protocols, since it is a per-hop decision that is limited to a single router. It potentially offers substantial increases in bandwidth by load-balancing traffic over multiple paths; however, there can be significant problems in its deployment in practice. RFC 2991 discusses multipath routing in general. (from Wikipedia)
I2RS In an IP routed network, the routing system:- Distributes topology and other state (network metadata)- Uses this network metadata to determine the best paths to each given reachable destination attached to the network- Communicates these decisions to the forwarding plane of each forwarding device in the network.I2RS facilitates real-time or event driven interaction with the routing system through a collection of protocol-based control or management interfaces. These allow information, policies, and operational parameters to be injected into and retrieved (as read or by notification) from the routing system while retaining data consistency and coherency across the routers and routing infrastructure, and among multiple interactions with the routing system. The I2RS interfaces will co-exist with existing configuration and management systems and interfaces.
ForCES IETF SDN working group.Learn More:  Download IETF Draft
LISP Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) is a “map-and-encapsulate” protocol which is currently developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force LISP Working Group.[1] The basic idea behind the separation is that the Internet architecture combines two functions, routing locators (where you are attached to the network) and identifiers (who you are) in one number space: the IP address. LISP supports the separation of the IPv4 and IPv6 address space following a network-based map-and-encapsulate scheme (RFC 1955). In LISP, both identifiers and locators can be IP addresses or arbitrary elements like a set of GPS coordinates or a MAC address
LLDP The Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a vendor-neutral Link Layer protocol in the Internet Protocol Suite used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors on a IEEE 802 local area network, principally wired Ethernet.[1] The protocol is formally referred to by the IEEE as Station and Media Access Control Connectivity Discovery specified in standards document IEEE 802.1AB.[2]LLDP performs functions similar to several proprietary protocols, such as the Cisco Discovery Protocol, Extreme Discovery Protocol, Nortel Discovery Protocol (also known as SONMP), and Microsoft‘s Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD). (from Wikipedia)
MPLS MPLS is a protocol agnostic, data-transport mechanism that is media-agnostic. In an MPLS network, data packets are assigned labels which drive packet-forwarding decisions, without the need to inspect the packets. This is generally used to create end-to-end circuits for connections between sites. There are projects on using OpenFlow with MPLS, converting OpenFlow switches into MPLS switches. OpenFlow 1.1 supports the ability to push/pop/swap MPLS labels.
NETCONF The Network Configuration Protocol, NETCONF, is an IETF network management protocol. It was developed in the NETCONF working group and published in December 2006 as RFC 4741 and later revised in June 2011 and published as RFC 6241. The NETCONF protocol specification is an Internet Standards Track document.NETCONF provides mechanisms to install, manipulate, and delete the configuration of network devices. Its operations are realized on top of a simple Remote Procedure Call (RPC) layer. The NETCONF protocol uses an Extensible Markup Language (XML) based data encoding for the configuration data as well as the protocol messages. This in turn is realized on top of the transport protocol. (from Wikipedia)
NVGRE NVGRE is a tunnel protocol (similar to VXLAN) used to create VLANs that span Layers 2 and 3 for multi-tenant cloud networks. It uses the established GRE tunnel format rather than defining a new one. Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Broadcom and Arista authored the IETF draft.
OpenFlow OpenFlow is an open standard that enables researchers to run experimental protocols in the campus networks we use every day. OpenFlow is added as a feature to commercial Ethernet switches, routers and wireless access points – and provides a standardized hook to allow researchers to run experiments, without requiring vendors to expose the internal workings of their network devices. OpenFlow is currently being implemented by major vendors, with OpenFlow-enabled switches now commercially available.Learn more:  Original Stanford WhitepaperOpenFlow 1.1 SpecOpenFlow 1.2 SpecOpenFlow 1.3 Spec
OF-Config OF-CONFIG 1.0 is focused on the basic functions needed to configure an OpenFlow 1.2 (OFv1.2) datapath. Functionality to be configured includes:The assignment of one or more OpenFlow controllersThe configuration of queues and portsThe ability to remotely change some aspects of ports (e.g. up/down)While limited in scope, OF-CONFIG 1.0 lays the foundation on top of which various automated and more advanced configurations will be possible in future revisions.Learn More:  OF-Config 1.0 Spec
PCE / PCEP In computer networks, a path computation element (PCE) is a system component, application, or network node that is capable of determining a finding a suitable route for conveying data between a source and a destination.  See IEEE for more information
SPB (802.1aq) 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging or SPB in computer networking is a technology that greatly simplifies the creation and configuration of carrier, enterprise, and cloud networks which virtually eliminates human error, while enabling multipath routingShortest path bridging (IEEE 802.1aq) is the replacement for the older Spanning Tree Protocols (IEEE 802.1D STP, IEEE 802.1w RSTP, IEEE 802.1s MSTP) that blocked traffic on all but one alternative path. IEEE 802.1aq (Shortest Path Bridging SPB) allows all paths to be active with multiple equal cost paths, provides much larger layer 2 topologies (up to 16 million compared to the 4096 VLANs limit) faster convergence times, and improves the use of the mesh topologies through increased bandwidth and redundancy between all devices by allowing traffic to load share across all paths of a mesh network.The technology provides logical Ethernet networks on native Ethernet infrastructures using a link state protocol to advertise both topology and logical network membership. Packets are encapsulated at the edge either in mac-in-mac 802.1ah or tagged 802.1Q/802.1ad frames and transported only to other members of the logical network. Unicast and multicast is supported and all routing is on symmetric shortest paths. Many equal cost shortest paths are supported.The control plane is based on IS-IS with a small number of extensions defined in RFC 6329.
