ONS 2014: What’s New with OpenDaylight?

Less than a year after its launch under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, the OpenDaylight open source software defined networking project has already delivered its first release, Hydrogen, and is moving forward with development on Hydrogen’s follow-up, currently dubbed Helium. Today, at the Open Networking Summit’s SDN Building Blocks panel, Phil Robb, technical liaison for OpenDaylight, brought the ONS 2014 audience up to date on where OpenDaylight is headed.

The importance of collaborative development

Before he got to that, however, Robb spent a few minutes discussing where OpenDaylight has been. One of the most important things to understand about the OpenDaylight project, he said, is that “it is a collaborative development project.” There hasn’t been much of that within the networking industry, Robb added, saying that “it’s still a very foreign concept.” But a foreign concept with legs and potential.

“If you get a bunch of technologists in a room, they always want to find the best technology,” Robb said, point out that that’s what open source development is: technologists collaborating to create the best technology together.

OpenDaylight aims to foster collaboration towards the extremely ambitious goal of an SDN platform and associated components that “can be used by everybody in a real production environment,” no matter the use case. And the project is growing and moving towards that goal. Today, Robb said, the OpenDaylight community has over 150 contributors and approximately 100 commits per week—a number that’s growing steadily.

It’s “a very diverse community with a very diverse set of caretakers,” he said.

Progress on OpenDaylight Helium

Looking ahead, Robb said that a model-driven service abstraction layer will play a key role in OpenDaylight SDN, with automation reducing human intervention and human error. Automation will also help provide greater consistency both northbound and southbound, he said.

Two projects have already been accepted for Helium. DLUX (openDayLight User eXperience) aims to enhance the user experience through a graphical user interface with more drag-and-drop functionality. The Group Policy Plugin, meanwhile, is an extension that goes “beyond what Affinity had started” in the exploration of policy-focused northbound APIs.

A number of other projects have also been proposed, though not yet accepted:

  • Fibre Channel SAN
  • Logical Switch Abstraction
  • DPDK vSwitch
  • Python OpenDaylight client
  • Packet Cable PCMM Manager
  • Dynamic Resource Reservation
  • Dynamic Flow Management
  • SDN Simulation Platform
  • Data Persistence
  • XMPP Plugin

Additionally, Robb said that integration will be important. Open source must “easily accommodate new functionality.” To support that, OpenDaylight is working on increasing automation during the testing process. Automation in testing is “a good infrastructure piece that state-of-the-art open source projects use” and vital to OpenDaylight, he added. Policy and northbound interfaces will also take on greater significance as Helium takes shape, as will continued OpenStack integration.

Clustering will also be up for debate within the OpenDaylight Project. Robb named two options: “Continue to build out a full clustered environment with a single logical view of the network, or will we have islands federated with east-west protocols?” The community is eager to engage in the discussion, he said.

OpenDaylight Helium release date

The OpenDaylight Project hasn’t yet finalized a release date for Helium, though it is looking at August. According to Robb, the release date should be known within 2-3 weeks; he advised the audience to check the OpenDaylight wiki for updates.

In the meantime, Robb had some suggestions for SDN developers antsy to get involved with OpenDaylight. The OpenDaylight lab, provided by Ericcson, provides an OpenDaylight network environment and on-premises experts to support integration, testing, and verification work. Robb also called for more participants to join the project, mailing lists, and IRC panel and plugged the OpenDaylight resources available online.

Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

ENP editor Jude ChaoJude Chao is managing editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.

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