STP The Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is a network protocol that ensures a loop-free topology for any bridged Ethernet local area network. The basic function of STP is to prevent bridge loops and the broadcast radiation that results from them. Spanning tree also allows a network design to include spare (redundant) links to provide automatic backup paths if an active link fails, without the danger of bridge loops, or the need for manual enabling/disabling of these backup links.Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is standardized as IEEE 802.1D. As the name suggests, it creates a spanning tree within a mesh network of connected layer-2 bridges (typically Ethernet switches), and disables those links that are not part of the spanning tree, leaving a single active path between any two network nodes.STP is based on an algorithm that was invented by Radia Perlman while she was working for Digital Equipment Corporation
STT STT (Stateless Transport Tunneling Protocol).  Encapulation Protocol used by Nicira’s NVP.Learn More:  STT ETF Draft
TRILL TRILL (Transparent Interconnect of Lots of Links) is a IETF Standard [1] implemented by devices called RBridges (Routing Bridges) or TRILL Switches. TRILL combines the advantages of bridges and routers and is the application of link state routing to the VLAN-aware customer-bridging problem. RBridges are compatible with and can incrementally replace previous IEEE 802.1 customer bridges. They are also compatible with IPv4 and IPv6 routers and end nodes. They are invisible to current IP routers and, like routers, RBridges terminate the bridge spanning tree protocol. (from Wikipedia)
VPLS Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) is a way to provide Ethernet based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP/MPLS networks. It allows geographically dispersed sites to share an Ethernet broadcast domain by connecting sites through pseudo-wires. The technologies that can be used as pseudo-wire can be Ethernet over MPLS, L2TPv3 or even GRE. There are two IETF standards track RFCs (RFC 4761 and RFC 4762) describing VPLS establishment.VPLS is a virtual private network (VPN) technology. In contrast to L2TPv3, which allows only point-to-point layer 2 tunnels, VPLS allows any-to-any (multipoint) connectivity.In a VPLS, the local area network (LAN) at each site is extended to the edge of the provider network. The provider network then emulates a switch or bridge to connect all of the customer LANs to create a single bridged LAN.
VXLAN Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN) provides an encapsulation scheme like NVGRE, that addresses the requirement of multi-tenant cloud networks to span large networks. VXLAN can form the basis of a scalable cloud network where lots of logical networks can be dynamically provisioned. VXLAN is supported by Cisco and VMware.
XMPP Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is a communications protocol for message-oriented middleware based on XML (Extensible Markup Language).[1] The protocol was originally named Jabber,[2] and was developed by the Jabber open-source community in 1999 for near-real-time, instant messaging (IM), presence information, and contact list maintenance. Designed to be extensible, the protocol has also been used for publish-subscribe systems; signalling for VoIP, video, and file transfer; gaming; Internet of Things applications such as the smart grid; and Social networking services.  (from Wikipedia)
YANG The YANG data modeling language was developed by the NETMOD working group in the IETF and was published as RFC 6020 in October 2010. The data modeling language can be used to model both configuration data as well as state data of network elements. Furthermore, YANG can be used to define the format of event notifications emitted by network elements and it allows data modelers to define the signature of remote procedure calls that can be invoked on network elements via the NETCONF protocol.  (from Wikipedia)

* Many of the definitions provided above are from Wikipedia and / or IEEF